This time, things will be different.
That's been the message for months now. This time, we're not going to hire whatever random school's assistant will take the job. This time, we're not going to pay lip service to "winning the right way" and promptly drop ten games. This time isn't going to be another dose of "Same Old Vandy."
Now is different. Now we have a young, energetic coach who believes in the program and wants everyone else to believe. Now we have upgrades to the facilities, to the tailgates, to the locker rooms. Now we have multi-star prospects poached from big-ticket programs, guys with three and four and five stars who mockingly try on a Vol hat before declaring "it doesn't fit" and choosing us. Now, we have YouTube video going viral and Twitter accounts whipping up the faithful and blogs to bang the drum.
And now, it's our turn.
We have been made a promise: that things are going to be different. Now it's our turn to hold up our end of the bargain. We have to watch. We have to show up. We have to be black and gold from stem to stern. We have to scream, and shout, and sing, and carry on like it's the end of the world.
If you're a student, use your tickets. Make it the whole day. Start early, stay late, on time and on target. If you're a season ticket holder, fortify yourself however it takes and be prepared to be leather-lunged and sore-footed by day's end. If you're local, and you haven't got tickets, climb over the fence. If you're not local, tune in. Find the stream. Find a radio. Wear your black and gold. Throw up the VU at everyone and no one. Blog. Tweet. Don't let anyone in a Commodore shirt walk across the street from you without "WHO YA WIT!" even if you're three thousand miles from campus.
We don't know how this is going to work out. Nothing is certain, and we could still find ourselves looking up at ten losses despite everything. This is a bet - that we can change the course, that we can turn this thing around, that we can transform Vanderbilt football into what it once was, what it should always have been, what it can be going forward. But James Franklin, his staff, his administration and his student-athletes are going to lay it all out there to make it happen. They have promised us everything they've got.
What are you prepared to do?