Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Will to Win

To many people across America, Vanderbilt's win against Boston College in yesterday's Music City Bowl was just another college football victory. To Vandy fans, it meant the first winning season since 1982, the first bowl win since 1955, and more credibility to a program that had been a laugher decade after decade.

To Dori and my family, it meant a little more. I'll share an e-mail I sent this morning to Head Coach Bobby Johnson, a man who runs a class program.

Coach Johnson,

Please tell your team and coaches how proud we are of their effort yesterday. Your team simply out-willed a very good Boston College team. We had a block of 15 yelling our lungs out after hosting a tailgate for 35 or so. Your guys deserve every bit of energy we mustered yesterday.

My son, Will, who came up to you and your wife at [church] on Christmas Eve, is absorbing all of this. One thing he noticed was what [kicker] Bryant Hahnfeldt said after the game ... that he imagined succeeding in the situation that unfolded. He was mentally prepared to succeed and help his team ... a great lesson what the mind can do. The body will follow.

My wife, Dori, cried at the end of the game. She survived leukemia to see many things, and this was one of them. Perseverance is a good thing.

I've enjoyed this year very much. Will and I went to the Ole Miss game, which was spectacular. GameDay against Auburn was also amazing. And yesterday was simply thrilling.

Good luck in the off season improving the team. It's clear you have been the right choice and best fit for our program, and we salute you and your leadership.

Jim B.
Class of 1987

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