Vanderbilt University first played intercollegiate football in 1890. 1890 was an interesting year. That was the same year a guy named WB Purvis patented the fountain pen.
“A day later he invented dry cleaning,” one wag said.
Vanderbilt’s first game was against the University of Nashville in 1890. It was the first college football game played in the state. This was a time in college football well before star athletes got soft treatment from professors.
Professor: “Son. You flunked the test. What do you have to say??!!”
Student: “Come on Professor, I’m on the football team (wink, wink). I’m the quarterback (nudge, nudge)!”
Professor: “Son, it’s 1890. What’s football?”
After the 1897 season, Vanderbilt took on the nickname Commodores. A member of the nickname search committee said, “Commodores was the number one choice. Runners-up included The Brothers Johnson, the Bee Gees, and Heatwave.”