Commodore Notebook - Sept. 9

Sept. 9, 2007


Thomas Edison was not a sports fan. At the very least he was not a fair weather fan or he would have given up on the light bulb after a few hundred tries.

I can just imagine Thomas, alone in his laboratory. It is late at night and after yet another failed attempt he mutters "same old Edison. I can't wait until I start working on the phonograph."

Fortunately Thomas Edison did not hang his head, pout and look forward to something that seemed easier. Do you suppose he was frustrated at continual failure in his quest to accomplish what others thought fool hardy? Think he didn't have his skeptics?

It's the morning after the big game we anticipated for months. Are we disappointed? Absolutely! Did each of us have a dark thought as we headed to the car? Of course. We care about this silly game; if we didn't we would have been on the golf course, cleaning the garage or taking a nap.

When we get frustrated we say things we don't mean, such as
"S--- O- -V---------" or "we are jinxed" or "those officials are out to get us". A word of advice: don't ever use the term S--- O- V--------- in front of a true-blue Commodore unless you would also wave a red flag before a bull. They are the three most offensive words that can be said in Black and Gold circles.

That expression was used in a press conference question to one Commodore, who cringed and responded, "No, we are the new Vanderbilt."

The knee-jerkers have already fired Michigan's Lloyd Carr and hired LSU's Les Miles. Funny, wasn't it just last November that the Wolverines were deemed deserving of playing in the BCS Championship game? Isn't this the same Lloyd Carr, a man who bleeds Maize and Blue, that has a national title in his resume?

Down on the Plains, a good Auburn team got whipped by South Florida. They are not thrilled today in Athens, South Bend, Blacksburg or even Louisville or Knoxville for that matter. My alma mater fired a coach that had taken it to several mid-level bowl games, hired a hot-shot assistant from Texas, sold a school record 35,000 season tickets and is now 0-2 after losing convincingly at home to Kent State and Northern Iowa.

One of the great myths to grow out of this era of 24-hour talk shows, internet chat and specialty publications is that the "haves" are so much more talented than the "have nots." The truth is there is usually a much greater difference in attitudes than the talent. Traditional powers expect victory, underdogs hope to win. That is a tough mountain to scale.

As I walked to McGugin Center Saturday, hours before kickoff, I trailed a dad and his chiseled son as they headed for the recruiting pre-game reception. As soon as they were within ear-shot, Ted Cain, our offensive coordinator, was pushing toward them with a huge grin and congratulations for their victory over a powerful foe the night before. Right beside Ted was Bobby Johnson, making this Friday night phenom feel like a million bucks. Our coaches are relentless recruiters.

Alas, that hasn't always the case, which is why it took Coach Johnson several years to simply get the program to the place it should have been the day he walked in the door.

We have too many dedicated players and coaches to be discouraged for long. Let those at the water coolers enjoy their cynicism. Our day is coming; we are part of the proud, new Vanderbilt.



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