I got close enough to Nashville to pick up the sports radio station that covers VU athletics right before 8 EST, when the pre-game show started, and I could hear our student section underneath Joe Fisher's voice. And I knew right then, as I was trying my darndest to get through the snow and into Nashville, that we would have a good game tonight. My doubts melted away faster than the snow hitting the interstate.
Of course, once I got into Memorial, the doubts crept back. They really only went away when Keegan Bell got fouled with 1.8 seconds left. I wish he would have made one of the FTs just so he would have gotten points to go with his amazing performance, but I knew we had clinched it. Someone asked me if it was the most exciting game I had been to. I said no because the result was in doubt much longer than the UF game last year. And the end was less exciting than the last second shot we got off against the Vols last year. And part of it is probably that I'm not sitting in the student section anymore. But, still, this game made all that I've spent this year on tickets and gas worth it.
I'm trying to get to sleep since I have to get up early to drive back to southern Indiana and work (and, yes, I plan on wearing my Vandy hoodie again, plus it just feels so good to wear it in Kentucky after what happened 2 weeks ago, I'm not going to lie). But I'm still just so pumped. My friend I went with looked shocked when I started yelling out 'V-A-N-D-Y, Vandy, Vandy, oh hell yeah!' the first time they played 'Dynamite' after the game was over. And then again the second time. The third time, well, I wasn't as loud then, but I don't recall Dynamite ever being played 3 times in a row after a game. And I somehow remembered all the words to the alma mater.
I'm proud of my university. I'm proud that even though we don't have an athletic department, we produce teams that can compete and beat the best in the country. I'm proud of our involvement in the Nashville community. I'm proud of Perry Wallace because of the fortitude he showed as the first African-American basketball player in the SEC, his successes on the court, and his successful carer after graduation. I'm proud of James Lawson's work to in the Civil Rights movement in Nashville, and I'm thankful that the university has made amends after his expulsion in 1960, welcoming him back as a visiting professor and telling his story on the LED boards in Memorial tonight. I'm proud that students in our business, divinity, and law schools have come together to work together to work in the fight against global poverty. I'm proud of Muhammad Yunus and his work with the Grammen Bank in Bangladesh.
And I'm proud that the woman who leads the invocation before UT's football games is a Vanderbilt Divinity School graduate.
I'm proud to be a Commodore.