Thursday night could be your night, as Vanderbilt kicks off a series of "Commodores in the Community" events with an appearance by players and coaches from 5-7 p.m. at The Mall at Green Hills in Nashville.
Seeking to build good will with the Nashville community and pump up ticket sales, head coach Bobby Johnson, quarterback Jay Cutler, defensive end Jovan Haye and linebacker Moses Osemwegie will appear at the suburban Green Hills mall Thursday in the first of a series of five community outreach events.
The three players, Johnson and first-year offensive assistant coach Kenny Carter will greet fans, sign autographs and participate in prize drawings featuring game tickets and authentic Commodore game jerseys from 5-7 p.m., in the spacious plaza located the south entrance of The Mall at Green Hills. The mall entrance is located at Abbott Martin Road in southeast Nashville.
The Mall at Green Hills event features a contest aimed at identifying "Kid Commodore." Young contestants will meet Coach Johnson, then get a brief quiz on their Commodore knowledge. The ultimate winner earns a role in the team's 2004 advertisement campaign.
Several prizes will be awarded to Commodore fans attending The Mall at Green Hills event Thursday. The top prizes include a Moses Osemwegie jersey worn during the 2003 season, a miniature Commodore helmet, an autographed football and a Family Pack Season Ticket package (2 adult tickets/2 children tickets) valued at $215. Posters and schedule cards also will be available. Face painters and clowns also are scheduled to add to the family activity.
The Thursday event also marks the first opportunity for Commodore fans to meet their newest assistant coach. Carter, who joined the Vanderbilt staff before spring drills, will mentor Vanderbilt running backs. He has an impressive coaching resume, having spent the last three years as a key assistant to legendary coach Joe Paterno at Penn State.
"We're excited to get out and have a chance to meet Commodore fans. We would love to see lots of our supporters at each of these events," Johnson said.
The following night, Johnson and several players will make an appearance at the Nashville Coliseum for "Commodores at the Country Music Association Music Festival." Johnson will join an array of stars from different sports at the Sports Zone, a first-time attraction of the popular Country Music Association Music Festival, formerly known as Fan Fair. The diverse Sports Zone is free of charge and located outside the south gate of the Coliseum near the foot of Shelby Street Bridge.
The following Monday, the caravan heads to Rivergate Mall for "Up Close with the Commodores - Hendersonville/Madison" from 5-7 p.m. Johnson, players and assistant coaches will be on hand as part of Chick-fil-A's regular Family Night activities. This free family activity includes artists and a football toss for kids. The Vanderbilt Prize Wheel, offering various Commodore items, will be featured. Fans also can purchase season tickets starting as low as $99 per person.
The team will make two more local appearances in June: a reception with Vanderbilt faculty and staff Thursday, June 17; and at Greer Stadium Friday, June 18 at 7 p.m. for "Commodore Sounds' Night."