Outkick’s Joe Kinsey makes the argument that Vanderbilt using Sarah Fuller, the school’s soccer goalkeeper as their kicker for Saturday’s game against the Missouri Tigers, was nothing more than a publicity prop for a team that was headed to an 0-8 record. Following the game on Sunday, it was announced head coach Derek Mason was fired.
ESPN’s Courtney Cronin held a Zoom chat with Fuller after the game and Fuller explained that she gave a halftime speech to the team.
I just got off a Zoom call with Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller, who detailed the halftime speech she gave and the reception it received.
“I had coaches come up to me and say ‘I’ve been wanting to say that for awhile now,'” Fuller said. pic.twitter.com/AjoEEjJbeh
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) November 29, 2020
Clay Travis, host on Fox Sports and main contributor to Outkick stoked the flames by tweeting, “Have you ever heard of any kicker on any football team giving a halftime speech and ripping the team for their effort and energy? I haven’t. This had to factor into Derek Mason getting fired. Had to:”
Have you ever heard of any kicker on any football team giving a halftime speech and ripping the team for their effort and energy? I haven’t. This had to factor into Derek Mason getting fired. Had to: https://t.co/N4nC14cJ6Z
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) November 30, 2020
The first thought I have is that sometimes we need an outsider to point out to us all the good that surrounds us even when we think our situation is horrible. Here’s a football team that had lost their way this season with seven losses and headed to their eighth by halftime. Sarah was given a rare opportunity to step into a college football program. The opportunity was a dream come true to her. What’s wrong in pointing out that no matter how bad things seem, these guys are getting an opportunity that not people get and to take advantage of it, celebrate it and enjoy even the minor accomplishments?
What’s concerning was that if the coaching staff was approaching Fuller after the speech to say they’ve been wanting to say the same things for quite a while, then why didn’t they? It’s no surprise then that the head coach was fired after the loss. The Vandy football team needs a new direction and a new voice and perhaps it took a person on the outside, like a championship soccer player to point it out.