Sunday night's invitation wasn't just a proud moment for Vanderbilt University's football team, but for fans as well, who've stood by the program win or lose.
And now there's something that hasn't been at Vanderbilt for a long time - hope.
"This is just the beginning," the announcer told the crowd.
Fans knew before they even walked into the room that Vanderbilt was heading to a bowl game. They just didn't know which one.
"I'm thrilled," Angela Jones said.
David Lusky thought the team's strong 8-4 showing this season would make the Commodores contenders for the Gator or Chick- Fil-a bowls. But news Vandy is bound for the Music City Bowl didn't quell his excitement.
"I'm happy with any bowl game," Lusky explained. "It's something that we've always been striving for as Vandy fans."
"We still got next year and we got a good coach right now, so we're good," 14-year-old Joshua Carson added.
Boyd West has been a fan for nearly 40 years. "Would like to have gone out of state somewhere but we're just excited about being in a bowl game."
Vanderbilt's head football coach James Franklin agreed. "Anytime you have an opportunity to continue playing together and getting better as a family it's a positive."
Getting into a bowl game was only half the battle. Winning is another matter entirely, as Vandy prepares to take on NC State.
"I think that he'll do a great job," Jones explained. "I think that they'll be prepared and I think we're going to win."
And they hope to win over a whole new generation of fans.
Tickets are on sale now through Vanderbilt's Ticket office for $60 and $80. Just go to their website.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All right reserved.
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