Annapolis is celebrating Veterans Day and proud to be home to the U.S. Naval Academy where so many of our country’s leaders have learned about leadership. Names like John Paul Jones,
Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Halsey and even Jimmy Carter are sons and fathers of the Naval Academy.
As a former Navy man myself, stationed not far from here at Bethesda Naval Hospital, we used to come down to Annapolis often because like the confluence of the Chesapeake Bay and the
Severn River there is a confluence of history and beauty here hard to match. And even though Annapolis is the Capitol of Maryland, the Naval Academy dominates.
This brings me to the question I have had since I first heard Vanderbilt’s slogan, “Anchor own.” Everyone is aware of the Navy fight song, “Anchors Aweigh,” which is the absolute opposite order than anchor down. In “Anchors Aweigh” the midshipmen and fans sing:
“Anchors Aweigh, Sail Navy down the field and sink the Army, sink the Army Grey.”
Commodores shout: “Anchor Down!”
Therein lie the strategic differences: the seasoned naval officers know that ships must weigh anchors and set sail. Commodores drop their anchors making a stand. Which tactic wins?
Is Navy about offense and Vanderbilt about defense – or does it just not matter as long as the fans are energized.
In a way, I am glad that Vanderbilt is not playing Navy on the Veterans Day just after their football team beat Notre Dame. Might be a lot to overcome, but playing Marquette tonight seems on the Navy neutral floor just seems like a more even fight. I look forward to seeing new Vanderbilt Coach Drew’s team compete with Wojo’s Marquette. Two young, talented coaches opening new seasons in a storied setting.