Joe Fisher's Mailbag, Nov. 18

Nov. 18, 2011

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Wondering about a player, a game or another topic involving the Commodores? The Voice of the Commodores Joe Fisher will answer a variety of questions from fans during the season on

No questions - just sending get well wishes to you, Joe! Know it must be frustrating to not be able to call all the games (and, I admit, I missed your voice this weekend!); but am thankful for Willie and Kevin who have filled in and done very well at short notice.  

Get Well Soon!! (and definitely by tax season - so you can help me through another year!) 
- Barbara Muncy (Nashville)

Barbara, I really appreciate the kind words from you and so many throughout Commodore Nation who have sent me texts, e-mails and best wishes. Yes, there's not much more frustrating for a play-by-play guy than to have voice issues. I am not 100%, but am feeling much better, and plan to be ready to go Saturday in Knoxville. Also as you mentioned, I really appreciate my good friends Willy Daunic, Kevin Ingram and David Shumate for being willing to step in on short notice and fill in. They are great pros and did an outstanding job.  

The last two VU running backs to rush for 1,000 yards was I believe Jermaine Johnson in 1995 and Frank Mordica in 1978. With two games remaining for Zac Stacy to reach the milestone of 1,000 yards rushing for the season (a big feat in the SEC), what will Coach Franklin do to celebrate this in light of him trying to change the Vanderbilt football image? (Editor's Note: Corey Harris also rushed for 1,103 yards in 1991)
- Rob Kaulana (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Given the total team-oriented approach Coach Franklin has presented this entire season, I'm not sure you'll see any special display or recognition if Zac hits the 1,000-yard mark. I just hope he's able to do it this week!  

Does vandy award atheletic scholarships for football and basketball?
- Tommy Smith (London, Ky.)

Absolutely. Full scholarships are offered in football and men's and women's basketball. Full and partial scholarships are offered in a variety of our other varsity sports.

When listening on XM radio to the channel listed on game day,  we get the opponent broadcast for away games. Why is that? We all offer to listen to Joe for every game. Can this be changed?
- Jerry Reves, MD (Charleston, S.C.)

It is my understanding that in most cases, Sirius XM carries the home team broadcast of a game, with some exceptions. I'm sure part of it has to do with a limited number of channels being available on a given Saturday afternoon. There are some occasions where both broadcasts are offered, but not very often. The only sure way to get our audio broadcast for each game is through Vanderbilt All Access on

Perhaps this has been addressed on the radio shows and I have missed it, but I am wondering what a possible explanation might be for what seems like more penalties this year than is the norm? It's great to see the new tough, assertive, not backing down mentality, but I hope it comes with high standards for discipline. Also, I would really like further explanation of the penalties on (Logan) Stewart.
- Kelly (Nashville)

I do think at times, when a team is focused on playing with high energy and aggressiveness, there's always the chance for an additional penalty now and then. Coach Franklin addressed the inordinate number of penalties we had at Florida a couple of weeks ago with the team, and they responded with only three last weekend against Kentucky. As for Logan Stewart, Coach told me that Logan has only thrown one block this year that he disagreed with, and that the center was rightfully disciplined for that. Logan is an intense, competitive guy, that plays hard all the way until the whistle. I always worry that sometimes a player gets a reputation of drawing penalties and as a result gets closer scrutiny from officials, or even has opponents try to bait him into reacting to something to draw a penalty. I'm sure coach has made Logan, and the rest of our players understand that you have to keep your cool and avoid those costly personal foul penalties that can kill a scoring drive.  

In an effort to boast attendance I wondered what is being done to include Vanderbilt employee's for season tickets. I am aware Vanderbilt usually does this for one game.  I believe if Vanderbilt blocked off a few sections and let them bring a spouse plus two youth tickets it would be a win for everyone. Just require them to show a work id so they would not sell them.   

Also is there a timeline to improve sound and video board to make it a better experience?
- Michael Lindseth (Nashville)

Vanderbilt athletics has long worked with university employees to try and provide opportunities for them to attend our games. Season ticket packages for faculty/staff are available in our sports at a well reduced rate. As you mentioned, we usually have an employee celebration game and provide free tickets for staff who are interested in taking part. We encourage our faculty and staff to be a part of all our sporting events, as they are a great source of support for us.

As for the sound and video boards, those are ongoing discussions with improvements hopefully scheduled to come sooner rather than later. There have been some audio changes at Memorial Gym, and those are still being tweaked for optimum performance. The only way to get the ideal sound setup for a game is to work on the system while the stands are full, as that has great impact on the sound.  

Has anyone asked about moving either the football or basketball game so that the fans can get to see both? Alternative might be to show football broadcasts on the jumbotron at Memorial. Both are very important to the fans!!
- Bill Crouch (Nashville)

I wish that could have been accomplished. Unfortunately, Vanderbilt had control of neither game, with the conference and ESPN deciding the time for football Saturday, and the Legends Classic folks controlling the tip time in New Jersey. A reminder here that our basketball game Saturday will be carried locally in Nashville on 99.7 WWTN starting at 5:30 p.m. central time. My friend, Matt Chazanow will team up with my broadcast partner Tim Thompson to bring you that game, while I'm in Neyland Stadium for football.

Can we look for some big play recruits to be on the field next year, and how long do you plan on making Vanderbilt your home if you do well.
- Brian Morgan (Clarksville, Tenn.)

I know Coach Frankin and his staff are working extremely hard to bring top notch recruits into the program, and from everything I'm hearing, they're certainly making inroads there.

As for me, this is my 14th season at Vanderbilt. It's a great honor and privilege to work for such an outstanding program and a marvelous university. I can only hope to continue here as long as they'll have me.  

Hi Joe, it seems to me when we are in the shotgun formation, the snap from center is almost always low. Is this something that is being worked on or is it not considered a problem.
- Jim Foster (Monteagle, Tenn.)

That shotgun snap is worked on every day. If you'll recall early in the season, if we had an issue with the snap it was usually high. I'm amazed a center can focus on snapping a football with a 300-pound defensive tackle a foot away from him. I don't think the offensive staff has had any major issues with the snap from center, and Jordan seems to be pretty comfortable back there.

How is Ezeli's knee feeling and will it hold up for the season once he is back. Did he try to do too much too soon?
- Paul (Nashville)

It wasn't an issue of coming back too soon. The injury occurred to ligaments in his right knee. His offseason surgery was on his left knee. Festus says the knee feels good. They have started some flexibility work with the knee in hopes of getting him back in four to six weeks from the injury instead of six to eight.

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