Keeping with our theme of highlighting things that don't get a lot of attention when Football is in full swing, the Vanderpress has put out a couple of articles focusing on the lives of the players we don't hear about the way we see and hear names like Chris Nickson, Earl Bennett, and Jonathan Goff. And your intrepid S&S Naval Intelligence briefing is all over it.
In a great piece, Brett Hait writes in the City Paper about Richard Kovalcheck's life since transferring to Vanderbilt. You might expect a little bitterness from a player who has had a rough go of it during his collegiate football career. But not from this young man: "With this being my fifth year and my last year, I just want to go to a bowl game. I just want to win. If it comes down to me having the opportunity to go out there and do it, I’ll put it all out there on the field."
Talk about character. My respect for Richard has increased greatly.
Over in the Tennessean, Jonathan Long writes about two local Nashville players who joined the program as walk-ons and play on the Scout team. Again, the character of these young men, who have no realistic chance of playing unless a "big name" falls to injury, is amazing.
Finally, in his practice notes article today, Maurice Patton writes about the coaches putting their scout team through a scrimmage while the big names -- Nickson, Jennings, and Horrocks -- take it easy and recover from battle wounds.
And, in a happy coda to Maurice's piece, we hear that Patrick Bennoist will probably be back in action against Eastern Michigan. Good news, for sure.
Elsewhere in Vandysports, former Commodore pitcher Jensen Lewis had a great game for the Cleveland Indians getting his first win in the Big Leagues.
Vanderbilt women's soccer apparently has the best recruiting class in all of the SEC, but it's showing in the Commodores' 2-3-1 record (contrasting with last year's 10-4-7 mark).
In the Hustler, the VU women's cross country team gets some respect from freshman New York City native Adam Weinstein.
VandyMania has an update on how our opponents fared this week. Eight of our opponents won; only 4 lost. Tough schedule? Maybe. But some of those games that looked "winnable" on the schedule to start with (i.e., 'Bama, UK, and S. Carolina) aren't looking so easy; while some of the would-be blowouts (i.e., UGA, Auburn, and Yew Tee) aren't looking so bad any more (I'm not saying we'll win, but I think we might have more of a chance than I would have originally given us credit for).
On Who Ya With, Marv responds to a Georgia fan and recounts his adventure after our win in Athens last year. I still wish I'd been there. What a great win that would have been to see.
Now, let me say one more thing. If you want to have an interesting conversation, or want to read some interesting reading, you've got to go check out some of the Yew Tee blogs. They're just great. Nothing is quite as fun as listening to arrogant Arnge people bewail their manifold errors and loss. I won't link to them, but they're not hard to find (start with Best of the SEC Blogs if you don't know of any).
So who do we root for this weekend? Kentucky? 'Bama? Arkansas State? I'm torn. Anyway, stay tuned, Mark's sort of in transition with his job right now, but I promise he has written a great draft of his Ole Miss thoughts, and you'll want to read them (besides, build-up is always a great marketing technique, right?).