A Vandy fan's Christmas wish list

Once again, Christmas is upon us. While many children will dream of gifts of Nintendo Wii's and other cool toys, this Vanderbilt fan has a different wish list. Here's what I wish for, in no particular order:

  1. A renovated football stadium. After almost total apathy in the football facilities from 1922 until 1981, Vanderbilt is again falling far behind its SEC brethren. Vanderbilt needs to show its commitment to football by announcing plans to upgrade its stadium now. Vanderbilt's football program is very close to finally turning the corner. Road victories over Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia over the past two seasons are proof of that. Let's give Bobby Johnson and his staff an extra tool when visiting prospects: blueprints of a renovated stadium. We don't need a huge stadium. We need a stadium that is state of the art and comfortable for both fans and players. Let's renovate Vanderbilt stadium and make it second to none in quality and appearance, like the rest of the university.
  2. A winning football season and bowl game. It's been way, way too long. It's time to break the losing season string. In 2007 Vanderbilt will return one of its most talented teams ever. There are no more excuses. Just win.
  3. A local daily newspaper that actually shows some support of its home school. Sure much if this is Vandy's own fault but after having lived all over the United States I've never seen a local paper be so negative towards a home team as The Tennessean is towards Vanderbilt.
  4. A National Championship of some sort. I think it's more likely that we'll get this wish before we get #1 and #3 above. Baseball and bowling are looking pretty good right now. I believe this women's basketball team has the potential to pull something like Baylor did in 2005. Think bowling is a joke? Think again. Almost 40 schools already compete in NCAA bowling and the number is growing rapidly. Bowling is one of the largest sports in which folks actually participate in America. I'd be proud to see a Vanderbilt bowling national title.
  5. NCAA rewards for schools that actually graduate players. Too long Vandy has played by the rules and graduated players while the rest of the SEC uses players and then throws them away to flip burgers. I'd like to see some of the win-at-all-costs schools lose scholarships while Vanderbilt gains them for graduating players. This is only fair and will even the playing field some.
  6. An NCAA appearance for men's basketball. Vandy has only been to the big dance one time since 1997. The women are regular participants in the tournament; we should expect the same thing from the men. This year's team has tons of potential and talent and there's no reason they can't make it to the NCAA. Vanderbilt men's basketball is full of tradition and is the only major Commodore sport (other than maybe baseball) where Vanderbilt actually has a home field advantage when playing Tennessee. Excellence is a must for this program and standards must be kept high.
  7. Increased support for women's basketball. Vanderbilt women's basketball has been a shining star at Vanderbilt since the 1980s. These women work just as hard to make Vanderbilt proud as other Commodore athletes. It's sad to see this team playing so well in an almost empty Memorial Gym. We should be able to at least fill the lower levels of the gym and give these women a stronger home court advantage. Hats off to the marketing folks at Vandy, they've work hard to get fans to the gym. It's up to Vandy fans to give the women's team the support they deserve.
  8. A baseball SEC Championship and trip to Omaha. Vanderbilt showed its commitment to baseball by building a super facility and bringing a top-notch coach to the program. That investment has paid off handsomely for the Commodore baseball program. Vanderbilt has competed in the SEC Championship games and the NCAA tournament in two of the last three seasons. With David Price and Pedro Alvarez returning it's time to move to the next level: An Southeastern Conference baseball CHAMPIONSHIP and a trip to Omaha with the big boys.

Merry Christmas from VandyMania!

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