The Vanderbilt Hustler

An ode to Mason-isms: A look at Coach Mason’s finest phrases

September+19th%2C+2015+-+Derek+Mason+during+the+Commodores%27+47-7+win+against+Austin+Peay+Saturday+afternoon+at+Dudley+Field.+Photo+by+Blake+Dover.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

An ode to Mason-isms: A look at Coach Mason’s finest phrases

September 19th, 2015 - Derek Mason during the Commodores' 47-7 win against Austin Peay Saturday afternoon at Dudley Field. Photo by Blake Dover.

September 19th, 2015 - Derek Mason during the Commodores' 47-7 win against Austin Peay Saturday afternoon at Dudley Field. Photo by Blake Dover.

September 19th, 2015 - Derek Mason during the Commodores' 47-7 win against Austin Peay Saturday afternoon at Dudley Field. Photo by Blake Dover.

September 19th, 2015 - Derek Mason during the Commodores' 47-7 win against Austin Peay Saturday afternoon at Dudley Field. Photo by Blake Dover.

Simon Gibbs, Senior Writer

Unlike Aretha Franklin, Vanderbilt’s head football coach Derek Mason never asked for respect. He earned it.

A day after he was given the job, Mason’s first task was to address the media. It was on this day in January of 2014 when “Mason-isms” were born, and in the process, the word “respect” was redefined.

Mason said, I present [the team] with something that I’ll leave you. It’s an acronym that’s called R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Respond every snap, play with passion, extreme effort, be committed and do it today.

Commodore fans all over the country were waiting to hear from Mason. Although he had been coaching at the collegiate and professional levels since 1994, he never served as a head coach until his arrival in Nashville. He gave the fans exactly what they wanted to see: passion, high expectations, and a whole lot of charisma. After spelling out “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” just as Aretha Franklin did, he recited an absurd acronym like the back of his hand.

This was just the beginning.

Since then, Mason has proven himself as an excellent coach and an incredible personality to both the players and the fans; all he needed was a little time to adjust.

The Commodores have seen immense improvement from his first season as head coach. In the final regular season game of 2016, he led the team to a huge upset win over the 17th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers. In doing so, the Vanderbilt Commodores clinched berth to its eighth bowl game since the team’s inception in 1890.

Meanwhile, he has continued to bless the players, fans, and media with his philosophical words, and has maintained his status as one of the most entertaining coaches in the SEC. Following that upset over Tennessee, Mason was about as ebullient as could be. That win was their sixth of the season, making them eligible for a bowl game.

He was interviewed by SEC Network on the field, and with Vanderbilt players celebrating in the background, he began by thrusting his arms above his head and yelling, Yeah! straight into the microphone. He was then asked about being considered for a bowl game, to which he said, “We wanted a victory. We didn’t want to sneak in the backdoor, we wanted to kick in the front door and walk right in so we can have some fun.”

Clearly, Mason wasn’t satisfied with being one of the exceptions that can make a bowl game with five wins and a losing record. He had a clear-cut goal in mind, and of course, an analogy to go along with it. While the five-win teams were sneaking in the backdoor, Mason wanted the Commodores to assert their dominance. In his own words, he wanted to remind Vanderbilt fans that “This is our state”. Of course, to accomplish that feat, they had to kick down the front door, cause a ruckus within this imaginary bowl game house, and most importantly, have fun.

A season later, Mason has coached the Commodores to an excellent 2-0 start, including a decisive 42-0 win over Alabama A&M this past weekend. On Tuesday, he addressed the media about that win and delivered one of the greatest “Mason-isms” yet.

The team is on an absolute tear as they head into a huge matchup against Kansas State, so it makes sense that Mason was fired up. Chris Harris, a sports anchor for WSMV, summed up Mason’s attitude in one tweet.

Mason’s phrasing was, to say the least, eccentric, but his message was clear: success, respect, and achievements don’t come to those who wait, but to those who work hard.

As if he had this answer prepared, memorized, and ready to recite, Mason began, “You get what you earn… Again, you better bring a hard hat and a lunch pail, a cup of coffee and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because we’re going to get to work. So, if you miss your cup of coffee and you can’t get a sandwich that day, well then that’s on you. Stay up a little later, pack a couple of extra sandwiches and when you go out to work in the morning, make sure that you’re ready to go…”

Hats off to Coach Mason for maintaining a straight face throughout the entirety of the quote. Kansas State better believe that Coach Mason has packed a couple of extra sandwiches and is ready to go.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






About the Writer
Simon Gibbs, Senior Writer

Simon Gibbs (‘21) is a senior writer for the sports section of the Vanderbilt Hustler. He is planning on majoring in Human and Organizational Development...

Leave a Comment

The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comments section on our website and social media platforms. However, The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that violate the outlined policy. Comments which contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or appear to be spam or commercial promotion will be blocked or removed by The Hustler. The comments section, both on the website and social media, is moderated by the Editor in Chief.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • An ode to Mason-isms: A look at Coach Mason’s finest phrases

    Campus

    University reveals plan to be carbon neutral, transition to renewable energy by 2050

  • An ode to Mason-isms: A look at Coach Mason’s finest phrases

    Featured

    Letter from the Editor: Thanks y’all

  • An ode to Mason-isms: A look at Coach Mason’s finest phrases

    Featured

    KLEIN: Reflections of an outgoing Vanderbilt Hustler sports editor

  • An ode to Mason-isms: A look at Coach Mason’s finest phrases

    Featured

    Death Cab for Cutie returns to the Ryman

  • An ode to Mason-isms: A look at Coach Mason’s finest phrases

    Campus

    Town hall discusses capital planning to enhance academic spaces across campus

  • An ode to Mason-isms: A look at Coach Mason’s finest phrases

    Featured

    IN PHOTOS: Born in Mexico, ‘Made’ in the USA

  • An ode to Mason-isms: A look at Coach Mason’s finest phrases

    Baseball

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: #FreeCyrusWilson, baseball, Death Cab for Cutie, Bengali New Year Celebration & More

  • An ode to Mason-isms: A look at Coach Mason’s finest phrases

    Campus

    Tariq Issa and Lanier Langdale reflect on year in office, share advice with community

  • An ode to Mason-isms: A look at Coach Mason’s finest phrases

    Featured

    Lexi Smith reflects on first career goal for Vanderbilt Lacrosse as fifth-year senior

  • An ode to Mason-isms: A look at Coach Mason’s finest phrases

    Campus

    SAE suspended until 2023 for hazing

Navigate Right