Busted plays and broken hearts

It’s a good thing I was merely cautiously optimistic about my Gamecocks‘ chances of actually capitalizing on their biggest win in school history with a follow-up victory. I can’t imagine how I’d be feeling today if I’d gone in thinking it was a sure thing. My heart’s broken to pieces as it is.

There I was, surrounded by Auburn fans celebrating a huge and well-deserved victory over Arkansas, when my ‘Cocks — fresh off a convincing win over then-No. 1 Alabama — laid a giant egg by losing to unranked and previously SEC-winless Kentucky.

The thing is, the Gamecocks came out strong in the first half and allayed my fears with what looked like a sure-victory performance. The second half was a total disaster capped off by Stephen Garcia‘s last-second underthrown and intercepted end-zone pass. The worst part? Garcia could have thrown it away: A short field goal would have sent the game into overtime.

Kentucky: A well-deserved win

I could write today about Chicken Curses and bad luck and all of those things that have plagued our program for years. But I won’t. Kentucky deserved to win. They played their hearts out and never gave up. The SEC East was Carolina’s for the taking, and we didn’t reach out and grab it.

So there I sat Saturday, surrounded by Auburn, Georgia and Alabama fans, trying to hold back tears as my Gamecocks crushed our hopes yet again. The texts of friends poured in immediately:

“Sorry, honey.”
“It can’t stay this way forever.”
“Keep your chin up.”
“I love you.”
“I thought you had it this year.”
“It’s like the bad husband who promises to change. You want to believe them, but they never really do.”
“Should have gone for the tie, not for the win.”
“You’re right; your QB’s cute. But there’s something missing between the ears.”
“Wait till next year.”
“Oh, s#*$.”
“Are you OK?”
“Steve Spurrier is an idiot.”
“I was rooting for you guys.”

And there was this one: “Football has broken my heart worse than anything or anyone ever has.”

Yeah. Busted plays and broken hearts. That’s football. That’s my Gamecocks.


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