Monday, October 22, 2007

Naval Intelligence: The Most Important Game Since 1937

Mackenzi Adams, in his first start for Vanderbilt, led the Commodores to their greatest victory since 1937. Photo by Mary Ann Chastain, Associated Press.
On October 23, 1937, the Vanderbilt Commodores hosted the Louisiana State Tigers at Dudley Field in Nashville.

Earlier that year, Leon Trotsky and his associates were executed for trying to assassinate Stalin.

FDR was president of the United States, and he was flexing his muscles in the Supreme Court court-packing scheme.

Daffy Duck premiered for the first time.

The Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic.

Amelia Earhart disappeared in her bid to become the first woman to fly around the world.

J.R.R. Tolkien's book The Hobbit was published.

And then, on the third Saturday of October that year, the Men of West End wearing Black-and-Gold defeated the sixth-best team in the country, by one point: 7-6.

It was the highest-ranked football team that Vanderbilt had ever beaten since the days that rankings had begun to be given.

And it would be the highest-ranked team Vanderbilt had ever beaten for a long, long time. Then, seventy years later, almost to the day, the Commodores finally, finally did it again.

The date of Saturday the 20th of October 2007 -- the third Thursday in October -- may be known for other reasons in the state of Tennessee. But in Commodore Country, it will forever be remembered as the date that the Commodores recorded their greatest victory since the days that Dan McGugin commanded the sidelines in Nashville.

On this past Saturday, before more than seventy-thousand partisan fans in Columbia, South Carolina, Bobby Johnson again led his Commodores into history, by defeating the sixth-best team in the country and doing so in convincing fashion, 17-6.

And not only that. It was also on this day that one of Vanderbilt's long-time, personal nemeses, Steve Spurrier, was finally vanquished for the first time.

Humble pie has never tasted so good. And believe, after today, I'll eat my humble pie with a smile on my face.

I said this week that the loss against Georgia for homecoming was as devastating to the Vanderpsyche as the 30-point loss to Auburn the week before.

But apparently, no one told the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Instead, they walked into Williams-Brice Stadium and, as Steve Spurrier said, "whipped" the Gamecocks.

I have felt so many emotions since learning of the game on Saturday. But I must admit that I did not get to see it yet. Instead, I was in Connecticut, arguing cases with my law school's trial advocacy team. Because of that, I don't feel like I can give my normal NI commentary.

Nor do I feel that I can adequately describe how this game affects me as a fan or as an alumnus of the University. Let it suffice to say that the feelings that led me to write my Response to a Requiem after the devastating loss to Auburn.

Because I have not yet seen the game, I will forego my usual commentary on the articles and comments of the day, and instead simply list the Vanderbilt articles of merit that you should look at, by media source:


Vandy rises to test: M. Adams helps V.U. stun No. 6 S. Carolina

Moore's star shines in all directions: 2 interceptions highlight return to home State

Defense makes statement with turnovers, sacks: Blitz packages get to S.C. quarterbacks

Coach isn't surprised by victory: Bobby Johnson does not believe in "The Hump"

Moore sparks upset as Vandy upends S. Carolina: Hometown coverage of D.J. Moore

Vanderbilt upsets South Carolina: statistics and reports from Brett Hait & the City Paper

S. Carolina natives celebrate a return home: B. Johnson and D.J. Moore headline a long list of V.U. personnel with S.C. connections

Wheeler rolls into end zone at USC: hometown coverage of Justin Wheeler, V.U. receiver

Born to Coach: Great feature-length article on Bobby Johnson subtitled 'Johnson has revived Vandy'

Poor performance puzzles Gamecocks' Spurrier: game notes and analysis from the Charleston Post and Courier

Cock 'N Misfire: S. Carolina offense "inept" in loss to "perennial conference doormat"

'Dores deep-six U.S.C.: Top-10 ranking spoiled, Gamecocks have not scored T.D. in 6 quarters

Vandy win like poetry in motion: Dave Climer compares game to poem in Johnson's office

Vandy win is one for the ages: How does this win fit in V.U. history? Brett Hait fills us in, with thoughts from the players

M. Adams starts on a high note: Quarterback has 207 yards, 2 touchdowns in historic victory

Vandy goes cautious with M.A.C. opponent: Johnson thinks V.U. will overcome "temptation to be overconfident"

SEC East race anyone's, even Vandy's: At least we can count on Kentuckians to give us some credit

It was Vanderbilt's stifling defense, still ranked in the Top 25 nationally, that led the Commodores to the upset of No. 6 S. Carolina in Columbia. Photo by Mary Ann Chastain, Associated Press.

Instant analysis: Vanderbilt v. S. Carolina: Fox Sports doesn't give V.U. a lot of respect

SEC football players of the week announced: D.J. Moore is defensive P.O.T.W.; Brett Upson is special teams P.O.T.W.

Vanderbilt's upset not surprising to players, coach: Sporting News talks about historic perspective of the win

Commodore Notebook: Homecoming, One Week Later

'Dore duo get SEC weekly awards: Press release from V.U. Athletics

This is not your Same Ole Vandy: declares the end of S.O.V.

SEC Ratings: Getting respect from Big Arnge fans?

UT's road gets no easier: even more respect for V.U. out of Yew Tee?

SEC is craziest conference: If we win, then the world must be upside-down, apparently

The 120 at 1:20: has moved us all the way up to 57th. Just two spots below Troy.


Correspondent Chris weighs in on Vanderbilt's huge win: VSL breaks it down

Who wants an interception? VSL examines V.U.'s defensive output so far

D-Fence! Vandy Tailgate credits the defense and D.J. Moore for stopping the 'Cocks

The Marv = Nostradamus: Who Ya With pithily remarks that "the Cocks get slammed in the 'Dore"

Oh what a wonderful feeling, dancing on the ceiling: WYW's Marv gives us a general thoughts post, including some MacAdams praise

YES! Carolina 6-17 Vanderbilt: though he posts the score like he's British, Phillip is back

Vanderbilt puts one together: The Valiant Underdog valiantly returns to the blogosphere with a nice effort

BlogPoll calling: OTS' ballot: Some love from some 'Bammers, who put us in the Top 25

Putting 1-7 into perspective: A Notre Dame fan pays attention to our win over S. Carolina

Spurrier says Vandy 'great team': No respect for the 'Dores or the Ol' Ball Coach

SEC Stock Tips: buy Vanderbilt, and buy Bobby Johnson, 'cause Ryan Ferguson sees both on the rise

SEC Power Poll, week 8: Another Kentuckian shows some love; 'Dores at 9

Weekend Thoughts on the SEC: A blog I haven't read before argues that we've "found a quarterback" in Mac Adams


Nobody expects.... the VANDERBILT COMMODORES!!! I.e., the Spanish Inquisition.

Well that's it for this edition of NI. We're back this week, and even though it's Miami week, we're gonna be out there putting forth our best effort just like we hope the Commodores will be doing, too.

And in case you've forgotten the math: we're 4-3 -- we have 5 games left, and we just have to win 2 of them. Come on, Vanderbilt. We can do this.


Eighty-Two Dore, Esq. said...

October 23, 1937 would have been the 4th Saturday in October unless there were more than 7 days in a week then. Also, I told you we'd win one.

TxDore said...

How about a shout-out to Marv on WhoYaWith for picking the Dores to win by 10 earlier in the week? Thats a real fan with some real balls and a 7th sense.