Monthly Archives: September 2011

A New Low for TRC: Reposting from a Pay Site (but its about Garcia, so SShhhh!)

Its not Insider Information, but it sums up where we should be as fans better than anything I’ve read this week.  So to ‘scarolinaguy’ on GCC, we give a tip of the cap, and a promise for free beer upon future meeting:

[Garcia] has had some shaky times at USC but the guy knows how to win
football games. Garcia has taught us fans what winning the big games feels
like. We can talk about Petty, Ellis, Tanneyhill and them all but no other
quarterback has won the big games like Garcia nor will have won as many
games. He has beaten the teams that at one time we as fans just wanted to
be competitive with - some like a drum too. There is only one team that
we haven’t beaten yet in the SEC and that’s Auburn. . . . No other quart-
erback in our universities history has beaten the teams Garcia has beaten
and if there is one quarterback past or present that I would gamble with
on beating Auburn or any other team its Garcia. GO GET IT DONE! I AM
BEHIND YOU BROTHER!! ADD ANOTHER TEAM TO YOUR BEATEN LIST! I think we
need to show him some loyalty and back our quarterback. HE IS OUR BEST
CHANCE AT WINNING THE BIG GAMES! He is the only one who has showed us it
can be done at USC!
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CTU Fans, A Survival Guide

The inexplicably good beginning for the 2011 Clemson Tiger football season creates particularly acute problems for many Carolina fans.  The average CTU fan has been relatively quiet for the last two years, but is now energized beyond all sanity after a couple of improbable gridiron victories.  When confronted with one of these obnoxious fans, the immediate reaction (after “Ugh, what’s that smell!” and “Wait, did I just somehow accidentally wander into a Dollar General?”) is a desire to end the conversation in as satisfactorily quick a method as possible.

Note: reference to Orlando is based on the mistaken assumption that the BCS championship is always played at Disney World

I live amongst these ill-bred orange-loving heathens and have, over the painful years, developed certain defense mechanisms for handling the unfortunate encounters with representatives of this particularly vile and delusional fan base.  Here, for your edification and instruction, is a sample of my most effective strategic approaches, along with the moniker I use for each as an aid to memory.  I recommend any and all of the following for your immediate and repeated use (or at least until CTU faceplants its season yet again):

The Newry Damn – You should act concerned, rub your chin and look forlorn.  Tell the CTU fan that you personally witnessed Coach Swinney yell vile profanities in public the other day, and you are concerned that his well-manicured image is all a sad and crumbling facade.  Feign concern for his wife and children.  Say this all happened in a BILO (this detail is REQUIRED and will severely deepen the horror for the fan) and in front of children who were distraught.  President Barker has called The AD, you understand . . .

The Spiller – So named as an homage to the patron saint of overhyped and unrealized potential, C.J. Spiller.  This method involves faux-concern on your part over the condition of the tender heel bone of Andre Ellington, and speculating on the latent defects in nonexistent MRI’s that caused the Seminoles to back off during the recruitment of Sammy Watkins.  Oh, and the punter keeps getting clobbered.

The Seneca Steamer – This strategy involves dumping on every opponent they have beaten thus far – which is usually a simple and effective method to thwart the fan’s ridiculous enthusiasm.  Be warned, however, that our Chickfila Bowl misadventure last winter, coupled with a sudden rash of Seminole injuries this fall,  have negatively impacted the efficacy of this approach. (Although you will notice that I turtled a back door Seneca Steamer in the middle of the last sentence.)

The T. Ed Garrison Arenal – Insist that all CTU cheerleaders are corpulent bovine swine, and that this fact is generally acknowledged by all.  Take the purportedly overwhelming physical evidence one step further and insist that the fleshy sweathogs are the results of bizarre crossbreeding experiments  conducted by the CTU School of Agriculture.  When excited, they secrete a milky substance from between their fingers, toes, and multiple skin folds – WHERE DO YOU THINK ALL THAT CLEMSON BLUE CHEESE COMES FROM, BUBBA????

The Calhoun Corners –  Insist that according to high ranked SEC sources, the ACC almost collapsed last week, and FSU, CU,  and GTech all still want out.  The SEC wouldn’t take any of them because of The Gentlemen’s Agreement (in effect, SC blackballed Clemson).  UConn, Syracuse, whatever, are all desperation moves, and show that the ACC is: #1 a basketball conference from here on out, and #2 now overrun by Yankees.  Either of these details will cause the CTU fan you are dealing with to gasp, swallow his dip, and begin ripping the hair out of his back in frustration.

The Tillman  – We all know that CTU fans are obsessed with the concept of a so-called “Chicken Curse.”  They will mention the purported curse at any possible opening.  Turn it back on them with the following pseudo-history, which they will be too dense to refute:  “You see, when Pitchfork Ben Tillman made the deal with the Devil that led to the Curse on Carolina, it provided that bad luck would follow the Gamecocks for one hundred years.  That time expired on October 31, 2009.  The devil is in the details so to speak, because what Pitchfork Ben didn’t know was that the Curse now rebounds on Clemson College for the NEXT one hundred years.   Enjoy 98 more years of persistent and heart-breaking beatdowns, Clemmer!”

The Howard’s Rock – When you first see (or smell) the CTU fan approaching, pull out a ten pound sledgehammer, swing it above your head and hit YOURSELF in the head as hard as you can muster.  Now this may result in an extended hospital and/or psychiatric ward stay but either is preferrable to the toothless/brainless/deoderant-less conversation you were about to experience.

The Danny Ford – Once a cheater alway a cheater.  Talk about the fact that CTU really never won the MNC, and that their most beloved coach of all time is widely regarded as one of the crookedest recruiters in NCAA history.  Also, and this is paramount to success for this method, mention towel bars, jet skis, and photos of recruits with cash over, and over, and over, and over.

The Mac’s Drive-In – At the earliest possible break in the conversation, claim you have a bathroom emergency and sprint away as fast as you can.  Understand that “bathroom emergency” is not a term that the CTU fan will recognize, so use a baser and more scatologically descriptive name for it, but you get the general idea.  Also recognize that the fan is himself probably wearing Depends undergarments (if you are LUCKY), so this method has its limitations.

The Daniel Lyin’ – Make up random facts, such as “Clemson has an all-time losing record against every BCS conference except the ACC,” “Chad Morris is the leading candidate for the New Mexico job and has family out there.” or “Kevin Steele was once a porn star who operated under the name ‘Tigh Cheeks.‘”  It doesn’t matter how outlandish the lie, because as we’ve mentioned above, the nutjob you are dealing with probably doesn’t have the noodle to recognize even the most basic of subterfuge.

I hope you find these strategies helpful.  This is, or course, not an exhaustive list, and your own additions are welcomed.

Morning Tusings on a Thursday Afternoon

Tusings, or Tuesday Musings, was meant to be a weekly column where I speak of random randomness involving the Gamecocks. But, since I don’t get paid for this, and because the people who do pay me expect things of me that do not involve writing for obscure blogs…here are your two-day late Tusings!

I feel really good about this weekend’s game.  Which is odd, because I rarely feel good about any game.  I can’t tell you if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, because it’s so rare that I have these feelings about a USC game that I don’t really remember how they turn out.  Maybe it’s that I believe Stephen Garcia is going to get it into gear this week, which means Alshon will get it into gear this week. Maybe it’s because Auburn’s defense is SO bad statistically, and Marcus is so good statistically. Maybe it’s ecause I saw our defense beat up on Vandy like a JV squad. Maybe it’s because the HBC has been in a good mood this week. I don’t know, but if we get our butt beat on Saturday, please remind me to never have a good feeling about one of our games again.

OVER-RATED (clap, clap, clap, clap, WHA?!?)

The overrated 1. We love Saturday Down South, and if you haven’t been there, we’d recommend it.  It’s a football lover’s paradise. However, a curious article from “MrPalmetto” yesterday asked the question “Is South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery Overrated?”, to which his answer was “yes”. (Tip:  if you’re going to write an article you know is going to be controversial, don’t tiptoe around on the title, just call it “South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery is Overrated”. Take a stand, man.)

Anyhoo, Mr. P can certainly have his opinion, that’s cool.  But a lot of it involved things I don’t actively measure during a game like “he’s not very fast” or “he has problems with press coverage”. My response in the comments section of his article was this:

You can argue that he’s not elite, but the preponderance of the evidence suggests otherwise:

2009 46-763, 16.6 ypc, 6 TD (after only 5 catches in his first 5 games)
2010 88-1517, 17.2 ypc, 9 TD

(BTW, where do you get “one season, heck, six standout games” from? Is that your arbitrary statistical analysis? He had eight 100-yard receiving games last year. And does his freshman year not count?)

He didn’t put up those numbers because he’s slow or because he can’t get separation, I can tell you that. His 14 catches for 246 yards and 1 TD is certainly disappointing so far in 2011, but with the sub-par QB play and the fact he’s been bracketed by two and three players in every game are making it tough to put up numbers comparable to 2010. Teams have geared their defenses to stop him, and it’s worked.

Will he be a great pro? Heck, I don’t know any more than you. People considered better than AJ have flopped and people considered not as good have excelled in the NFL. But to write that he shouldn’t be considered among the elite COLLEGE wide receivers is just silly.

I don’t watch film and break down plays, so I can’t speak to what kind of route runner Alshon is or how well he gets off of press coverage. But I saw this. And this. And this.

That’s just scratching the surface.  And to me, that’s elite.

Bulletin board. Speaking of Alshon not getting off press coverage (gasp! maybe MrPalmetto is right!), apparently Auburn CB Ryan White thinks that’s true: “From what I’ve seen, he can’t get off press. So that’s what we’re coming in with.” Considering the War Tigers’ abysmal defensive statistics, they better come with a heckuva lot more than that.

Bulletin board II. Ryan White again: “If we shut those two down – Alshon and Marcus – we’re going to come out with the W.” Oh, no, we’ve been found out!!!

Dangerous Tigers. In all seriousness, I hope Coach Johnson has as good a plan this week as he had last week. Auburn’s offensive line is bad, but if they can create time and space for the likes of Dyer, McCalebb and Blake, we could have a shootout on our hands.  Also, Coach Butler, please kick the ball out-of-bounds on kickoffs. The one thing I do not want to see is Tre Mason finding a crease.

Ire of the Tiger. Auburn is the only SEC football team we have not beaten since joining the conference in 1992 (0-6). Our only victory against them was in 1933. And no, I wasn’t around to see it. 

It’s all about football. I used to be as big a Braves fan as any team in any sport. I lived and died with the Bravos throughout the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. Unfortunately, years and years of “almosts” have finally worn me down. I paid only casual attention to their September swoon this year, and watched with mild interest last night as they completed a historic collapse. I was actually asleep during the last four innings.

Folks, I’m officially a football man.

Go Cocks!

Mrs. Tbone Breaks It Down

Ten Alternate Unis That Didn’t Make the Cut

In case you haven’t heard, the Gamecocks will be rocking an alternate uniform for the Auburn game.  The unis are being worn  in support of the Wounded Warrior Project, an important charity if ever there was one, and are completely badass:

Yes, I agree:  Auburn will take one look and run back into the locker room.  /bows head, /offers silent, earnest prayer

Regardless, our nonexistent sources within the football program tell us that other, more esoteric, uniform options were considered before UA and the AD settled on the Wounded Warriors.  As a benefit to you, our loyal readers, we share ten of the other potential Gamecock Unis, with pros and cons for each:

Option 1:

 PRO:  Marked Tactical Advantage

CON:  Shoulder cannon also serves as tackling handle.

PRO:  Doubles down on the “warrior” motif.

CON:  Awkward Stan Lee Cameo

PRO:  Alternate Energy Source (AES)

CON: AES might be an impermissible benefit

PRO:  Would add a physical element to Jay Wooten’s game

CON: Post-game shower confusion:  This is exactly  what Jadeveon Clowney looks like naked.

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Option 2:

CON: Basically a clown suit.

PRO: There is no Pro.

CON: Looks like Halloween got sick and vomited on a high school player

PRO: THERE IS NO PRO!

CON: Only effective if you play in the weakest division in the weakest BCS conference

PRO: /head explodes

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Option 3:

PRO: Sponsorship dollars from Target could help offset old luxury hotel room bills.

CON: Not the exact shade of Garnet we wear, I know.

PRO: Might (I said MIGHT) improve quarterback efficiency (we are willing to try anything at this point).

CON: Also gives would-be tacklers something to aim at.

PRO:  Would annoy our Mercantile Overlords at Walmart

CON:  We all work for the Mercantile Overlords at Walmart now, or at least need fishing tackle.

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Option 4:

PRO: Tap increases speed and damage.

CON: Further aggravates ongoing feud with ugly CTU Pigs (OK, cheerleaders).

PRO: Comes in green, red, black, and white – all with unique abilities built in.

CON: Indistinguishable for Oregon uniform combo 6b.

PRO: Fists included

CON: Two faces – IT HAS TWO FACES YYIIKKKEESSSSAHHHHHH!!!

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Option 5:

PRO and CON:

I JUST POSTED A PICTURE OF KATE WINSLET AND YOU ARE STILL THINKING ABOUT FOOTBALL UNIFORMS????

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Option 6:

 Did you say unee-form?

[This is intended as a palette cleanser after the Winslet pic]

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Option 7:

 PRO: Endorsed by both the Vatican and the Crash Test Dummy Association (this is a comment on DESIGN, not on religion, geeze)

CON: No reasonable individual would wear or suggest that someone else wear this monstrosity – WHAT? someone did and a bunch of other people went along with it????

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Option 8:

 PRO: Low uni number, looks fast, looks strong

CON: For some reason, no one is allowed to wear this one.

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Option 9:

 PRO:  Generates pre-game buzz.

CON:  On the field performance quickly quiets said buzz.

PRO:  Reminds us all of the lesser known Arena League warriors that toil away in obscurity.

CON: Made Boise State nationally legitimate.

PRO: Tradition, Schmaschition

CON: FAKE PUNT FAKE PUNT FAKE PUNT FAKE FAKE FAKE!  AHHH DAMN IT! /Hairy Dawg covers head

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Option 10:

CON:  May get tangled during Buck Sweep exchange.

PRO:  Makes you completely unfathomable to Florida’s Coach Boom.

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In the end, I think the AD made a good choice.

Listen Here! TRC Unleashed – Episode 7 is in the Books

TRC Unleashed reviewed the quarterback situation, and came to some surprising conclusions about the future of Stephen Garcia. Also discussed:

  • Has the HBC lost his marbles?
  • Is Melvin Ingram Batman? Is Jadeveon Clowney Robin?
  • CC Whitlock gets an award!
  • Tbone expresses his utter disdain for Auburn

Click HERE to listen.

Vontaze Burfict is Football

Not Gamecock related, but this might just be the greatest football photo ever. Captions welcome.

TRC Unleashed – Episode 7: The Vandy Game

Buck returns, so the show gets more 300% more interesting. Unfortunately, the guys have to talk about the thing that’s on everybody’s mind after the Vandy game – the quarterback situation. They’ll tell you what they think will happen, and what the 4-0 Gamecocks have to do to get things turned around. (Sounds funny, don’t it?)

Join us, it’ll be a hoot. Here’s the link:

TRC Unleashed – Episode 7

Snap Judgements – Vanderbilt @ USC Edition

The saga continues...

Some quick, barely researched, not fully formed thoughts from tonight’s train wreck of a 21-3 victory over Vanderbilt:

We are who we are, and unfortunately that’s not good news. I’ve been one of those guys throwing around justifications for our less-than-impressive 3-0 start, talking about unconventional offenses and tough SEC road tests and how everyone experiences a little early season sloppiness. But after last night’s game against Vandy, I now fear we’re just not very good. “But Buck,” you say, “you’re going to complain about a 4-0 start that includes a road win over Georgia?” To that I respond, “Have you seen us play?”

Our offense makes the football gods have a sad. You saw it. Four interceptions from our fifth-year senior quarterback, numerous decent plays wiped out by penalties, general disorganization leading to untimely timeouts. Bumbling. Stumbling. Very little rumbling. Vandy sold out to stop Marcus Lattimore, so we turned to our best pass play, which basically amounts to throwing a jump ball to Alshon Jeffery. Our huddle must sound like a sandlot game, “Alshon, go long. I’m going to throw it in the general direction of the 30-yard line. Everybody else block. Reddeeeeeeeee, break!”

The defense of Stephen Garcia stops here. I feel you Alex Roberts. We’ve been staunch supporters of #5, taking the good over the bad, which has worked out for the most part. Part of that has also been betting on the come, that Garcia as a fifth-year senior would be smarter, more accurate, and more dependable. But now I cringe when he drops back, wondering what’s about to happen. His decision-making is mind-boggling. Accuracy? When he hasn’t been throwing interceptions this year, he’s been overthrowing, underthrowing, too-far-in-front throwing and too-far-in-back throwing. Unfortunately, he appears to be our only option.

Steve Spurrier is sick, or Garcia has incriminating photos of him. That’s the only explanation for leaving Garcia in after his first three picks. Well, maybe there is a third explanation, maybe Connor Shaw is just really bad. In any case, it doesn’t bode well for us. I saw a lot of tweets/posts ripping the ESPN announcers last night for ripping our QB situation, but I’m not sure why. The only QB situation in American football that is worse than ours at the moment is the Indianapolis Colts.

The defense is fixed…at least for one night. That was a historically dominating performance by Ellis Johnson’s defense. Holding any opponent under 100 yards total offense is incredible, much less a conference opponent. We looked like we had 15 guys on defense. We didn’t, of course, because we would’ve been called for it.

Welcome back Melvin Ingram. About time he scored another touchdown. Geez, stop taking weeks off #6.

Obligatory Jadeveon Clowney bullet point. I can’t think of any words left to describe this guy. Let’s just say the hype was justified.

This season is far from lost. But for the first time last night I thought about 2007 when we started 6-1 and were in the Top 10. We didnt’ feel like a top 10 team, and the final five games of the year showed that. This year, despite all our talent, and despite the fact we are 4-0, we don’t feel like anything close to an elite team. We’ve been waiting for four weeks for Spurrier and the Gamecocks to put it all together, but after last night I’m wondering if we have it in us. I sure hope I’m wrong.

Miscellaneous…I think watching Clemson march up and down the field against FSU all day made last night’s offensive debacle even harder to take…Good to see Victor Hampton and Brandon Wilds on the field, they both looked darned good in limited action…Welcome Demeire Byrd, we hope you live up to the hype as well…After speaking with an Auburn friend this morning, this week will be an epic battle of poor-mouthing…Anybody else going to get bent out of shape this week because the national media is going out of its way to ignore us?

TRC Editorial: Overcoming the Victim Mentality

After reading Marty Simpson’s article on Gamecock Central this morning, I have one request of the Gamecock Nation: please stop with the victim mentality.

You can read the article, I wont’ re-hash too much of it, but there are some facts we need to come to grips with as University of South Carolina fans:

  • We are the University of South Carolina – We are not Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan or even Boise State for crying out loud. With the exception of Boise, these teams has been very good for a very long time, and have national appeal. Boise has wedged itself into the national conversation by doing one thing – winning. We have consistently been a middle to lower end of the pack SEC team. One SEC East crown doesn’t change that, especially when everyone else was “down”. No matter what you think of the media, one thing is for sure, their respect first has to be earned.
  • We have very little credibility on the national stage because our football program has had ONE ten-win season in its history, and is only slightly over .500 after 110 years of football. Our 9-5 season last year was one of the best in school history. NINE AND FIVE. Think about that. (One local Atlanta sports talk host once called us the most underachieving major football program in the last 100 years. I can’t honestly think of anyone we’d be competing with for that crown – Rutgers maybe?)
  • We have beaten three good (and I reserve the right to use that term loosely) teams this year, but…nobody respects East Carolina, period. People respect Navy, but more because of who they are as individuals than who they are as a football team (I tried to tell people before and after our game that Navy is a good team, and the most common response I got was “PFFFFT! Right.”) Nobody really knows what Georgia is right now.  In other words, any one of those wins might look really good come November, but people judge us and them on where we are NOW, not where we might possibly be in November.
  • The Worldwide leader is not going to spend much time on us until we are doing something special, and quite honestly the only reason they are spending any time on us right now is because of three people – the HBC, #21, and #5 (the last one for mostly wrong reasons). ESPN knows where their bread is buttered, and right now it is not Columbia, SC.
  • From the article: “undeserved admiration thrown at the national powerhouse programs is part of what keeps those programs at the elite level”. That just sounds like good old fashioned hatin’ to me. “Undeserved” and “national powerhouse program” is a little contradictory, no? They did something right to become both national and a powerhouse. Those two things equal throngs of fans across the country, which means huge ratings for ESPN and the like. It ain’t hard to figure out.
  • Bottom line – our football team has not earned to right to be talked about on a regular basis by college football pundits. I hope we’re on the way to changing that, but we’re going to need a few more banners hanging before it truly does.

I have nothing against Marty Simpson, I kinda like the guy’s writing. But his latest article comes off as whiney and for some unknown reason even reeks of entitlement. I love the Gamecocks as much as anybody. I’m proud of my alma mater and will stand up for the University of South Carolina every chance I get.

But like it or not, we deserve exactly how much media coverage we are getting right now. Whining about it only makes us look worse, and might even be counterproductive in the hands of some of the more prominent and narcissistic bloggers/writers/broadcasters who pay attention to everything said about them.

Defend your Gamecocks. Fight for your Gamecocks.

But for the love of God, don’t be a victim.

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