30th Aug2012

Anchor Down, Vanderbilt!

by Jason

One of our vendors from Nashville set us up with 4 tickets to the Carolina-Vandy game this year.  The Roost stayed at home since some of us don’t think she can make it over the mountains. We had a great trip and won yet another tailgate.  The Gamecocks chalked up another “W” too 😉

It took about 6 hours to get there from Aiken, SC.  Nashville is pretty tight near Dudley Stadium. Tailgating spots are hard to come by. We ended up in Centennial Park near the full-scale replica of the Parthenon. It was free parking and plenty of green space.  Easy in, easy out, and rest rooms close by–although we did have to share them with a couple homeless guys.  There were signs everywhere that said, “No Alcohol”, which we chose to ignore.  Just tried hard not to draw attention to ourselves.

We had steaks and homemade potato rolls on the grill.  Something easy to pack for the 6 hour trip.  For refreshments, we made Commodore Killers. Dangerously tasty, and oddly similar color to Vandy’s gold uniforms.  We mixed a gallon jug of the stuff and made every bit of them disappear.

The weather was perfect until the very end, when the tropical storm coming in from the Gulf finally hit us.  It poured hard for a bit, so we invited a few neighbors under our tent.  Made some great new friends that way.  (Thanks to the Louisiana ladies with the jello shots!)  The game was probably 6 blocks away and easy to get to.  It was also easy to find your way back to the truck navigating by the huge Parthenon all lit up at night.

Parthenon is a hard word to say after a gallon of Commodore Killers.

The stadium is nice but small. Their video board was impressive. A video of a football came on every often to show the fans how to cheer.  It was like fan orientation class. “Anchor! Down!” they yelled. It got old quickly.

We had sheets of rain blowing in on us for the first few minutes of the game, but it didn’t last too long. The two people in front of us were both from Aiken, employees at Houndslake.  The game, of course, got  ugly after Connor Shaw’s injury and a dangerous shot on Justice Cunningham.  After the game when all was quiet as everyone was leaving, some drunk guy in our section yelled out “Anchor down, homo!”  In the quiet, it echoed all over the stadium.  Maybe you had to have been there, but it was hysterical, and we made it our catch phrase all the way home.

We ended up grabbing a bite to eat late after the game at a sandwich counter attached to a bar attached to this BBQ restaurant next to McDonalds.  Good sandwiches, and Bob found out he’d been at the same Eagles concert 20 years ago as the sandwich man.  Bob finds friends everywhere he goes.

I wish we had some pictures to share. I remember we took a bunch.  Somehow the camera disappeared right after all the Commodore Killers did.  Coincidence?

Nashville is a trip I’d love to do again.  We only stayed one night, which was a mistake. We were so worn out from the rain, heat, Commodore Killers, the game, more rain, more heat, and the sandwiches that we never really got to explore downtown.  We did get to have Nashville’s famous Loveless Cafe biscuits before heading home Friday morning.  I’d totally drive 12 hours round trip again for those.  If you’re ever in Nashville, go.

Wait, we do have one picture of us stopping for dinner on the way home.  We got stuck in crazy Atlanta traffic on Friday.  So we stopped at The Varsity for dinner.  If we look a little loopy–well, did you know it’s legal to drink in the backseat of a moving vehicle in Tennessee?  True story.


Commodore Killers
(adopted from the Pain Killers recipe made famous by the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke, U.S. Virgin Islands)

Makes 1-2 servings.

2-4 oz. of Dark Rum
4 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. cream of coconut
1 oz. orange juice
Grated fresh nutmeg

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