Tag: I-40 Face-off

VU Hockey Tops UT 6-2, Wins Inaugural I-40 Face-Off

Vanderbilt’s club hockey team shook off the rust from a month and a half of inaction and capped off its season in style on Saturday afternoon with a dominant 6-2 victory over Tennessee in the inaugural I-40 Face Off at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville.

Kyle McCann and Ben Loss each had two goals for the Commodores, who finished their 2010-2011 season with a 15-3-1 record with the win. Goalies Brenden Oliver and Mackie Anderson split time in net, and each came up with big saves on odd-man rushes to preserve the Vanderbilt lead.

Read more, article by Eric Single, at InsideVandy.com >>

Trophy Unveiled For I-40 Face-Off

This Saturday at 1PM the Vanderbilt Commodores and Tennessee Volunteers ice hockey clubs will battle for not only state bragging rights in the inaugural I-40 Face-Off game but also the opportunity to hoist the Culpepper Jefferson Memorial Trophy, awarded to the contest’s winning team. Dubbed the “Cullie” for short, the trophy is a hand-crafted pseudo-relic that hearkens back to a simpler time and an even simpler man near forgotten in the lore of Davidson County’s illustrious history. As a new tradition is born before the eyes of thousands at Bridgestone Arena this weekend, this newly minted artifact will await its first set of suitors, all the while connecting the new with the old under the heading of an all too true motto: “Iced is better.”

Background on the Trophy’s Namesake

Culpepper Jefferson was a wiley old kook who in the 1870s launched Davidson County’s very first whiskey distillery. His professional pursuits, born out of an unhealthy obsession with replicating the successes of one Jack Daniel from nearby Lynchburg, Tennessee, were as haphazard as they were ambitious. His goal? Create the state’s most revered whiskey beverage.

Desperate for success and, more importantly, differentiation from the Old Number 7 bottle, he and his wife Annabelle employed two new-to-market innovations that to this day still resonate with master distillers and brewers the world over. The first was to use red cedar charcoal native to Tennessee in the whiskey-making process. Jefferson was adamant on the decision, saying that “Ole C.J.” Whiskey’s signature cedar flavor would forever eclipse Daniel’s sugar maple. “That sugar ain’t nothing but fer sissies,” he would bark at local watering holes to anyone who would listen.

"Ole C.J." Whiskey Label, Circa 1875

The second was to freeze the charcoal before slow-filtering the water through it. Made possible by refrigeration technologies introduced in the 1860s, the thought was that the cold filtration process would unlock the flavor of the cedar. Ole C.J.’s vintage hue, a dark reddish umber, was said to be attributed specifically to this process. “Iced is better” became the whiskey’s brand slogan.

Unfortunately for Jefferson, in his haste to differentiate he forgot one important concern about the beverage: its taste. Ole C.J. quickly became the laughing stock of the state as one newspaper called it “the most ungodly, detestable, putrid swill you will find on either side of the Mississippi.” Turns out that the cedar he was using, while terrific for building homes and furniture, was terrible for whiskey-making (a lesson that, as mentioned, still resonates with distillers and brewers to this day). Jefferson would have realized this had he not unknowingly inhibited his senses of taste and smell following a dispute over the result of a card game in his early 20s.

With inventory shelves stacked ten feet high and a mile long and no hope of selling his Ole C.J. product, Jefferson set out to divest his assets to salvage some semblance of a profit. It was at this dark moment that good fortune smiled down on the would-be liquor tycoon. A German immigrant by the name of Adolph Coors came calling, interested in purchasing Jefferson’s cold filtration patents and technologies. Despite his weak negotiating position, Jefferson secured a favorable deal and sold his intellectual property to Coors. Annabelle called the result “dadgum-rific!” Today, Coors not only employs elements of this hundred-plus year old technology in its beer-making processes, but it also carries over elements of the C.J. identity in its marketing (i.e., Coors is said to be “The Coldest Tasting Beer In The World”). All these years later, the world still realizes that “iced” truly is better.

The Trophy’s Construction

To construct the I-40 Trophy, a host of local historians were enlisted to first propose an award concept worthy of the event. Upon researching the history of the greater Nashville area and uncovering the story of Jefferson, the team felt strongly that incorporating an homage to the Davidson county native’s life and accomplishments would fit nicely with this soon-to-be annual hockey clash. Said seventh-generation middle Tennessee historian Mortimer Penniweather, “Jefferson couldn’t hammer home the ‘Iced is Better’ slogan enough, something I know the Vandy and UT hockey clubs would agree with whole-heartedly.” He added, “Jefferson was an innovator, even in failure, and in this case where the Commodores and Ice Vols are working to drive interest in and support for a sport whose roots don’t exactly run deep in the South, the parallels between the efforts are clear.”

With concept in hand, a team of engineers from Princeton led by renowned craftsman Josh Girvin salvaged cedar planks from the demolition of the Jefferson’s 125-year-old estate and crafted the trophy that you see pictured above. Incredibly, the Interstate-40 highway sign was discovered in the family’s barn, no doubt requisitioned via the handiwork of mischievous prankster Winston Jefferson, Culpepper’s twice-great grandson. Said Girvin upon making the discovery, “I guess this connection between Culpepper and the I-40 Face-Off was meant to be.”

The Big Game Approaches

Game time is 1pm this Saturday, 3/26, at Bridgestone Arena with doors opening to the public at 12:30pm. Admission is free for all who wish to attend so feel free to bring a crew of fans with you (preferably those wearing black and gold!).

On that note, we would like to thank Tennessee in advance for making the trip here to Nashville for what will surely be a great day of hockey for the state. Both clubs look forward to making this an exciting and competitive event for years to come, something players, family members, friends, and fans alike can look forward to on their calendars each season.

With that, we bid you adieu until after the contest with what we imagine would have been Mr. Culpepper Jefferson’s words of pre-game wisdom: Go ‘Dores, bring home that Cullie!

‘Dores Add Practices Leading Up To I-40 Face-Off

Following a successful 14-3-1 regular season, the Commodores have once again taken the ice in an attempt to get their conditioning back heading into the I-40 Face-Off game versus Tennessee on Saturday, March 26th. The club will host three more practices – one tonight and two next week – prior to the big event.

“It’ll be a great way to shake off the haze of New Orleans,” said junior Tom Trepanier who, like many, thoroughly enjoyed his spring break. “We’ll be ready to go come two Saturdays from now.”

I-40 Face-Off Information

Tickets are still available for the Predators vs. Dallas Stars game following the I-40 Face-Off! Click here to download the form that includes the promotional offer information. Note that many of the Vanderbilt and Tennessee players and their families will be staying at the arena to attend the second game so feel free to email vuhockey@gmail.com for information about sitting with the larger group.

Stay tuned to www.vanderbilthockey.com or the event’s Twitter feed (@i40faceoff) for more information. We look forward to seeing you at Bridgestone!


The Vanderbilt Club Ice Hockey program is proud to announce the scheduling of the inaugural I-140 Face-Off versus the University of Tennessee Volunteers to be played at Bridgestone Arena!

Date & Time
Saturday, March 26th, 2011
(prior to the Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars game).  The puck will drop at 1pm.

Ticket Price
FREE Admission for the I-40 Face-Off; those wishing to stay for the Predators game will need to purchase a separate ticket

Bridgestone Area
– 501 Broadway, Nashville, TN (Map)

Hotel Suggestions
Renaissance Nashville Hotel – 611 Commerce Street, Nashville, TN – 615.255.8400
Hutton Hotel – 1808 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN – 615.340.9333
Loews Hotel – 2100 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN – 800.336.3335

Questions about the event? Interested in being a Sponsor?
Please contact us at vuhockey@gmail.com or via the Contact Us form on this site.

“Mr. C” and the Vanderbilt cheerleaders will be in attendance for the game along with a few special guests so be sure to join us at the rink for some great hockey action. State bragging rights will be on the line!