Bad romance: My tortured affair with the Gamecocks

I break up with the Gamecocks an average of three times every Saturday.

It’s like a bad romance: I start the weekend deeply in love, we break up and make up several times during the game, and then we reconcile at the end of the fourth quarter. (Sometimes I withhold my affection until Sunday morning if the “date” has gone really awry.)

Seriously, my relationship with Carolina football is like a years-long love affair, complete with all its respective emotions: adoration, disgust, anger, humiliation, passion, exhilaration . . . you get the drift.

If you think about it, the Gamecocks are a lot like a romance-novel hero:

  • Romance-novel heroes have tough-sounding, individualistic names, such as Chance, Chase, Brock, Rafe, Wolfe or Thorne. A run-of-the-mill, common name simply will not suffice.My team doesn’t go by a mundane moniker like the Tigers or the Bulldogs. They’re the Gamecocks. The ’Cocks. It’s a name that has tough, individualistic and strong covered – and then some.
  • The best romance-novel Lotharios are antiheroes. They’re from the wrong side of the tracks; they’re toughened by disappointment – battle tested and hardened by past frustrations. Disappointment and frustration? Yeah, let’s check those off the list, too. The Gamecocks don’t have the battle-hardened part mastered quite yet, but they’re close enough.
  • They play with your emotions, creating a taut, expectant atmosphere – a “Will we or won’t we?” vibe. You know what I’m talking about. The Gamecocks are masters of, um, romantic tension. You never know if they’re going to kiss you (Alabama) or leave you wanting (Kentucky, Auburn). They keep you guessing. It’s a masterful display, actually.
  • They’re mysterious. When it comes to the Gamecocks, you never know who’s going to show up. Will it be the team that returns your ardent passion, or the team that doesn’t seem to care? Here’s a tip: Women don’t like their men to be too available. We want them to like us, but not to like us too much. The Gamecocks know a lot about unfulfilled longing, and they never give us more affection than we can handle.
  • In a romance novel – as in a fairytale – there’s always an obstacle to a happy ending. The Gamecocks have overcome two: Alabama and Georgia. We stumbled but recovered our equilibrium after Auburn and Kentucky.

My happily-ever-after (at least for this season) can be summed up in three words: SEC East championship. That means there are three obstacles yet to conquer – Tennessee, Arkansas and Florida.

In my world, they’re the real-life versions of Cinderella’s evil stepsisters, determined to keep the Gamecocks from dancing at the SEC championship ball. Of course, in that scenario, Steve Spurrier is playing the role of Fairy Godmother.

I hope the Head Ball Coach and his visor are up to the task. After all, he’s holding thousands of meticulously patched and re-mended Gamecock hearts in his hands.


3 Responses to “Bad romance: My tortured affair with the Gamecocks”

  1. 1 Bruce D.
    October 25, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    The Gamecocks will whip Tennessee by at least 10 points. Hope that doesn’t seem too accessible to hardcore fans. But celebrate the fact that there will be no joyous singing of that hideous ‘Rocky Top.’

  2. 2 Gary Smith
    October 25, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    Saturday was tough @ Vandy but we won!! I believe we will be better @home with our loyal fans who stand by the Cocks no matter what. Spurrier will be in their face if we don’t come out with passion but we will. I hope my saturday date with the Cocks does not end in Divorce!! Gary

  3. October 25, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    I’m still predicting an 8-3 season for the Gamecocks. We still have 1 to lose (who will it be?)

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