On Sunday, Vanderbilt unveiled a brand new uniform/helmet kit that's unlike anything the team has ever worn:
Back to Ball today, but just wanted to leave this out here for everyone. #DeepWater pic.twitter.com/Uyn8vOfRgN— Derek Mason (@CoachDerekMason) August 17, 2015
The announcement was a huge success for the team's PR department. Commodore Football had spread into the public consciousness 10 days earlier when a poorly-worded tweet evoked memories of the 2013 sexual assault case that ripped through this program. On Sunday, Vanderbilt changed that national narrative with a chrome helmet and a new color scheme. Media outlets like Yahoo! Sports and Sports Illustrated picked up the story, helping to build a positive buzz 17 days before the 2015 season starts.
#DeepWater became a trending topic in Nashville, giving Vanderbilt fans a chance to talk about their team and some enterprising Tennessee fans the opportunity to anonymously insult teenagers for having the gall to like something they don't. We'll focus mostly on the former and reprint some of the best reactions we've seen to Vandy's latest sartorial decision:
Defensive quality control coach Rod Chance was the first Commodore to leak Vandy's new helmets. Needless to say, he was happy about the new uniforms:
Very nice addition to our wardrobe! #DeepWater pic.twitter.com/azKmoKWK1h— ⚓Rod Chance⚓ (@Coach_ChanceVU) August 16, 2015
Commodore quarterback Shawn Stankavage was on board as well:
#DeepWater pic.twitter.com/hChPQNYgxW— Shawn Anthony (@DoubleS_10) August 16, 2015
2016 recruit Deuce Wallace, who has inherited Josh Grady's former role as Vanderbilt hype man for recruits on Twitter, gave the new kits his endorsement on Sunday:
Oh my #DeepWater #VandySwag #AnchorDown ⚓️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/c9B8ZZH0Mj— Deuce Wallace (@DeuceWallace) August 16, 2015
Saturday Down South writer Brad Crawford liked them as well. His tweet was RT'ed by CB LaDarius Wiley and 2016 prospect Frank Coppet,
So, a closer look, these things are sick: #DeepWater pic.twitter.com/owaThU94AJ— Brad Crawford (@BCrawfordSDS) August 16, 2015
The star of the whole presentation, however, was the triumphant dancer featured here:
I mean... "FlashVands" pic.twitter.com/qRTkyIGQyl— John Cassillo (@JohnCassillo) August 17, 2015
Not sure if Vandy uniform reveal or Radio City Rockettes Chorus Line. #DeepWater pic.twitter.com/TT76ZHzVEL— Thomas Northcutt (@RealTCutt) August 16, 2015
... Or maybe its just his attempt to boost his modeling career. I dunno. I need to stop. #DeepWater #StopThomas2k15 pic.twitter.com/fVjQ1NtGeh— Thomas Northcutt (@RealTCutt) August 16, 2015
He was even resplendent enough to coax out a Tennessee response that didn't involve pointing out historical records or calling VU "Candy."
Looks like @VandyFootball is about to reach #DeepWater the hard way. pic.twitter.com/IkCI4iKTxu— Lone Nut (@LoneNutVolFan) August 17, 2015
All in all, a solid debut that should help bury the "same old Vandy" that has haunted this team. Vanderbilt branched out for a modern look without falling victim to the garish mistakes that programs like Nebraska and Louisville have this fall. The real test of these uniforms will be how the players perform once they have them on. We'll know if #DeepWater is here to stay if the 'Dores can crank out some big wins this fall while wearing the cream and chrome.