The dastardly and the dysfunctional: A tale of two Tigers

Well, peeps, as my friend John says, “It’s time for our second season.”

Now that we’ve secured the SEC East, it’s on to battle two sets of Tigers: our cross state-rival and dastardly nemesis, Clemson, and the team from Auburn (where the fans are somewhat dysfunctional and can’t decide whether they’re Tigers or War Eagles).

We’ve got a turnaround in attitude going on amongst Clemson and Carolina fans this season. Usually, Gamecock loyalists are pleading with the Football Gods for mercy, hanging our tattered pride on a win in the annual rivalry game. In a refreshing twist, Clemson’s season has been the most troubled, and their fans want to recoup some pride by knocking the wind out of our bound-for-Atlanta sails.

All I can say is that the Gamecocks who spurred the tar out of Florida and Troy better be the Gamecocks who show up in Death Valley on Saturday. My cousin Chess, a Clemson graduate (there’s one in every family), couldn’t make the game. I snapped up his season ticket, which is located smack-dab in the center of the orange and purple sea. I plan to be a beacon of hope and goodness in my garnet and black. No matter what the outcome, I will hold my head high.

Seriously, though: Spurrier & Co., please do me a favor and kick some Tiger tail. The ride back to Rock Hill, S.C. with my orange-clad aunt and uncle will be really long if we let this one get away from us. And, you know, a 9-3 regular-season finish sounds good, doesn’t it? After all, for us, it’s rarefied air: We’re going for nine or more wins for only the third time in school history.

Speaking of seasons, a lot of people are saying this year has been our best ever. I mean, who would have predicted in early August that we’d beat Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida? Or that we’d avoid the usual November meltdown – I call it the Chicken Slide – that usually befalls us?

Still, as delightfully surprising as this season has been, I have to say that 1984 remains our best, as well as our most heartbreaking. That was the year we experienced the highs of “Black Magic” and the lows of our darkest hour, going 9-0 before losing to an unranked Navy team and ultimately ending the regular season at 10-1.

Good things lie ahead for Gamecock fans, though. A win against Clemson and a victory over Auburn – and, make no mistake, both are possible – would leave us in a state of unmatched euphoria.

As Thanksgiving approaches, let’s be grateful for the season we’ve had and the promise of better things ahead, not only in the next two weeks but next season, too. Yes, indeed, it’s a great time to be a Gamecock.


7 Responses to “The dastardly and the dysfunctional: A tale of two Tigers”

  1. 1 Glen Ayers
    November 22, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    As a Clemson graduate as well as a USC grad, I won’t quite be pulling for the Gamecocks, but I do sort of hope that USC wins both games — the team, if not its head coach– really deserves to win the SEC and I hope they do.

  2. November 22, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    Glen, that is the sweetest thing any Clemson fan has ever said to me — except for my relatives, who I’m sure are ashamed of my Gamecock-ness. You are very generous.

  3. 3 Glen Ayers
    November 23, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    My problem is that my earliest memories of college football involve my Dad, who was not a sports fan, but who always listened (ON RADIO, of course; this is before TV came to the SC countryside) to every Clemson game.

    On the other hand, if USC beats both Clemson and wins the SEC, and it deserves to win both games, then Carolina will go on to a major bowl and you win your bet with Bruce (didn’t he attend that soon to be NCAAII school in Austin?).

  4. 4 Stacy
    November 23, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    I promise, I am not taking offense to the “dysfunctional” comment.

    Not sure if we are Tigers, Eagles or just WINNERS!!!!!

  5. November 23, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    Glen, I really, really want to win that bet. He’s been very quiet about his Longhorns this year. The tide has turned in our family’s football fortunes.

    Stacy — We will see you on field. Look at it this way, the War Eagles/Tigers thing may provide my team with an extra layer of confusion that works in y’alls favor!

  6. 6 gary smith
    December 31, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Not getting your gridiron & grits blog any more. Please check and see if you have our email address correct. Thanks, Go Cocks and Happy new year! Gary and Lori

  7. January 10, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    I’ve been lazy . . . work, more work, the holidays, and more work. I hope you got this one! Have a great 2011 and Go Cocks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Latest Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 91 other followers


%d bloggers like this: