[Frontpaged, because this is an awesome idea]
No, not bowling shoes. Something even less expensive (and a lot less tacky).
Over at VandyMania, a grassroots effort has begun to get as many fans as possible to show James Franklin their support in a simple way this holiday season: by writing him a letter. Recognizing that the man came here with very little initial support , I think this is a wonderful idea. No matter how the man's personal opinions about Vanderbilt, rival schools and the SEC in general have evolved in the last year, it's nothing compared to the manic-depressive roller coaster ride that has been a Vandy fan's life. And it's just something special when an fan gets to share his or her story and thank the coach for the difference he's made in their lives. Who wouldn't want to give that? Who wouldn't want to hear that?
If you're interested, join in and send a note of thanks to James at firstname.lastname@example.org. Share your story, including how long you've been a fan, and what kind of an impact he's made in your life as a fan of Vanderbilt athletics. He needs to hear from you. To borrow from the original poster - "We can't fill Vanderbilt Stadium with our good intentions," but we can fill an inbox with sincere tokens of appreciation and gratitude.
Original post after the jump.
I'd like you all to consider this opportunity below, if you're a lifetime Vandy fan who has sat through decades of uninspiring football; if you're a recent graduate or current student who has never cared about football until this year; if you're a brand new Vandy fan; if you're a UT fan who likes his fire or another fan who has decided Vanderbilt is their second-favorite team; or any other kind of fan. I urge you to contribute.
Remember: this man moved to Nashville with his wife and two daughters without a lot of fanfare and with a lot of criticism, and put every waking minute into blowing the lid off this program and our expectations. While we've been supportive by showing up to some games and talking about it on message boards, that doesn't always come through. We can't fill Vanderbilt Stadium with our good intentions, and he's struggled throughout the season with a small home crowd, a sometimes-bitter SOV fanbase, and some SEC fans who don't like the status quo being upset by Vanderbilt's success. He's not immune to this criticism, and he's struggled with the fan's seeming apathy at some points. Next year will be better - but let's end that now.
How can you help? Write a short note to Coach Franklin thanking him for all you've done. Tell him who you are, and why he's made a difference. It can be a few sentences or a few pages, it doesn't matter. Send them to email@example.com. We'll collect them, sort them, throw out the hate mail (CJF won't ever see the smack talk), print them, bind them, and get it to him. I can't think of a better Christmas gift to give him, for all that he's done for the thousands of alumni and fans.
So write a note, then pass on the message. Post this on Facebook, tweet it if that's what you do (use the hashtag #notesforfranklin), tell your family and have each of them write a short note and send an E-mail for Franklin. You have until Monday, December 12th to write your letter. After that we'll print them and take them in. You can send notes after that, of course, but they won't be in the first batch we hand him.
VU ALL IN. Thank Coach Franklin, his family, and his staff (don't forget the staff!) for everything they've done. Have a wonderful holiday season.