Gary Gerson, BS'85, had read about college football players in Sports Illustrated and had glamorized them throughout his adolescence, worshiping them at UT while growing up in East Tennessee. Although he hadn't gone out for football in high school, he decided he wanted to join the Commodores football team. So in the spring of 1982, near the end of his freshman year at Vanderbilt, he walked into the McGugin Center, found Coach George MacIntyre, and told him he wanted to play football. To Gerson's astonishment, MacIntyre did not laugh him out of the room.

"There was no turning back now," Gerson writes. "I was going to learn how to fly, to bench press a million pounds, to push intruders away at every turn, to sweat nobly like I had never sweat before. All 5-foot-10, 145 pounds of me was going to be a football player for the Vanderbilt University Commodores."

Thus did Gerson become part of the legendary 1982 Vanderbilt team who played in the Hall of Fame Bowl. He tells his story, in his own voice, here.