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If you were on the fence about whether Vanderbilt using soccer goalie Sarah Fuller as a fill-in kicker for Saturday’s game against Missouri was a publicity stunt or a necessity, you got your answer on Sunday when it was announced that Fuller had given a halftime speech to her new teammates. Keep in mind, Fuller hadn’t yet stepped foot on the field for her kickoff before giving this speech.
ESPN reporter Courtney Cronin jumped on a Zoom call to chat with Fuller about her time on the Vandy football team and that’s when we learned that Fuller was given the floor to address her fellow football players.
“If I’m going to be honest, I was a little pissed off at how quiet everybody was on the sideline,” Fuller told Cronin. “We made a first down, and I was the only one cheering and I was like – what the heck? What’s going on? And I tried to get them pumped up, and I was like, ‘You guys need to start [cheering] your team on.’
“My main thing was during the SEC tournament, my entire team was cheering the entire time. It didn’t matter if we were in the locker room or if they were on the sidelines, I think that’s what won it for us. Everybody was cheering non-stop. I just went in there, and I said exactly what I was thinking. I was like, ‘We need to be cheering each other on. This is how you win games. This is how you get better by calling each other out for stuff, and I’m going to call you guys out.’
“We need to be supporting one another. If we get a first down, if an interception happens, it’s our fault. We need to be lifting each other up. That’s what a team’s about. I think this team has struggled, and that’s been part of it. We really just need to build that team camaraderie where they can all lean on one another. It was an adjustment going from that team mentality where – hey, we’re all here supporting one another, and I just wanted to bring that to this team.”
As for this speech, you mean to tell me that a kicker who was pulled off the women’s soccer team and who started practicing with the football team on Tuesday was given the floor to lecture teammates on Saturday?
“I hope I gained their respect. It wasn’t ill-intentioned at all, I just want this team to succeed and do well,” Fuller told Cronin. “I’m a Vanderbilt student-athlete. I want all our sports to succeed. I call it how I see it, and I’m not going to BS anybody. Didn’t want to BS them.”
Do you think freshman players on the women’s soccer team who’ve never seen the field get up and give speeches to players who’ve given four years to a program? Nope. Not happening.
There’s no further debate about this. Fuller was used as a publicity stunt, and it is clear as day ESPN had its hands in it. Don’t be shocked if we find out soon that ESPN had cameras rolling during Fuller’s hero speech.
A kicker giving a halftime speech. Think about this for a minute. Those of you who thought this was a sincere act from a Vandy program desperate to field a team during uncertain COVID times have been had. This is all nonsense.
“I had coaches come up to me and say ‘I’ve been wanting to say that for awhile now,'” Fuller told Cronin.
Sarah Fuller kicks off the second half for Vanderbilt. pic.twitter.com/FvTc7HdVWm
— Jordan Dajani (@JordanDajani) November 28, 2020