Tuesday, October 16, 2012

0 Vandy fans, Franklin wants you to get excited for 2-4 football

By Kenny Howell

James Franklin took some time out Monday from watching game film by himself in a giant classroom (see local Vandy commercials), to educate his fans on how they should act when they walk into his stadium on Saturdays.

Franklin stated that he wants the fans in the stands 45 minutes before game time, preferably with eye black on, and ready to go. He wants them loud of third downs, and when the other team is backed up against the end zone. Got it.

First of all, I have been to quite a few UT games, who I am a big fan of, and I don't think I have been in my seat 45 minutes before kickoff. 25-30 maybe, but no way 45.

Second, you can't make someone like you. You can't just tell them, hey, like what I do, it would help me out a lot. You have to earn it. Obviously, Vanderbilt football has some excitement around their program because of Franklin, but it is hard to get too excited when your record is still 2-4. I wish UT fans would show up amazingly excited with a full house against Alabama Saturday, but I doubt it is going to happen, and I can't blame them too much. We aren't playing good football right now.

Franklin has manufactured a lot of excitement with his team, but that same process can't be used in dealing with people who are paying to come see the product you are putting out on the field. It is like one of those politicians who come out and ask the crowd to give them applause. Give them something to applause, and they will.

Plus, Vandy fans are notoriously bad for showing up to games. They often have more fans of the opposing team, especially when it is someone within decent driving distance, and have been booed when coming out of their own locker room. A lot of the student section is empty until about the end of the first quarter, and a lot of them leave late in the third. Not to say there isn't passionate Vandy fans out there, but they are the exception, and not the rule.

Eventually the excitement you have promised is coming will have to show up. Otherwise, that fan base is just going to realize, oh wait, this is the same old Vandy we have seen 1,000 times.

I think Franklin has a chance to change that, but don't expect me, or anyone else, to believe it until it shows up on the field.


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