Building the Masonic Tradition

Building the Masonic Tradition is a Vanderbilt Football blog written by VandyRadio sports host Joshua LeBorious, new for the 2015 season. Joshua unwaveringly covers the Commodores for VandyRadio keeping a steady watch on the Vanderbilt football front. Check in throughout the season for a realistic breakdown of all the stats and updates, as we cover the start of a Masonic tradition.

Building A Tradition

I am not an optimist. There is no qualifier there, I am a very realistic – some may say pessimistic – person. I am also a loyal sports fan and a student at Vanderbilt University. This results in my saying that Vandy Football of late has been dismal. There is hope for all you Vandy fans out there as we look to next season, and I will be here to take you step by step from spring practices to the bowl game celebration. Check in every week to get stats and updates on the ‘Dores, along with some realistically supportive commentary from yours truly.

I promised all you Vandy Fans hope, so here are some reasons to be hopeful. First of all, we’re talking about building a tradition here. When I first suggested that as the title for this blog there was some recoil, because “the Masonic tradition so far is a tradition of losing,” per our Sports Director Max Herz. I want to take this first post to dispel the idea that last season (3-9) was an indicator of what we can expect from the Commodores under Derek Mason. It is unfair for fans, commentators, and the people of the Internet to dismiss Coach Mason. When we look at the numbers, they are atrocious; however, we have to keep in mind that there were a plethora of factors conspiring against Vanderbilt football. For one, Coach Franklin left and took many of his recruits with him. To expect Mason to keep the success of James Franklin going without allowing him to actually recruit players was ridiculous. Franklin had the benefit of having Jordan Matthews playing for him, the receiver that was the savior of so many games. Much of Vandy’s success came as a direct result of Matthews’ skill, and Mason had no such talent ready to play last season (through no fault of his own). The coaching staff that Mason had to scrape together had another negative impact on the 2014 season. Mason was hired well after the rest of the coaching world had settled in for the season, so he had to take what he could get. The evidence of this is clear in how many coaches have been replaced. Finally, the schedule Mason had to lead the team through was a rough one, playing several games against teams in the top ten – a feat that Vanderbilt was ill prepared for.

Mason is building though, and Commodore fans have a tradition to look forward. If you are questioning your loyalty to Vandy, stick it out, because you’re going to want to be there for what happens next. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it followed the impressive empire of Alexander the Great. Franklin built an impressive program, but people are going to remember Mason for what he builds Vanderbilt into. He has set himself up for success. Our new recruits and our players coming out of being red-shirted all have great potential, to be looked at in a coming installment. Mason has developed an all-star coaching staff including Andy Ludwig and James Dobson. Ludwig boasts an impressive resume and has a history of playing to the strengths of his players. If we don’t have the personnel for a run-heavy, college style offense then he can transition to a pocket-passing, pro style offense, and if we have neither then he will play a mixed offense. This will be a welcome change from last year, when the offense was inflexible with the players. And James Dobson will work our players to improve, being one of fifteen certified master strength and conditioning coaches in the NCAA. This all comes with Derek Mason himself calling the defense, which is undoubtedly a good thing – he is the coach that created Richard Sherman.

So Vandy fans have hope, we have so many reasons to keep faith in the Masonic tradition for what it can be.


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