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SHIP OF FOOLS - AT LEAST IT'S BASEBALL SEASON

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A summit of the great minds of the AoG "staff"

A Plato allegory makes for a suprisingly appropriate way of describing AoG
A Plato allegory makes for a suprisingly appropriate way of describing AoG

"In vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded?" - Plato, The Republic

"To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all life's problems." - Homer "Jay" Simpson

Saturday night, some of your AoG staff members got together for a powwow in which we'd discuss some Vanderbilt sports.  While I "moderated" this discussion, there were only two rules.  Rule one: three drink minimum to enter, rule two: continue drinking throughout.  Below is the result of that mess of a discussion, with all typographical and grammatical errors for authenticity.

VandyTigerPhD: alright, I guess CDA and James wussed out and aren't joining us.  This insolence shall be noted, and if they arrive late, they will be subject to the dreaded "Crossing the Desert" ritual.

AndrewVU04: followed by The Wreck of the Hesperus

VandyTigerPhD:  First question, gents - what did you drink for your required three to get aboard this "Ship of Fools"?

AndrewVU04: Two margaritas at dinner and a gin and tonic now.

VandyImport: 21 beers and an unreleased cider... ok they were half servings

Commodore Tom: Four Jamesons, because that's what I have at the house.

VandyTigerPhD: For me, it was a Mint Julep, Blanton's Single Barrell, and Makers.  Right now, I'm drinking Blantons again, because remember, it's required for you to be drinking throughout

Commodore Tom: Speaking of that, gotta run to the kitchen and get another

AndrewVU04: The lady friend made demands on my time.  And is here now, asleep on the couch.  That should explain why I'm typing so softly and drinking lady drinks.

VandyImport: Now it's a little Fernet Branca because this is the Bay Area

VandyTigerPhD: we'll worry if you start to drink appletinis, Andrew

AndrewVU04: I'll switch to bourbon soon.

Commodore Tom: I knew I should have gotten some Colt .45... WORKS EVERY TIME

AndrewVU04: Say it, Billy D!

VandyTigerPhD:  Alright y'all, tomorrow is a big day for postseason.  On the scale of Martin Riggs to Don Lockwood, how do you feel about our NIT chances?  It should be noted I originally wrote this question before the game Friday and now I feel like the answer is obvious.  Still, I think I'll leave it to AoG basketball expert Tom to start things off here.

AndrewVU04: Let me jump him in the order and say Riggs.  I'll show myself out.

VandyTigerPhD: (attempts to post picture of Martin Riggs, fails).  Oh ok, no giphy for this channel, lame.

VandyImport: I would say on that scale our chances are Ricardo Tubbs at best

VandyTigerPhD: we're going to track down the murderer of our basketball program?

Commodore Tom: I'm going to say Riggs because (a) I don't understand the scale and (b) because these mid-major number one seeds keep losing.  I think another one went down after we started.

AndrewVU04: I think Ole Miss, LSU and aTm might have pushed us out by being terrible.

VandyTigerPhD: Don Lockwood was the character in Singin' in the Rain.  Gene Kelly's character

Commodore Tom: I think Wyoming probably bounced a mediocre SEC team from the NCAAT, which we can all agree is a good thing

VandyImport: We're going to wind up second banana despite bringing bigger firepower. Also I have never seen an episode of Miami Vice

AndrewVU04: Especially because their mascot is a silhouette of the Marlboro man at sunset.

Commodore Tom: Which is far more awesome than a mascot that is a plantation owner... I'm sorry, they changed it to a black bear?  THAT MAKES SENSE

VandyImport: ACKBAR OR GTFO

VandyTigerPhD: They really should have paid Lucas whatever millions he wanted and gone with the Ackbars... can you imagine the Ole Miss girls having to deal with being the Ackbars?

VandyImport: Ackbelles?

AndrewVU04: They bees in the trap.

Commodore Tom: Well Andy Kennedy is still their coach so they're halfway there

VandyTigerPhD: Ole Miss at least gave us one thing - they let us play our best game of the year (years?)

AndrewVU04: Years.  It was what our offense can look like when executed perfectly.  Really looking forward to seeing more of that next year.

VandyTigerPhD:
I just don't know yet about next year... I feel like we've been for years saying that "oh wait til this team matures"

AndrewVU04: We'll cross that bridge when you ask that question.  And you could not be more wrong.  But again... we'll wait.

VandyTigerPhD: im asking it now.

Commodore Tom: We'll have to wait and see if this group returns to VU in one piece this falls

VandyImport: Next year it's defecate or fire the Auburn man holding the chamber pot

jenngreening: Hey now

AndrewVU04: Trebekbot refill my drink.

Commodore Tom: The Auburn man... Bruce Pearl?

VandyTigerPhD: yes VI, your hatred for CKS is legendary

Commodore Tom: Even I will get on the fire-CKS bandwagon if we do not make the NCAAT next year

VandyTigerPhD: and i do hope you have had your three drinks Jenn, this is a refined establishment after all

Commodore Tom: And I am on drink number five but you can hold me to that

VandyImport: Disdain. I disregard the man too much to muster hate

Commodore Tom: Random thought, since I was watching Buffalo tonight Bobby Hurley is the guy I want in the event that we have a job opening for head basketball coach

AndrewVU04: Same.

VandyTigerPhD:  Well - that's next on the question list.  Fire CKS?

Commodore Tom: Also yes I was watching Buffalo play Central Michigan on a Saturday night.  I have a problem...  Give him another year... I wrote a freaking article about this and haven't changed my mind... My big concern is that if we fire CKS now he'll torch the place on the way out

VandyTigerPhD: Tom - that's only a problem when you go to fill out the bracket.  My experience is the less I watch regular season, the better i do on the pool.  Still, now we have you and VI in the same place and he wants CKS tarred and feathered

VandyImport: If next year doesn't pan out, and/or if we have another massacre in the summer, we need to look elsewhere

AndrewVU04: In a word: No.  This is going to sound odd, but if you asked me that question any time last year, I would have driven him to the airport and loaded the moving van.  This year, he's got a Stallings team and is reinvigorated like I haven't seen in years.  I'm not quite locked into "Let him retire here," but if this team progresses as I think it will, I'll lock right in on that.  Big love for the bald man and his offensive system.

Commodore Tom: Plus he really pisses off Kentucky fans, which is always a plus.

VandyTigerPhD: Kentucky fans are much more pissed off by Memorial Gym than K-Stall, which is ironic because it's their fault

Commodore Tom: And once again, Bobby Hurley -- because I can think of no other mid-major coach who would piss off Big Blue Nation more.

AndrewVU04: Yes, he does.  And Williams wants him to, as well.  I really loved what I saw from this team.  The previous two years were Derek Mason style hopeless (until the latter part of last season, but it was futile, as all of the good players were due to leave).

VandyTigerPhD: there are people who say he can't recruit anymore.. which I also find to be not fair

AndrewVU04: There are people who deny vaccinations work to stop measles.  Never go based on what people think.  People are idiots.

VandyImport: The crootin is fine far as I can tell

Commodore Tom: Can't recruit compared to whom... Calipari?

VandyTigerPhD: it's all crazy people who want us to pull down 5*s i guess... or that our players get into trouble

AndrewVU04: VandyMontana, you mean... never listen to anything he says.  Anything.

Commodore Tom: The downside to 5*s is a good number of them will be in college for, like, a year

VandyImport: Losing two whole classes is bad but remember Ian Fleming.

AndrewVU04: Died?

Commodore Tom: That's not true.  Shelby Moats stayed.

VandyImport: Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action... Yeah but he got cussed... Wait concussed

VandyTigerPhD: That's probably more the point - his crootin wasn't the best in terms of character I guess

Commodore Tom: In all fairness, in the long term the 2012 class leaving might end up being for the best... Would we rather have Jeter, Bright, Astroth still in the program, or have those scholarships available for the 2014/15 classes?

AndrewVU04: But he's now back to recruiting Stallings guys.  Let's forget the last two years happened.  I'm pretty sure I can drink them away.

Commodore Tom: I already did

VandyTigerPhD: long ago here

VandyImport: We're trying

Commodore Tom: It could be worse, we could be Mississippi State.

AndrewVU04: Far too many teeth for that.

VandyImport: Basically, next year is the Year of Judgement

AndrewVU04:  No, next year is the year of the Monkey.

Commodore Tom: Okay, we could be the school to the east.  IMO, this team doesn't need that much improvement to be a NCAAT team next year.  Whether we want to be merely an NCAAT team or actually win a game is an open question

VandyTigerPhD: I agree VI, next year we see how this team matures.  It's a similiar situation to our FB team - we'd better see some marked improvement... and speaking of, goes the search for the jade monkey

AndrewVU04: YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH!  THIS TEAM IS NOTHING LIKE THE ABORTION THAT IS DEREK MASON'S FOOTBALL TEAM!!!

VandyTigerPhD: WE HAVE TO PROVE OURSELVES VU04, DON'T DENY IT

AndrewVU04: I've seen enough.  No more proof needed.

VandyImport: I'd like a win. Or at least not to take it in the shorts from an auto qualifier

Commodore Tom: But yeah, back to crootin, Florida's got a bunch of five-stars on their roster and look how that worked out for them this year.  Hell, the school to the east has a five-star recruit on the roster

AndrewVU04: Tough to play basketball in jorts, though.  Restrictive.

VandyTigerPhD: VI you know the selection committee will always make us a 6 at best

VandyImport: I like a 6. Being a 4 or 5 ain't worked out so good

Commodore Tom: I'd rather get a 2 or 3 though... then you get to play a mid-major that's just happy to be there and not one that actually thinks they can win

AndrewVU04: Next question! Trebekbot jeopardy me... Damn!  Doesn't work.

VandyTigerPhD: you can't summon trebekbot here, fool

VandyTigerPhD:  The next question on the dockett - Now that we have a female member in the AoG office, do you plan on starting to wear pants?

Commodore Tom: NEVER

VandyImport: I PAID THE QUEENS OWN SHILLING FOR THIS KILT

AndrewVU04: Do hot pants count?

Commodore Tom: Women find me more attractive with no pants on, if we're being honest... Don't act like you're not impressed

VandyTigerPhD: I mean, it would be wrong for us to change our behavior, right?

AndrewVU04: Yes.  THAT would be sexist.

VandyTigerPhD: That's indeed the point

AndrewVU04: Let's not raise the pants ceiling.

VandyTigerPhD: I mean, and let's not even TALK about the pants gap

Commodore Tom: I'll be inviting them all to the pants party

AndrewVU04: (Let's stop now.  This will not end well.  Next question!)

VandyImport: It's more of a typing hot tub... And it's not hot

AndrewVU04: But very bubbly, oddly enough.

VandyImport: And it's mostly UT fans eating cans of navy beans

VandyTigerPhD:  next question comes from VU04, which he wrote last night - With Turd Ferguson doing his best Rick Vaughn before eyeglasses impression and K-Chow leaving too many pitches in the middle of the plate, who do you think should be our Sunday starter going forward?

Commodore Tom: Don't know, I've been paying too much attention to basketball... we have a baseball team?

VandyTigerPhD: Tom., get out

VandyImport: I wouldn't mind giving PFEIF DAWG a shot at starting

AndrewVU04: Well, having seen Walker Buehler straight up dominate, there's no doubt that Friday and Saturday will be Fulmer and Buehler in pen.  K-Chow came in for the final 3 innings in the 2nd game of the double header, so Corbs has obviously moved on from him as a rotation option.  As such, it's down to Pfeif, Sheffield, and Tom Glavine (nee Ryan Johnson).  I'm throwing all my weight behind Johnson.  RyJo (we can call him "HoJu") came in after the Turd's latest bases loaded dump, and got out of the jam.

VandyTigerPhD: do we havea  nickname of Pfeif Dawg yet... because that's an important question

Commodore Tom: I'll go with Johnson for being the one Texan we have on the roster

AndrewVU04: Not only that, he went through 15 batters perfect, STRIKING OUT 9 MOTHERFUCKING QUINNIPIACIANS!!!  I mean, I don't care who you're playing, that's damned impressive.

VandyTigerPhD: yeah, regardless of the team, 15 perfect innings is a mighty plea to be in the rotation... Johnson gets my vote...  to be sure, anyone moved to the weekend rotation is going to get a start against Koo Koo Rew State... before the big boy starts

AndrewVU04: I like him as a change of pace option after the flames of Fulmer and Buehler.  Johnson barely tops 80 MPH on the rader gun, but he knows how to pitch.  He flat out paints, and has so much movement, it doesn't matter.  He's... I must paint him... Sheff has been starting midweek.  He's been really good, but still working on control.  He's best as a mid-week starter and weekend pen arm now... But should start next year.

VandyTigerPhD: man, Fulmer had a rough go at it today though... yikes

AndrewVU04: Trebekbot booze me more booze... And VTPhD, never question the Fulmer.  He did it all to lull them into a false sense of security so we could take it to extras and their bullpen was sapped for the remaining two games.

VandyTigerPhD: still, Corbin has entirely too much of a tendency to leave guys in too long.  fucked us in some games last year... Fulmer is an exception, as I think VI said during the game

AndrewVU04: By the way, I like that Jenn popped in for 5 minutes, got a look at all of us pantsless, and got the fuck out...

Commodore Tom: Five minutes?  It was that long?

VandyImport: Prom joke

AndrewVU04: I see what you did there.

VandyTigerPhD: golf clap

jenngreening: I saw auburn & got my spidey senses tingling

VandyTigerPhD: this is almost too strange

jenngreening: Oh dear god that must've been terrible if you're all hammered

AndrewVU04: SHE'S BEEN HERE THE WHOLE TIME!!!  SHE'S CALLING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!

VandyTigerPhD: and without your three drinks, missy...

AndrewVU04: And with far too many pants... Like twelve pair.

jenngreening: I've been working over 10+ hours, that counts, right?

VandyTigerPhD: the no pants rule is clearly posted on the AoG office door  (impeach Churchill)

AndrewVU04: Lord Palmerston!

VandyTigerPhD: PITT THE ELDER

VandyImport: Switch to absinthe

Commodore Tom: That doesn't count

VandyTigerPhD:  last serious baseball question from VU04 - whats our biggest hurdle to defending the title?

AndrewVU04: Nothing (drops mic).

Commodore Tom: Turd Ferguson

AndrewVU04: Go on...

VandyTigerPhD: I can only assume Tom means that literally Norm MacDonald shows up and attempts to pitch in his place

Commodore Tom: Yes, that is what I meant... And with the Burt Reynolds mustache one

VandyTigerPhD: and the giant oversized cowboy hat... and the motorized podium

VandyImport: Consistency.  The talent is absurd but it's not clicking and we are still LOB city

VandyTigerPhD: I mean, i guess objectively, super regionals because we'll inevitably get fucked and have to play Louisville like every year

AndrewVU04: In all honesty, I've got to go with two things: 1) Health (derp) and 2) Ro Coleman.  In my opinion, he's just been played over by Penn Murfee and Liam Sabino.  Further, Jeren Kendall does all the things we'd ideally want Ro to do, but doesn't make head-scratching decisions and swing at balls up by his head.  The madness needs to stop... LSU and TCU are the only teams out there that can legitimately challenge us.  Seriously.

VandyTigerPhD: wotn someone please think of the children?!?!??!!

VandyTigerPhD:  Ok, round up - Im hoping y'all have had at least one (preferably 2+) more drinks while we've been talking because I've been saving a serious question for (second to) last... is this a good assumption, drunks?

AndrewVU04: (pause for moar booze)... I've had 4 whilst talking.

Commodore Tom: Yes

VandyTigerPhD: I've had 3 while we've been talking... all blantons. Speaking of, I',m now out of blantons

AndrewVU04: #5 is on its way...

VandyImport: Fernet Branca son WHAT.

VandyTigerPhD:  Ok y'all - were our three years of Franklin a Faustian bargain?  Can we have a competitive program in this conference without recruiting the types of people we don't want representing Vanderbilt?

VandyTigerPhD: ... for the record, I think we can, but it's certainly a question that needs to be asked given all that's gone on with Franklin's recruits

VandyImport: Define competitive

AndrewVU04: VI... just start with the vitriol.  You know you've got it locked and loaded.

VandyTigerPhD: I mean, not the big name programs, we're never going to get there, but let's say we do the 8 win seasons (im not counting bowls) like we had

AndrewVU04: Franklin-level success.

Commodore Tom: I think we can... I mean, Stanford's doing it without really lowering their standards... of course, Pac-12... Let's keep in mind, too... Franklin was mostly winning with Bobby Johnson recruits.  The players he brought in were responsible for this year.

VandyTigerPhD: the players he brought in also were responsible for gang raping a girl and filming it... oh and then sending the evidence to friends

VandyImport: Given that we won with Bobby Johnson's recruits mostly, I think having a coaching staff that less reflects Tim Blake Nelson's character in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is an improvement. But as long as we occupy the same league as the Penitentiary of Tennessee, never mind the half-wit mutant slugs elsewhere in tie conference, that is the ceiling... And Stanford has ONE alum who literally, not exaggerating or kidding, strokes a check for ten million dollars EVER GODDAMN YEAR to the athletic department

VandyTigerPhD: we'll never be an Alabama/LSU/UGA in this conference, no one is expecting us to be either... but I think people would like us to be sort of a competitive team that can get to some decent post season games.

Commodore Tom: But for all the shit everybody talks about how the SEC is awesome, Mississippi Fucking State just won ten games and was #1 in the country

VandyTIgerPhD: yeah  because of Dak Prescot

AndrewVU04: I'm with VI on this.  I'd take an infinite amount of years of trying to hit 6 wins and making a bowl over all the shit that Franklin's recruits have done.  On top of that, I've heard tell the faculty HATED the academic readiness of the kids he brought it.  Think back to when you went there.  The football players in your class weren't knocking things out of the park, but they could pass.  Franklin's recruits?  No... I'm beyond sickened by everything he did to our school.  He ended up at the right place for him.

VandyImport: The thing is...we got no credit for it.  We won 8 games, back to back years, and it was treated as a fluke.  It wasn't like Northwestern making the Rose bowl or Duke going big, it was held up as proof the SEC was down (which spoiler alert it kind of was, otherwise we don't beat UGA and FLA and UT in the same season)... The thing that stuck home is after the UT game, I was relieved and joyful I could stop caring about football, which is a conceptually complex piece of information and thank you auto correct for cleaning that shit up

VandyTigerPhD: I got so angry that all of a sudden people cared about the OOC wins when we started doing exactly what everyone used to do... bolster your W/L by beating 4 nobodies... all of a sudden the conference fans got all high and mighty

VandyImport: Yeah, as soon as we did what everyone in the SEC does, it was suddenly BAAAAAD

Commodore Tom: SEC schools giving anyone crap about OOC scheduling... now that's funny

VandyImport: Meanwhile B1G teams were giving out to us for dropping Ohio State in a year when Ohio State literally played every single OOC game at home

AndrewVU04: Don't get me started on people from Ohio.  Garbage people.  Garbage state.

[SCENE MISSING: Mostly drunken bloviating about conference academics]

Commodore Tom: AUBURN SOCIOLOGY MAJOR

VandyTigerPhD: I do want to flip tables when I see the CBS-STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK and its some dude who has a high GPA in (bullshit major) and the CBS mediaites are like OMG HE MSUT BE SOOOO SMARTTTTT

VandyImport: But the real killer, the REAL dagger in it is that your place in this league is entirely down to how good you were 20 years ago in football and NOTHING ELSE

jenngreening: Spidey senses

[SCENE MISSING: More drunken unpublishable nonsense]

VandyTigerPhD:  last question actually -  Have any of you read CDA's new poetry chapbook, "The Leaking of Eyes"?  I have, and it was exquisite.  It comnbines the unbridled optimism of Billy Mumphrey with the sorrow of Scarlet O'Hara.

VandyImport: POETRY IS FOR SOPHOMORES WHO CANT GET LAID

VandyTigerPhD: also for worthless potheads who think they deserve a MFA

Commodore Tom: I just googled "The Leaking of Eyes" and it comes back with "eye discharge"

VandyImport: Which is to say yes I have read it and it wounds my heart with a malodorous languor

AndrewVU04: Yes.  There is a beautiful sadness there.  Reminiscent of Ferlenghetti or Dickinson, but with a touch of the Earl of Rochester.  The verisimilitude is evident from the first line: "I slice in, blood seeping/ Basho?  Derek Mason-tree."

Commodore Tom: What the fuck does that sentence even mean

AndrewVU04: Obviously, you're not a golfer.

VandyTigerPhD: are those words

AndrewVU04: Yes.

VandyTigerPhD:  Well, that's the end.  Before we break, I want to test something  - Auburn, Auburn, Auburn.

VandyTigerPhD: Hm, guess not. I was testing to see if Jenn was some kind of Auburn Beetlejuice or something

AndrewVU04: Check your head.  She shrunk it.

Commodore Tom: BRUCE PEARL

VandyImport: BROOOOOOOOOOOOCE

VandyTigerPhD: so it would then be a normal sized head? I guess win win for me then

AndrewVU04: She did you a favor, really.  Now you can buy hats.... *Hets

VandyTigerPhD: My lawsuit against New Era is going swimmingly thank you... stupid size 8 hats don't even fit me anymore... That's it y'all, I'll try to figure out a way to make this into a semblance of a conversation.

keep your hets dry, and anchor down