Proud to be a Commo-Dork

Football season is merely weeks away, and I'm already pumped.  My alma mater, the mighty Vanderbilt Commodores, is coming off their first bowl game appearance since the days when their mascot was the same name as the best computer on the market.  We won that game, by the way, and in typical Vanderbilt fashion, the MVP was….the punter.  That's right.  Our best player that day was the least intimidating guy on the field.  Wow.  That's like learning America won the Revolutionary War because our drummer boy was in a zone. 

No offense to our punter, Brett Upson, who is an upstanding individual who could not only kick my ass but could probably put me inside the two-yard-line after doing it.  Without his efforts, my beloved Dores would have posted another losing season, causing more heartache and broken furniture.  So thank you, Mr. Upson, for lifting us up and for saving my coffee table.

I admit it…I have broken things after disappointing losses.  It happens so often as a Vandy fan that I no longer expect to ever get a deposit back.  Ever.  No, it's not mature, but neither is calling a fake punt on your own 20, so it all balances out.  I don't have a temper, per se…just a passion.  And what's wrong with loving something so much you beat down your apartment walls?  My neighbors love each other and that's what they do every night.  That's perfect logic.  

Someone once asked me, "Why do you get so worked up about your college football team?"  I laughed and told him to just patch up the dry wall like I was paying him to do.  

You'd think it would get better leaving Nashville for New York City, but it's worse. Vanderbilt has an alumni club in New York but I don't know anyone involved.  I would probably know some of them if I ever went to an event, but I can't bear to.  Here's why…The Vanderbilt Alumni Club sends out invites to viewing parties all the time.  This is where semantics comes into play.  These things are never "viewing" parties.  I've been to one, and I was basically outcast for actually trying to (gasp) VIEW the game!  Calling it a "viewing party" was as misleading as calling an athletic dorm in Knoxville a "study hall". 

The only conversation I had that night was literally right when the ball was snapped.  Not only was it during the game, but it was during a crucial 3rd down and 57!!!  I was glued to the set, and then:

"Hey, you're really into this game.  So where are you from and what do you do?"

"I'm really sorry.  But I made a reservation to a viewing party.  Not a talking party." 

Then she said something nasty, but I was so disconnected, it was like straining to hear a referee talking into a bad microphone.  I couldn't grasp all that she was saying, but I knew it wasn't good.  So I did what came naturally in that situation and simply backed up 15 yards. 

I know, I know.  My behavior is ridiculous.  But I love my Vanderbilt Commodores more than you can imagine.  I know we're not going to gun for an SEC Championship anytime soon.  I know that we'll be in a BCS game about as soon as they factor in GPA into the computer poll.  I understand I cheer for the eternal underdog.  But I still get pretty intense.

This year, however, could possibly be different. Now that the mighty Commodores have finally broken their string of losing seasons, maybe I can chill a bit more.  I wouldn't bet a breakable lamp on it, but maybe.  After all, we've had enough losing seasons to make Tim Tebow himself question the existence of God.  If you don't know who Tim Tebow is, he's the quarterback at Florida who is a great guy and very devout man.  So devout, he scores even less than Vandy does.  That kind of chastity is Pope worthy!!

I know it's pathetic to let a sports team dictate my mood on the weekends.  I believe one day I'll grow up.*  But in the meantime, I'm encasing my entire living room in bubble wrap. 

Go Dores!

*Not a guarantee.

Categories: Columns