Someone really, really doesn't like Vanderbilt University's football team. A new Change.org petition that popped up this week is petitioning the athletic squad to stop clubbing baby seals.
"Baby seals are among the most adorable and precious animals on this planet. The brutal clubbing that they suffer at the hands of the Vanderbilt University Football Team is an international outrage and an affront to all dignity," the petition reads. So far, 107 supporters have signed the petition, posted by someone going by the moniker Sherman Ave.
People who have very allegedly Michael Vick, Bob Barker and Bruce Wayne, who wrote, "As a billionaire playboy, I understand that many women desire a coat made from a soft fur like that of the baby seal. However, I really like baby seals and get unhappy when thugs like Vanderbilt's football team beat them with clubs."
To be clear, Vanderbilt University's football team has never credibly been accused of baby seal clubbing--it's unclear where they would even find the animals, which are generally not native to the inland region of North America.
(Editor's note: It's also important to point out that baby seal clubbing is a real issue that should not be trivialized. PETA has circulated its own, far more serious petition in an attempt to ban the practice.)
While no one has come forward to officially claim responsibility for the petition, the poster "Sherman Ave" matches with a pro-Northwestern University website of the same name operated out of Chicago area. In a confluence of timing that can not be a coincidence, Vanderbilt is set to play Northwestern Saturday night.
While the two teams are similar in size and skill level, the Northestern-Vanderbilt match-up is not generally considered an intense rivalry, at least as far as college fotball rivalries are concerned. Vandy does play in an annual in-state grudge, against the Tennessee Volunteers.
The Vanderbilt Commodores play in the storied SEC Conference. The Nashville team is not the best squad in the conference, nor even necessarily in its home state of Tennessee, a point of contention that has spawned the interstate rivalry.
With over 100 meetings under their respective belts, Bleacher Report has called the Vanderbilt Commodores-Tennessee Volunteers match-up the most underrated rivalry in college football.
In 2011, a leaked video from the Volunteers' locker room added more fuel to an already smoldering fire.
Following Tennessee's 27-21 overtime victory over the Commodores in November, Tennessee coach Derek Dooley was taped addressing his celebrating players, saying, “The one thing that Tennessee always does is kick the (bleep) out of Vandy,” ESPN reported.
In the meantime, Vanderbilt has yet to respond to the animal cruelty allegations.