Caldwell Visits the Grand Ole Opry Robbie Caldwell doesn't get nervous coaching a football team in front of 50,000 fans. But it's a totally different matter when you put him on stage at the historic Ryman Auditorium in front of a Grand Ole Opry audience.
"This makes me far more nervous than coaching on the sidelines. No doubt," Caldwell told Opry co-host Bill Cody Thursday when introduced to the audience.
Caldwell, his wife Nora and daughter Emsley were Cody's special guests at the Opry's Country Classics show. Midway through the two-hour show, Cody introduced Caldwell on stage, describing him as an avid country music fan and admirer of the late country comedian Jerry Clower.
"Don't believe me?" Cody asked the audience. "This man actually played Bobby Bare's "Dropkick Me Jesus Through the Goalposts of Life" at practice. How `bout that."
Cody quizzed Caldwell on his rural heritage, his admiration of Clower, and his many occupations as a youngster in Pageland, S.C. Indeed, the audience burst out in laughter when the topic reached turkey insemination.
Backstage, Caldwell was holding his own court, reminding Janie Fricke about a former appearance before a national coaches' convention and sharing laughs with Ronny Robbins, the son of the late, great Marty Robbins.
"I grew up listening to the Opry, and now I'm actually here. This is just fantastic," Caldwell told Cody.
Vanderbilt-UCONN game is Big East Game of the Week
Though final details have not been announced, the Vanderbilt-Connecticut next Saturday is expected to be available on ESPN's GamePlan schedule, as well as Dish Network and DIRECTV sports packages.
The game, slated for kickoff in East Hartford at 11 a.m., CT, will be the Big East Game of the Week. The game will be shown by Big East affiliates that cover many of the larger metro areas of the East and Mideast.
The SNY network (Sports New York) will air the game in the New York region. DIRECTV owners can watch on Channel 625 with a subscription to its broader sports package. Dish Network viewers can watch on Channel 428 with DishHD Silver or higher package subscriptions.
All-Time vs. Big East Teams
The Commodores are 10-7-1 all-time against current members of the Big East Conference. In the only previous meeting with Connecticut, the Commodores prevailed on campus, 28-24, in 2002.
Coach has "Honey-dos" this Weekend
Caldwell told ESPN.com's Chris Low he won't be lying on the couch.
"I've got all them honey-dos," Caldwell told Low. "I've got to aerate the yard and throw out some grass seed. But believe you me, I'm going to throw me something on the grill and watch me a little bit (of football) and laugh at everybody else having all the pressure on them that day."
Seeking Back-to-Back Road Wins
Vanderbilt will travel to Connecticut seeking road victories for the first time in two years. The Commodores' last back-to-back wins on the road came at Miami Ohio (34-13) and Ole Miss (23-17) in 2008.