by Leathers - Nashville mayor Karl Dean has the podium prior to the introduction of the 2008 Commodore squad and announcement of team awards.
Our mayor happens to be a big Commodore fan, talking about his ties to the university, ties that date back to the early 1980s as a Vanderbilt law student.
"I spent a lot of time this fall talking about this football team," Dean said. "I talked about how Vanderbilt was 2-0, 3-0, 4-0 and so on. I talked about ESPN GameDay coming to campus.
"We are very proud of this team for its accomplishments, everything that it accomplished. On behalf of this city, I say thank you for what you did this year. It meant a great deal to this city. It was a good story that highlights everything that is good about our city," the mayor added in his welcome remarks.
Vice Chancellor David Williams followed the mayor, saying "one of the smartest things we ever did was hire Bobby Johnson to coach this football team."
Williams spoke about one of his recent trips on Southwest Airlines, where he talked of meeting a recruit's dad. "He said, 'you need to know the top people in the (recruiting process) was Bobby Johnson and the Vanderbilt staff,'" the vice chancellor said.
"To the young men on the football team, thank you for coming here and deciding to accept this great challenge. I want to say thank you to the parents for entrusting your sons with us. I want to thank the fans. And lastly, thank you to Bobby and the staff, for doing it the right way."