Vandy making best of local bowl

There could have been a lot of resentment in the athletic department about the bad luck which saw Vanderbilt staying home for the holidays. With every other bowl team in the country looking forward to traveling out of town to some new locale for one of the ultimate team bonding experiences in sports the 'Dores will be playing just across the road from campus.

There could have been a lot of resentment in the athletic department about the bad luck which saw Vanderbilt staying home for the holidays. With every other bowl team in the country looking forward to traveling out of town to some new locale for one of the ultimate team bonding experiences in sports the 'Dores will be playing just across the road from campus. This is the new Vandy though, and a small thing like bowl location is not going to stop James Franklin and the rest from getting the best out of a bad lot.

Franklin explained to The Tennessean.

"We're just going to have to be creative," Franklin said. "We do a lot of things with our players, so it's not like there's a lot of things left that they haven't done before — the normal things that maybe a team coming to Nashville for the first time can do. We're not going to be doing those types of things.

"I grew up in Philadelphia. Some people grew up in New York City. They've never gone to see the sights. They've never gone to take advantage of their city. We're going to make sure they know everything there is to know about Nashville and go from there."

Though not everything has been set at this point it is vitally important for the team to make the most of this experience, and Franklin knows it. With the direction that the program is headed under his stewardship it is reasonable to make the assumption that this will not be the last bowl that the Commodores make and that there will be bigger trips to more far flung destinations in the future. Over the years it has been easy to see that some teams just don't turn up for their bowl game. The hoopla, sightseeing, pageantry, and the rest can provide a monumental distraction which takes the focus away from what players are really there for, playing the game.

By exposing his club to this kind of an atmosphere in their own backyard Franklin is preparing them to be better at dealing with bowl distractions yet to come. That can only bode well for Vanderbilt football in the long run.

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