Vanderbilt makes waves on social media for effort at Notre Dame


Claire Barnett

The Vanderbilt Football team plays at Notre Dame on Saturday, September 15, 2018. The Commodores lost 17-22. (Photo by Claire Barnett)

Will Fritzler, Assistant Opinion Editor

Vanderbilt Football’s gut-wrenching 22-17 loss to Notre Dame last Saturday was uncharted territory for this season. Not only was it the program’s first loss of 2018, it also saw the team face a top-10 opponent and come within a successful final drive of securing a legendary upset.

For students and fans back home, watching those final minutes was a roller coaster of excitement, frustration, and disappointment, not necessarily in that order. As the dust settled and the details of the game were dissected, respect for Vanderbilt Foootball was spread throughout the country.

Vanderbilt alumnus and sports commentator Skip Bayless tweeted the following:



Skip Bayless wasn’t the only household name to praise the Commodores. SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum was impressed by the Commodores. In fact, he was even warned by Willie Geist, proud Vanderbilt alum and anchor of NBC’s “Today.”


Of course, applause from famous alumni means nothing to head coach Derek Mason. In his postgame comments, he denied the notion of a “moral victory,” candidly pointing out that a loss is a loss.

Saturday Down South, a popular outlet for SEC commentary, may have summed it up best. This tweet was spot-on, as it describes the emotional, roller-coaster of a day for Vanderbilt fans.

Reactions to the game gave way to an unexpected spat between Mason and Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.

On Tuesday, Kelly labeled Vanderbilt’s play in the Saturday tilt as “bad football,” noting how some Vandy players used cut-blocking to tackle certain Notre Dame players, particularly tight end Alize Mack.

Mason replied Wednesday morning by sending the message back his way, saying Notre Dame’s team plays “bad football.”

“With Brian Kelly: Brian Kelly can take his comments and keep it moving. If he’s got something personal with me, he can come see me,” said Mason.

Of course, college basketball commentator and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame member Dick Vitale had to interject.



Coaching disputes aside, Vanderbilt should have few qualms about its road performance this past weekend. If they can hang with opponents as talented as the Fighting Irish, Commodore fans should have hope for what is to come. After all, the sports world seems to agree.