United we stand...

It would be impossible to dispute the adversity the Vandal football team has been forced to overcome in recent years. With Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear interviewing candidates to take over as Idaho's next head football coach, our readers show their support of the football team and let them know that they have a loyal fanbase behind them.

Below are the messages sent from our readers to the Vandal football team over the course of this week. They are presented in no particular order. In many cases the writer posted their name with the message. In other cases they submitted the message using their "handle" on our message board. Some are former players, some are life-long fans, some are parents, and some are current students.

In all cases, the message to our team is the same: "We are here, we will be here, and we support you 100%!"








Gentlemen,

We have the deepest appreciation for the effort and heart you gave this past season and have shown in this past week.

It is important to remember that you as individuals and as teammates represent your school and team. You cannot allow nor permit anything outside of yourself and your teammates to try to define who you will be. The Legacy that you leave behind can only be determined by the actions you take from today till the last day that you strap on the Silver and Gold.

To the Seniors, you have been the catalyst to this team. Show the underclassmen what it means to be leaders. What it means to be Vandals. That every time you step on the practice field or field of competition you leave your heart out there.

To the underclassmen, continue to get better, fight in practice for playing time, show through hard work that you deserve your place. Because it is your responsibility to be ready when something goes wrong, and the team will call on you to continue the success.

Continue to support each other like brothers. Your team is a family. From the Grayshirts that are to join the team next semester, to the Seniors who are writing their final chapter, continue to lift each other up. You are all strong as one, but united you are a force to reckoned with.

As former Vandal Athletes we are proud of everything you do.

Don't ever settle for second best. You deserve more than anyone wants to give you credit for and your hard work and dedication will pay with patience.

Keep your heads high and stay strong in the classroom, the weight room, and on the practice field.

You have the support of a great school, with very proud alumni. We are behind you every step of the way. GO VANDALS!!!

Sincerely,

Bryan Stith, Vandal Track and Field Alumnus, 2000

Les Stith, Vandal Baseball Alumnus, 1970





Keep fighting guys; you make us diehard Vandals very proud to be rooting for a bunch of guys who fight until the last whistle. I traveled to six games this year from Boise ... my baby son watched his first three Vandal games before he was 6 months old this year. I'll do it again next year because we're going to keep supporting you guys and watching the progress and we'll get there. Being a Vandal is a special thing ... no one ever forgets their time at the University of Idaho and personally, Vandal Football has been one of the many highlights of my experience. I'm looking forward to seeing the 2007 version of Idaho football no matter who the coach is. Out of adversity arises leadership … perhaps these difficult times will galvanize the team and provide opportunities for others to step up. As my son gets older he'll be wearing one of your jersey numbers, or likely one of those to come after you. Its a tradition that you guys are carrying on right now ... we're not winning yet like we'd like to be, but I have faith we're going to get there and I thank you for taking this journey with the rest of the Vandal Nation. No one deserves the ride you guys have been on. Keep the faith, work hard and graduate above all.

Go Vandals!

Guy Bullock





Remember, there is no individual that makes a "team", just individual efforts that collectively come together as one.

There is a paradox that exists on a team: when an individual becomes selfless he will excel and the team will excel! Guys, I believe you will excel because you have each other to play for and with. Come together as one, forget the individual accolades, and you will have more to celebrate than you ever dreamed of (coaches included).

Lovingly and with a big GO VANDALS,

Laurie Conley

P.S. Can you believe what T.J. gets to listen to at home!






David and all the Vandal Players:

I want you to know how proud I am you are representing our University. You have been through so much and you deserve better. I will pledge to you my support and urge each of you to stick it out! Thank you for playing football for the Vandals and attending the University of Idaho! You are now and will be forever true Vandals and that is something very special!

Gary Garnand





Dear Players,

I just wanted to take the time to write and tell you how much I appreciate you playing for the University of Idaho. My Dad and I get together every Saturday to root for you guys. I respect and look-up to you immensely for your commitment to our program.

To all the veterans I just want to say I have faith in you and wish you the best of luck in the coming seasons. Vobora, Ratti and Siua, along with the rest of you guys, are amazing, and are legends in my book. Keep fighting and good things will happen, I have faith in you and your leadership and expect good things from you next season.

To the contributing freshmen (Keo, Cameron, Juratovac, and Marvin Jones), redshirts (D.Jackson, A.Harris, N.Enderle, G.Parnell), invited walk-ons (C.Ingebritson, T.Payne, D.Hardy, S.Towne), and grayshirts: Please know that we support you and want you to know that we know who you are and are excited to see what you can do on the football field.

Lastly, to those of you considering leaving the program in the wake of the departure of Dennis I would ask that you reconsider, WE NEED YOU, and more importantly WE REALLY WANT YOU TO BE HERE as Vandals!! We know that you can help turn this program into something special. WE have all the faith in the world in you! GOD BLESS YA'LL and have a very Merry Christmas!

Sincerely,

Jared Waters





I want you all to know that I am one of many Vandal alumni that support you and feel honored that such a group of outstanding individuals represent the University of Idaho. A University that I am a two-time graduate of (BS 1993; JD 1998), my father is a graduate of (1958), and my grandfather worked for. I know many older and supposedly wiser men that have folded up their tents after much less adversity than what you all have faced. Thank you for your commitment and your effort. It is appreciated and you have our support.

Robert Thomas





It's been a rough week for some of you, a rough few years for others, but I want you guys to know, we're with YOU 110%. The players are who we come to see on Saturdays and during the week at practices. In he 42 years I've been in Moscow, I've seen a lot of coaches come and go, and I've even seen a roof put on the stadium, but on game days it's the players we come out to see. Don't let this latest small bump in the road get you down, we're here for all of you now and will be for years to come.

Go Vandals

-- letsfish











Dear Vandal Football Team:

I just wanted to let you know that I feel for you guys. It can't be easy when a coach leaves in the manner that Erickson did. I was angry and many other people were too. There's not a lot that can be done right now and all you can do is remain positive for next season. I hope the next coach is unselfish and cares about the team.

Don't give up on this team. The fans are behind you guys 100%. The team improved this year and I cannot wait for next year. You guys had so much fire at the Boise State game and it was the most fun I've ever had at a football game.

Next season will be here before you know it. I know you guys will bring it and win more games! Good luck this off-season and happy holidays! GO VANDALS!

--jazzyvandal





As a former Vandal I want to thank you all becoming Idaho Vandals. Over the last four years many of you men have been through things many people don't experience in a lifetime. Once a Vandal, always a Vandal. You have a huge family to support you across the Nation. Hit the books, hit the weightroom, and keep your heads high. You all have a lot to be proud of.

Corey M.





Thank You for choosing to become a VANDAL. It is the best decision you have made in your life. We want you to know that we know the things you have gone through are very difficult and discouraging at times but know that the VANDAL nation is behind you 100%. So be strong and stay focused, and you will be better because of it. We love you all and Go VANDALS !!!

-- davepan





I love to watch you guys play! I want you all to know that there are plenty of fellow students that really are rooting for you, we go to every game, and stay positive. Just keep working hard and improving, and you can beat those Broncs any day!

Samantha Buck





We know that you guys leave it all on the field and do a hell of a job. Few people know how hard it is to go to school, play ball, travel, get injured, rehab, and have a life. You are the team, not the fans, the coach or the administration. Lean on/trust each other through the tough times. YOU ARE WINNERS AND WE SUPPORT YOU 100% !!!

-- ndsmith





Guys:

I have never been more proud of this team! You have all conducted yourselves honorably, with strength of character, and loyalty....something your former coach did not teach you. You already had those qualities!

When I think of the phrase "the measure of a man"...I'm going to think of this Vandal team! No one can measure up to you MEN. To me, you have already won the "national championship".

I'm 100% behind you and for you!

GO VANDALS!!!!

-- bvman





Dear Vandal Football Players,

I just wanted to send a note to you the players to let you know ...YOUR FANS ARE BEHIND YOU 100%. We believe in you and know how hard you work every day. It is not an easy job, and it takes a great deal of effort and time. But you guys have shown so much heart with what you have been through. You have stuck with the program. The Team has worked hard. The team has improved on the "2005" season. I know if we can get through this bump in the road you will see the benefits in "2007" as you improve even more. It will feel great when you look back at what you have accomplished once you graduate, and know you were a part of a team that went against so many obstacles to get it done!!!

We Love and Respect you!

Go Vandals!!!

-- mo3sps





Vandal Football Players-

I just wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate your dedication. The last week has been really rough for the University, but especially for you. My heart goes out to you all, and I'll be praying for you guys. There was a player quote I read the other day about "finishing what you started," and it was just SO typical of our Idaho players. Best of luck and God bless you men this off-season.

Here's To Finishing What You Started…

Josh Pilon





I just want to encourage all you fine young men to stay the course. Everything happens for a reason. We may not know or understand why things happen but they usually are for the best.

Look to your fellow teammates for strength. Together you can be an incredible force. You are a team that has endured much and has become stronger than you ever thought possible because of it. Remember the old saying, "No Pain, No Gain". This time the pain and hurt is the loss of your coach but the gain can be strength of character, strength of self, strength of team. You entered this system as boys and are now learning the lessons of men. Use this lesson for the positive. I am so proud of each and every one of you and look forward to watching you make some history next season.

GO VANDALS!

Susan Beam





I know you have been through tough times over the last few years. You have put your faith in the head coaches who lead you and now in the span of less than a year two head coaches have left. I want you to know that I respect any decision you make, but remember that the University and the Alumni have not lost faith in you.

I hope you stick with the U of I and give your support to the new coach. Remember, he is not the one who left you. He will also share your desire to make yourself and the team better. I enjoyed my time up there and the friends, contacts and memories you make will stay with you forever. Your ability to overcome these setbacks will help you grow.

Once a Vandal, always a Vandal.

Go Vandals

-- Vandal82





Dear UI Football players,

I respect the sacrifice that you make every day for the University of Idaho. Your efforts and sacrifices on a daily basis continue to improve the athletic tradition of the University.

My pride and my support is with you as a player. It's unfortunate that you haven't received the same respect from recent coaches. However, my continued support is for athletes like you-not coaches.

Keep up the good work-Your athletics administration and the booster's of this great University will make sure that this doesn't happen again.

Sincerely,

Ryan McLaughlin





I just want the team to know all of us support them, and we will be rooting just as hard next year as this past season.

16 season ticket holders!

GOOOOOOOOOOOO VVVVVVVVVVANDALS

-- Lunk421





To the members of the University of Idaho Football Team:

Thank you, for making this football season one of the most memorable.

Thank you, for going out week after week, and playing your hearts out every Saturday afternoon.

Thank you, for your energy, and passion for the game that is college football.

Thank you, for your attitudes, and maturity in handling these last couple weeks

You have shown the fans what it means to be a Vandal, no matter who is running the show.

-- "redsoxunixgeek"





Always remember the obstacles you have faced; they develop the latent force in each of you. We are fully confident that you guys will prove yourselves to be far tougher and more resilient than anyone knows.

Brace yourselves, hold fast, encourage your fellow players, disregard doubt and don't lose the determination that marks a true Vandal – and makes all of us so proud of you guys as a team.

Finally, although I cannot remember the source, the substance of the quote is applicable and unforgettable: In war, you only need to win one battle: the last. You'll win the last battle and you'll have the last laugh.

Go Vandals!

-- VandalPride97





Gentlemen,

You have had to endure more than most during your careers at UI. Most of you stuck it out through thick and thin. I wanted you to know that there are many of us in the Vandal Nation that still believe in you and support you. If a coach doesn't understand what being a Vandal is all about, I say good get the hell out. I think this whole situation will make it that much sweeter when you win the WAC championship!

Dave





Inspiration comes in a lot of forms in one's life, and I am much inspired by the young men of the Idaho Vandal football team. I have loved the University of Idaho since the mid-1950's as I love a member of my family. Having someone abuse her is more than an insult, it hurts deeply.

I have not been able to move on from my hate for Dennis, until I read the news articles about your team meeting and the commitment to each other that you have made. Unbelievable, after the total abandonment by your two previous head coaches.

I commit myself, my family, and my treasure to the University of Idaho, still because of you. As the Dean of the School of Law said at commencement on Saturday "we are all endowed with unique abilities and we should endeavor to use these abilities in service of others. Light your candles in service of others." My service will be in support of you who have inspired me and restored my belief in things good.

-- rjbvandal




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