By Adam O’Daniel
The fine state of South Carolina takes great pride in its contributions to this nation.
Myrtle Beach. The Peachoid
. Darius Rucker. The Civil War.
You’re welcome, America.
But The Palmetto State has failed to produce anything meaningful in football in more than 30 years. This fact blossomed last Saturday as South Carolina earned the distinction of being the only state to proudly send TWO top 12 teams into the slaughterhouse that was college football.
Sure, the South Carolina Gamecocks won the ACC. Once. In 1969.
And Clemson won the 1981 national championship. But you knew that already because Tigers fans haven’t stopped talking about it for 32 years.
All that was supposed to change. This was the year.
The Cocks and the Tigers, led by Heisman contenders Jadeveon Clowney and Tajh Boyd, would meet in an epic, winner take all, in-state battle royale at the end of the season. The winner would be catapulted to a conference title and BCS title game berth. Finally, after decades of futility, the Ol’ Ball Coach and Dabo would turn the tides.
Then Saturday happened. And Gamecock Nation needed to blame someone, anyone, for this loss to an unranked Tennessee team.
“Our linebackers are so sh*tty. I’m screaming at the TV I’m so pissed.” – Text from Cocks fan.
“Hard to beat the Vols when you have 11 men on the field and they have 18.” – Facebook post.
“I think he was a genius, but I feel like he is just not into the past couple of years. Hopefully he just retires.” – Facebook post
“Terrible play calling. Unreal. Just really really bad play calling.” – Text from Cocks fan.
“Bad bad bad. Bad coaching on this one.” – Text from… well you get the idea.
Meanwhile, Clemson gloated. In a few hours, there would be so much Orange in Death Valley that Florida State would probably forfeit. Gamecock Nation wouldn’t even dare show its face at church tomorrow. Nobody wanted a piece of these Tigers.
“I think it’s a good day for orange.” Tweet from Tigers fan after Vols won.
Then 51-14 happened.
“F-ing Clemson.” – Text from Tigers fan.
“I’m pretty sure that was, yeah it definitely was, the worst game I’ve ever been to in my life.” – Tigers fan driving home to Virginia from Death Valley.
“When will Dabo learn that talking means nothing, performance everything? Guessing never #RahRahBS” – Tweet from Tigers fan.
In less than eight hours, two of the 12 best teams in America – and an entire state of football fans – were humiliated. Again.
At least they had that good Southern upbringing to fall back on — tip their caps to the opponent, shake hands and know they gave a valiant effort.
“Why do we even play football in this state.”
“I hate this season.”
“These damn kids keep f’ing up my Saturdays.”
“If you cannot tell, I am emptying all hope of joy coming from this team. #repentance.”
“Let’s forget this day happened.”