Welcome to Anchor of Gold, your spot on the internet for Vanderbilt sports.
Perhaps you’re new here, or perhaps you’re not new here, but there are some times that the commenters here are talking about something and you have no idea what they’re talking about. That’s okay! The commenters (and, well, the writers) here have a lot of inside jokes that may be difficult to figure out if you’re new here. In addition, there are a lot of references that are made here that you may not understand, particularly if you’re new to Vanderbilt fandom in general (or you’re a fan of another school and happened to stumble on this site). For instance, you might not know what “Woodyball” is or what people mean when they talk about “The Dud.”
So think of this as your glossary of Anchor of Gold dot com. Consult when you don’t know what the hell someone is talking about. Or just read it for fun. Enjoy!
Academics: Something that exists in theory at the other 13 SEC schools. Alternatively, an excuse for why Vanderbilt does poorly at football.
Adam Sparks: The Tennessean’s beat writer covering Vanderbilt. You probably know this, but maybe you don’t! Also, a Missouri defensive back who at one time was committed to play at Vanderbilt, which would have been super awkward for Vanderbilt beat writer Adam Sparks, but this never came to pass. Not the guy who sang “Ms. New Booty.”
Anchor Down: The unofficial rallying cry of Vanderbilt athletics. Not something to be put on the nameplates on the back of a football jersey.
Anchor Drop: The daily link dump/rant about something completely random/open comment thread that Tom posts on (most) mornings, except when he’s lazy and/or otherwise occupied and doesn’t feel like it. By tradition, the absence of the Anchor Drop on a given day is to be duly noted in the comments to the next day’s Anchor Drop.
Apology letters: SEC referees frequently make incorrect calls on the field, and even more frequently in the replay booth, and these incorrect calls almost always work against Vanderbilt. Does the SEC office do anything about this? No! They just send Vanderbilt an apology letter in the mail and move on. It is said that the volume of apology letters sent from the SEC office to Vanderbilt is the primary cause of deforestation in the Amazon.
aTm: The only acceptable way to refer to the other BigXII school we have to play. References the odd order in which they display the letters of their school’s logo, and... well, I’m not going to say it here, but feel free to read an explanation in this article.
A Women’s Bowling School: When fans of other schools show up in our comments, they often make the claim that we’re not a football school. Shortly thereafter, someone will comment that we are a baseball school, and parlagi will point out, “No, we’re a women’s bowling school.” Seeing as both baseball (‘14 and ‘19) and women’s bowling (‘07 and ‘18) have two titles apiece, he does have a point.
Bacon and Donut: These guys:
Ban: When a commenter repeatedly breaks the rules here, or occasionally by breaking the rules in such a deliberate and obnoxious manner that they deserve immediate action, a moderator may ban that person. A banned person is still allowed to read the site, but is not allowed to post comments or FanPosts. Sometimes a ban is temporary, sometimes it’s permanent. Don’t get banned. We really don’t like to do it.
Benches: The benches at Memorial Gym are located underneath the basket, which differs from the layout of most basketball arenas. This fact is inevitably brought up in every home basketball game that Vanderbilt plays, as though the announcers are just assuming you’ve never watched a game there. When they do get brought up, we drink, by tradition.
Bobby Johnson: The guy who finally ended Vanderbilt’s 25-year run without a winning season in 2008; in spite of this, Vanderbilt fans are somewhat divided on his eight-year tenure (in which, by the way, he had a 29-66 record.) Some appreciate him for navigating the program out of the dark days of Woodyball and setting the table for Brigadoon; others remember his odd devotion to offensive coordinator Ted Cain and frustrating penchant for farting away wins late, most memorably in the Tennessee game in 2007 (when Vanderbilt blew a 24-9 fourth quarter lead in Knoxville on the way to finishing 5-7.) Anyway, he was the head football coach from 2002-09. Also known as “BoJo” and “Steve Martin.”
Brigadoon: That mysterious village of nine wins that only appears once every hundred years.
BRING ME MAH BARREL: The only acceptable exhortation when Vanderbilt plays Louisville in baseball, as the winner of the yearly mid-week one game rivalry takes home a barrel trophy.
Bryce Drew: Vanderbilt’s basketball coach from 2016-19. Brought in the highest-ranked recruiting class in school history, then promptly delivered the first 0-18 season in SEC history. Oddly, this led to him getting fired. Counterpoint to the longheld belief of many fans that Vanderbilt never fires coaches.
Champions of Life: Butch Jones was the king of bullshit coachspeak, never more clearly than when he declared his team that began the season with SEC title aspirations and entered the week of the Vanderbilt game with an 8-3 record and Sugar Bowl aspirations as “Champions of Life.” His team promptly lost to Vanderbilt, thus affirming Vanderbilt (which gained bowl eligibility with the win) as the official Champions of Life, at least within the state of Tennessee. Now used derisively to refer to the school to the east and its newfound irrelevance on the football field.
Chest pass: Whatever the hell this was:
Chicken Shop Cook: When Kevin Stallings finally
got fired took his dream job at the University of Pittsburgh, former Vice Chancellor David Williams (RIP), in a hastily-called press conference the next day, said that the cook at his cousin’s fried chicken joint in Birmingham had expressed interest in being Vanderbilt’s head basketball coach. Anchor of Gold of course took this completely seriously, going so far as to give him his own Coaching Search Profile.
Chinfante: Nickname of former Vanderbilt first baseman Julian Infante. His chin was so glorious, it singlehandedly caused Louisville to completely douche things up in Omaha.
Corbs: Vanderbilt’s current and hopefully eternal baseball coach.
Cromulent: We’re not sure why this term needs an explanation here. It is a perfectly cromulent word. However, an SEC Network announcer, on air during the Kentucky game in 2015, referred to a “Vanderbilt website” (presumably us) deeming Kyle Shurmur a perfectly cromulent quarterback, which is the closest we have ever come to being mainstream.
Derek Mason: Vanderbilt’s current head football coach. The subject of much internal debate among Vanderbilt fans. Known for dancing on the sidelines.
Dog Lawyer: Nickname of former Vanderbilt RB Khari Blasingame. Based on a former Will Ferrell SNL sketch in which he plays Wade Blasingame—a lawyer who specializes in suing dogs.
Donnie Tyndall: There was a time when Cuonzo Martin was the basketball coach at the school to the east, and fans circulated a petition to have him fired for the high crime of not winning enough games in the wake of the sanctions that Bruce Pearl left the program under. Then, Cuonzo got them to the Sweet 16 before promptly abandoning them to go to Cal (because, really, what sane person would not want to get out of Knoxville at the first opportunity?) The school to the east responded by hiring Donnie Tyndall while knowing that he was under investigation for NCAA violations that he committed while he was Southern Miss’s head coach. Tyndall coached a single, nondescript season in Knoxville highlighted by one of his assistants snitching on Wade Baldwin for clapping in the face of an opposing player following a win in Knoxville (leading to the infamous “I’ll Fucking Kill You” incident.) He was then summarily fired shortly before the NCAA gave him a show-cause order.
Anyway, Donnie Tyndall is a meme here because (a) he looked silly, but particularly when wearing that creamsicle-orange jacket, and (b) he is somehow the most obvious example both of the rank incompetence permeating out of Knoxville in the last decade or so and the annoying tendency of the school to the east to fail upward when they do screw up. Because after all that, they ended up with Rick Barnes as their head coach, and he’s only won an SEC title and been to a Sweet 16. Life isn’t fair, and nowhere is this more obvious than Knoxville.
DotP’s typos: DoreonthePlains likes to point out minor errors in others’ work, ergo it is customary for a commenter to point out any and all typos in his posts, preferably within the first two or three comments. ALL HAIL THE MANDATOR.
FanPost: A post written by someone who isn’t one of the regular writers for this site. These can be found in the sidebar titled “FanPosts,” but if you write a good one, we may promote it to the front page.
Florida Man: A man who takes drunken joyrides on motorized scooters through the aisles of Wal-Mart and shoots fellow bar patrons in the foot for refusing to do shots with him, all while presumably wearing jorts.
Game Penises: The mascot of the University of South Carolina. As far as we know, Andrew VU ‘04 was the first to refer to them thusly in print. He was most certainly the first to use their full, correct name: The South Cackalacky Game Penises. Commenter “Your Uncle Mike” will always comment, “Game Penises. Still funny” upon each use of the term.
Game thread: For every football and men’s basketball game, most baseball games, and the occasional non-revenue sport (particularly if said team is competing for a championship, which actually has been a quite frequent occurrence in recent years), you’ll see a “game thread” (sometimes termed an “open thread”) posted around game time or shortly before — usually 30 minutes before a basketball game or an hour before a football game. This is your place to discuss the game with other fans while watching the game on TV (or the stadium, if you’re there.) Of course, sometimes, if a game thread isn’t posted, the commenters will just turn the first post on the page into a de facto game thread, and we usually just let it go on. (NOTE: The two-drink minimum and the no pants rule are strictly enforced during game threads.)
Gerry DiNardo: Vanderbilt’s head football coach from 1991-94, whose tenure was cromulent enough to land him the LSU job, though he never had a winning season here. Generally viewed much more fondly by Vanderbilt fans than he is by LSU fans.
Greg Schiano: The football coach at the school to the east for approximately four hours on November 26, 2017, until an internet mob led by a Fox Sports radio host and former Deadspin blogger with degrees from George Washington and Vanderbilt demanded that he not be hired because of a spurious and unfounded connection to disgraced former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, that said radio host later admitted was really about Schiano’s perceived coaching abilities (or lack thereof.) Perhaps the greatest display of insanity in the history of that school, which is really saying something.
Have Fun, Expect to Win: The mantra of Woody Widenhofer. Woody’s record in five years as Vanderbilt’s head coach was 15-40, so it is fair to say that the expectations of winning were not met.
Het: When Vanderbilt played Temple in the 2014 season opener, Temple used the hashtag “#WeTheT,” which Andrew VU ‘04 read as “wet het.” Vanderbilt then proceeded to lose 37-7 after a three-hour weather delay, in what has been deemed “The Great Het-wettening of 2014.” We’re still not sure what a het is, but we do know that it is very bad to get it wet.
HIPPITY HUZ: The only truly cromulent Vanderbilt cheer. From Wikipedia: “A shocking event occurred in 1897 at the Thanksgiving Day match with Sewanee...There was one yell given with great frequency by the Vanderbilt students which was very offensive to decent people. It starts off “Hippity Huz, Hippity Huz; What in the hell is the matter with us.” It had become so popular at Vanderbilt that it was in the minds and causes them to be oblivious to the fact that it was not exactly proper to shock refined ladies by such utterances.”
HOD: Human and Organizational Development, a major at Peabody College that is stereotypically popular with Vanderbilt athletes. Nobody is 100 percent sure what HOD majors actually do.
Hooverville: Tent cities that popped up during the Great Depression by homeless people and derisively named for then-President Herbert Hoover, who was viewed as the person responsible for their status. Also, for some reason, the place where the SEC Baseball Tournament is held annually.
I’ll Fucking Kill You: This fucking incident, after the game at Tennessee in 2015:
Jeff Green Traveled: Because, well, he did. Do you want proof? Here:
Jerry Stackhouse: Vanderbilt’s current head basketball coach.
Jorts: The true mascot of the University of Florida. School also referred to as “The Gainesville University Fightin’ Jorts.”
Josh Henderson’s eligibility: A running gag in which the former Vanderbilt center, who in reality played at Vanderbilt from 2010-16 (that’s six years, folks), has unlimited eligibility and a career that began in approximately the Roy Skinner era.
Kevin Stallings: Vanderbilt’s head basketball coach from 1999-2016, a.k.a. most of the time period of Vanderbilt fandom for most people here. Until Bryce Drew came along, he was the only basketball coach most of us had known. The subject of an approximately decade-long debate among fans as to whether he was the best Vanderbilt could do, a debate that seems almost quaint after the 2018-19 basketball season. Known for his expressive face, Stallings comes in two flavors: “Salty” and “Jig Dancin’” to connote disappointment and joy, respectively. However, Google searches of his name once displayed a photo of Kevin Malone from The Office.
Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuke: Former Vanderbilt center and current Chicago Bull Luke Kornet. The number of u’s is variable.
Magnolia League: A proposed Southern version of the Ivy League that never came to pass; proposed membership varies, but usually includes at least a core of Vanderbilt, Duke, Tulane, and Rice. Occasionally gets brought up whenever another SEC school makes some ludicrous announcement that they are much more a football team than a university.
Mamba #5: Vanderbilt RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn prefers to be called “The Red Mamba” for unspecified reasons. He wears #5. This one was too easy. Now that song is stuck in your head.
McKendree Universty: Our one true rival. We are a women’s bowling school, after all.
Missourah: A Big 12 school that has been on Vanderbilt’s schedule continuously since 2012, for reasons that have never been explained to us. We will be deep in the cold, cold ground before we recognize Missourah.
Moderators: The people who enforce the rules in the comments section. Basically, they’re the same people who write for Anchor of Gold.
Murderleg: Former Vanderbilt kicker Carey Spear, who did this:
Nadia Harvin: In the same article that launched “Wet Het,” Andrew VU ‘04 noticed that Temple’s coaching bios listed their secretary’s position as “Administrative Specialist, Head Football Coach.” Though they likely meant for her title to be “Administrative Specialist to the Head Football Coach,” what they actually said was, “Both Administrative Specialist and Head Football Coach.” Commenters and writers both call for Vanderbilt to hire her as our football coach when our current football coach is not doing his job well. Side note: We really got a lot of mileage out of that one ridiculous game preview and subsequent Het-Wetting, didn’t we?
NAIA: The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, a competing organization to the NCAA. It is customary for parlagi to give us constant updates on the schools that are too small to be bothered with playing in the NCAA.
No pants rule: This is clearly posted outside the door to AoG. Entering the comments section while wearing pants is a bannable offense.
ODAC: The Old Dominion Athletic Conference, a Division III conference mostly consisting of schools in Virginia. Membership includes colorful mascots like the Guilford Quakers, the Emory & Henry Wasps, and the one, the only, Sweet Briar Vixens. Meme originated in the comments to this post.
Offseason: In terms of Anchor of Gold, roughly the two or three months between the end of baseball season and the start of football season.
Ol’ Bald Poach (or OBP): Former Vanderbilt and current Penn State football coach James Franklin.
Paul Hoolahan: Vanderbilt’s athletic director from 1990 to 1995. Seen as a talented up-and-comer when hired away from North Carolina, where he had been the associate athletic director, Hoolahan’s most notable moves were (a) refusing to give Eddie Fogler a raise after he won the SEC and was named National Coach of the Year, then hired Jan van Breda Kolff to replace him, and (b) hiring Rod Dowhower in an effort to modernize the offense after Gerry DiNardo left for LSU; Dowhower’s “offense” scored 244 points in two years. Perhaps the person most responsible for the decade of futility that ultimately led to Vanderbilt not having an athletic department at all.
Piece of String: Perpetually next up in Vanderbilt’s ongoing quarterback carousel. Originated here.
Pinman: The ruler of this site. Pinman appears any time Vanderbilt bowling is discussed, or occasionally when something is so completely bizarre that a man dressed in a bowling pin costume is the only appropriate image to represent the absurdity. Seen here, in his natural environment:
Pitchforker: A Vanderbilt fan whose view of Vanderbilt athletics is generally pessimistic, often (though not always) represented in the form of calling to fire the coach after basically any loss, and occasionally even after a win. Contrast with sunshine pumper. (NOTE: Sometimes the pitchforkers are right!)
Please and Thank You: Baseball commenters add this phrase, often in parentheses, to the end of wishful comments during baseball game threads. We don’t know why it works, we just know that it works. Politeness costs nothing.
Recruiting rankings: Because, let’s face it, they always rank Vanderbilt’s recruiting class dead last in the SEC, which might lead you to believe that Vanderbilt’s recruits are worse than the recruits at other SEC schools ... until you pay attention and you start to notice that they randomly ding recruits when they announce a commitment to Vanderbilt over other, bigger-name schools (who of course didn’t really want the player) and almost never give Vanderbilt recruits the benefit of the doubt if they’re not offer-list champs. This has bred a deep skepticism toward the recruiting-industrial complex among many Vanderbilt fans, many of whom view them as basically a hype machine for the traditional powers of the sport. Of course they’re often right, but that doesn’t mean we take them as gospel.
Robbie Caldwell: Vanderbilt’s head coach (effectively an interim head coach, though Vanderbilt elected to remove the interim tag during the season for reasons that were never entirely clear) for the 2010 season. Was not retained after going 2-10 as head coach, but not before a memorable SEC Media Days performance approximately three days after being named the head coach.
Rod Dowhower: Where other Vanderbilt football coaches from the 1980s and 1990s lost in fun ways, Dowhower just brought sadness. His miserable two-year tenure was perhaps the nadir of the bad old days of Vanderbilt football.
SB Nation: The mothership, with which we are loosely affiliated. Never is that affiliation looser than when they go on screeds about how immoral it is that the big bad NCAA keeps Ole Miss from paying its players or Missourah from having tutors write papers for football players, a stance which deeply offends us.
SEC membership: This varies from commenter to commenter. No commenter here recognizes Missourah as an SEC school, and most don’t recognize Texas A&M, either. Some even go so far as to recognize the original 1933 membership of the SEC, which includes Georgia Tech, Sewanee, and Tulane, but does not include Arkansas (an SWC school) or South Carolina (an ACC school.)
Sewanee: The University of the South, an Episcopalian school founded in 1857, is Vanderbilt’s one true rival. What, you thought it was the school to the east? More like the school to the southeast. I say HIPPITY HUZ to you.
Sidewalk fan: A Vanderbilt fan who did not attend Vanderbilt. Often the hardiest of Vanderbilt fans, because unlike us alumni, they actually chose to be Vanderbilt fans instead of having Vanderbilt fandom thrust on them. DotP is a sidewalk fan.
Slap it sideways, granola butt!: Not actually anything anyone has ever said. Needed to keep you honest.
SOG: The Spirit of Gold, Vanderbilt’s marching band. Several commenters here are former SOG members. Not to be confused with SOV (see below.)
SOV: “Same Old Vandy.” The team that teases you by taking a top-25 team to the wire before losing on a late touchdown one week, then responds the next week by blowing a winnable game against MTSU or its ilk. Alternatively, the team that starts the season 4-0 against questionable competition and Ole Miss, then promptly loses six in a row to kill any bowl hopes. SOV mostly hasn’t been seen in its purest form since James Franklin came to town, but occasionally will still show up in Gainesville, Florida, or Columbia, South Carolina.
Sunshine pumper: A Vanderbilt fan whose view of Vanderbilt athletics is generally optimistic, even in the face of mountains of evidence that things are going very poorly. Contrast with pitchforker.
Sweet Sassy Molassy: Reference to an SNL sketch in which Ray Romano played “Chet Harper,” a debut SportsCenter anchor not blessed with the gift of clever wordplay. Often used in game recaps after Vanderbilt Baseball wins a big game.
Ted Skuchas: Only the greatest basketball player in Vanderbilt history. Don’t be fooled by the fact that in his Vanderbilt career, he averaged 2.8 ppg and 2.0 rpg. Just be awed by his greatness, which cannot be expressed in your Neanderthal “statistics.”
Teenage girls: All AoG writers and commenters are, in reality, teenage girls who pose as grown men on the internet in order to be taken seriously. This meme is believed to have originated in the comments section here, when a fedora’d interloper from Texas accused Andrew of mastering the art of prose in the fashion of a 16-year-old high school girl.
The Dud: Dudley Field, the former name for Vanderbilt Stadium, the Commodores’ home football stadium. “Dudley Field” now only refers to the playing surface within Vanderbilt Stadium.
The Four: Refers to former Vanderbilt football players Brandon Vandenburg, Brandon Banks, Cory Batey, and Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie. If you need more information, just Google it, because we really prefer not to talk about it around here.
The Goldfather: Former Vice Chancellor/de facto Athletic Director David Williams (RIP.) It is undecided if we are now calling current AD Malcolm Turner by the same name.
The Hawk: Hawkins Field, Vanderbilt’s baseball stadium.
The Heathen: In the 1890s, Sewanee students had a cheer of “Rip ‘em up! Tear ‘em up! Leave ‘em in the lurch! Down with the Heathen. Up with the Church. Yea, Sewanee’s right!” The Heathen is presumed to be us, the Methodists of Vanderbilt. (At least, at the time. Vanderbilt would disaffiliate from the Methodist Church a couple of decades later and officially become godless heathens.)
The Ontario Barrel-Maker: Nickname of Vanderbilt OF Cooper Davis, as he is from Ontario, and a cooper is the job title of one who makes barrels.
The School to the East: You know the one. The one that wears orange, but not that orange you can sit with. Also known as “the Chuggers,” “the Buttchuggers,” “they who shall not be named,” or simply “THEM.” Never referred to by name if we can help it.
Tim Corbin: Vanderbilt’s current head baseball coach. The GOAT.
Tulane: After World War II, things suddenly became much more difficult for the legacy private schools in what became what we now know as the “Power 5” conferences, for a variety of reasons. Tulane, like Vanderbilt, frequently fielded good football teams in the SEC in the years before World War II and frequently fielded miserable football teams afterward. Tulane left the SEC to become an independent in the 1960s. Vanderbilt thought about doing the same, but didn’t, a decision that was rewarded 50 years later when the first revenue check from the SEC Network came in — a check that dwarfs the check that Tulane receives from the AAC, after long decades of bad football. Look, Tulane, you could have done like us and just stuck it out and eventually all the beatings would have been worth it, but instead, you chose the path that gives you less money and also gave LSU the option of cancelling the annual rivalry game. The real point here is that any time somebody suggests with a straight face that we leave the SEC, just point at Tulane as proof of what will happen if we do that.
Turd Ferguson: Self-fulfilling prophecy nickname given to former Vanderbilt pitcher Tyler Ferguson. References Norm MacDonald’s Burt Reynolds character on SNL’s “Celebrity Jeopardy.” It’s an oversized hat. It’s funny.
Two drink minimum: This is just common sense. Attempting to deal with Vanderbilt sports whilst sober is a fool’s errand, a fact which the university has finally conceded with the debut of alcohol sales at Dudley Field.
Vandy Lifestyle: Fully embodied by commenter and occasional writer VandyImport. Best we can tell, this mostly involves day drinking and seersucker.
VandySports.com: Vanderbilt’s Rivals site. Just about the only other site on the Internet devoted exclusively to covering Vanderbilt sports.
Walsh, You Suck!: Chant heard during basketball games in the early 2000s, as former Florida basketball player Matt Walsh sucked. Some AoG writers and commenters still say this/type this when we play the Jorts. If you really want some inside baseball, ask us about Ted Skuchas, the Memorial Maniacs, and “the Plasman44 incident.” Skuchas is, was, and forever will be the best.
Watson Brown: The local hero from Cookeville who chose Vanderbilt over Alabama to play quarterback from 1969-72, a fact that later led to a lot of fans mostly forgiving his awful tenure as head coach from 1986-90. Vanderbilt won ten games in five years under Watson; his final season is generally recognized as the single worst football season in school history.
White Castle: Nickname of current Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker. This should be self-explanatory, as he packs a craver case of nasty sliders each time he takes the mound. Pitched perhaps the greatest game ever thrown by a college pitcher against Duke in this year’s Super Regionals. We get two more years of this. Squeeeeee!!!
Woodyball: The preferred playing style of one Robert “Woody” Widenhofer, Vanderbilt’s head football coach from 1997 to 2001. Widenhofer occasionally fielded excellent defenses that were paired with offenses that could not score to save their lives, and who would occasionally have a good team on the ropes, only to do something mind-numbingly stupid like calling a fake punt on 4th and 16 from his own 21-yard line while holding a touchdown lead against a Top 25 team in the fourth quarter. Widenhofer’s tenure ended with a 71-13 loss to Florida in which Steve Spurrier called off the dogs with a 71-0 lead early in the fourth quarter. The biggest contribution that Widenhofer made to Vanderbilt football was recruiting Jay Cutler, though Cutler never played for him. These days, Woodyball functions as a convenient representation of the long decades of futility that Vanderbilt fans suffered through.
Also, following his Vanderbilt tenure, Woody worked as a toll booth operator in Florida.