Sunday, September 18, 2011

Right Again

When Vanderbilt hired football coach James Franklin last December, Dori took notice while I yawned. I had already decided not to renew my two season tickets, frustrated with decades of ineptitude and seeming waste of half my busy weekends. Dori kept chirping all winter, "Jim, I like this coach. You need to support him. He seems a lot like Tim Corbin (Vandy's baseball coach)."

"Give him a chance."

She finally wore me down, and I purchased four tickets, not two.

Yesterday, Vanderbilt smashed Ole Miss, 30-7. After watching the first three games, I see a much better coached, aggressive team. The offense isn't quite there yet, but they are creative and play hard. The defense is amazing. They punish opponents and are trying to score harder than the other team's offense. They've scored at least 23 points the first three games and set up other scores. Special teams? I wouldn't want to return kicks against us.

Yesterday's blowout win was Vandy's largest against an SEC opponent in 40 years. After the game, the coach and players talked about each other, using words like "family," "we," and "each other." The schedule looks daunting, but I'm looking forward to watching these guys play more football.

I left the house yesterday morning at 5:30 to run 13 miles. Armed only with an ipod, yogurt pretzels and water, I ran downtown, around Vandy's campus and back home. The beginning and end of the run weren't easy, but overall I ran fine, a 10:26/mile pace. This week, I ramp up the mileage considerably, running 20 on Saturday.

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