Monthly Archives: November 2011
There’s probably no bigger indicator of the state of a rivalry than the paroxysms of rage that emanate from your opponent. Accordingly, we are all edified and somewhat amused by the behavior of our orange-clad brethren in these few days following the 34-13 Carolina domination of CTU. Their spastic and enraged reaction tell us, even more than the outcome of the game on Saturday, that South Carolina has absolutely passed Clemson as a football program.
For example, Upstate SC listeners of WCCP-fm (The Flagship Station for Clemson Athletics) will have noticed several interesting developments, such as Mickey Plyler suddenly becoming enamored with all things basketball, Mark Sturgis developing a sudden fascination with the intricacies of the BCS, and Dan Scott loudly proclaiming himself to be a West Virginia Mountaineer. You may have also noticed a majority of WCCP callers now identifying themselves as Bama grads or lifelong Georgia fans.
Similarly, the aisle of your local Dollar General may seem broader this last week, as many Tiger fans are opting to stay home and feed their hurt feelings rather than shop for more partially hydrogenated essentials at the discount market.
The internet can offer up other examples. Witness one in particular, a CTU fan blog (looks like a rough equivalent of this space) that recently published a story by someone named C.F. McFadden. I’m not familiar with Mr. McFadden, but as that is a tradition-rich Clemson name, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on his claim to have “covered college football all over the Southeast.” But his story (or his blog post, to be more technically correct) is so desperately angry, so full of half-baked rationalizations, that it only serves to underscore my thesis. That point being, ironically, the same as the misplaced title Mr. McFadden prepends to his post, “Because I Dominate You“, but referring instead to Carolina’s now three game win streak over the hapless Tigers.
First, let me point out the lack of source attribution to the picture of Jesco White that begins the article. I’m not particularly sure if this picture is supposed to serve as an avatar for Mr. McFadden, or a representation of the average Clemson fan, but without a single reference to it in the article (or even an explanatory caption under the photo) we are only left to speculate. He can’t intend the photo to represent a Carolina fan, as Jesco is a denizen of the Appalachians and not the Midlands. Or perhaps the author is unaware of the history behind the photo, which strikes me as a more likely choice given the mind-numbing mistakes that occur elsewhere in the article.
For example, the post appears to be written in English for the most part, but contains cryptic and/or apocryphal references such as “call an apple and apple” (does that mean calling two apples?) and “South Carolina fans interact with Clemson fans – and vice versa” (interaction implies a back-and-forth exchange, doesn’t it? Why append the “vice versa” unless you are ignorant of the meaning of the chosen verb?).
Also there is a central assertion in the article that Carolina fans “throw out the SEC chant [no other SEC school does that]” and the companion claim that the rest of the SEC makes fun of the Gamecock faithful for doing so. Now I’m no technical savant, but I do know that typing the name of a school along with the phrase “SEC chant” into the magic Google box is an easy fact-check on this asinine claim. I know, because I did it, and received a myriad of responses, including these three from Georgia, Auburn, and Florida, respectively:
But the penultimate example of Mr. McFadden’s huge blind spot, his utter inability to recognize his own defeatist desperation, is when he opines thusly:
And when the fans get so wound up – eyes red, fists shaking, spit flying – after a WIN, it shows there is just something inherently wrong with them. They know that no matter the score, there is no respect. Nor should there be.
Why is this so ironic? Why does it show Mr. McFadden’s complete buffoonery? Keep the above quote in mind, and remember this:
In the end, the article stands for the basic proposition that Carolina fans are no longer subservient to Clemson fans. This lack of submission is obviously frightening to the Clemson faithful. Their collective reactions, including diversion, avoidance, and written vitriol, only establishes one thing, however:
We’ve passed them, and they know it.
YouTube continues to be the third best thing ever created right after bacon and therubberchickensblog.com. If you think middle fingers are offensive then you might not want to view this. (h/t to Lairdtacular)
In case you missed the TRC Unleashed live podcast, you can find the replay here. It’s a rousing good time where the guys talk about how much we are dominating Clemson at the moment. What could be better than that?
You really, really don’t want to miss a very special TRC Unleashed tonight at 6 p.m. As you may or may not have heard, South Carolina beat Clemson in football last night 34-13, and the boys are anxious to talk about:
- How the tide has turned in this rivalry
- The accomplishments of USC in Steve Spurrier’s tenure
- Performance of the offense and defense
- We probably won’t talk about special teams because that will just bring us down
- Rubber Chickens Awards for the Clemson game
- Possible bowl destination
Listen in, won’t you?
Here are some quick, barely researched, not fully formed thoughts from last night’s breathtaking 34-13 victory over the CTU Tigers:
Satisfying. Have there been bigger or more important wins in South Carolina’s football history than last night? Yes. Have there been wins that were more satisfying? I don’t know, man, I don’t know. Maybe I’m still just giddy in the afterglow of such a monumental ass-kicking of our hated rival, but I can’t think of a time when I’ve enjoyed a win more than last night. Right now food tastes better, my wife is more attractive, my bad back doesn’t hurt nearly as much, and Tbone and the Gman are slightly less annoying. “Beat Clemson” is an amazing tonic.
In their heads. As a long-time Gamecock fan one of the things that always annoyed me was that Clemson seemed to have a mental edge over us. No matter the teams’ records or rankings, CTU always came into the game with a swagger while we looked like we were just a little bit afraid. If you want evidence this rivalry has changed, look at the body language and eyes and actions of the CTU players from last night: the worm has turned my friends.
The Gamecock players KNEW they were going to win. They KNEW they were facing an inferior opponent and were going to take the fight to them. They trusted their skills, they trusted the game plan, and they flat out intimidated the Clemson players. When CTU rallied to tie the game at 10, there was no panic, no real momentum shift. On the next possession we just took the ball down the field and scored because we knew we were better and knew we could. It was a glorious thing to see, and I look forward to seeing it again.
The HBC. I’ve been critical of how this season has played out on more than one occasion, but watching the end of the game last night was just more confirmation that Steve Spurrier has taken us to heights we never could’ve achieved otherwise. An SEC East title and nine wins last season. Ten wins this season. With a bowl victory we could finish with a top 10 national ranking. Three straight wins over Clemson and an 8-0 record over two years over UGA, Tennessee, Florida and CTU. Not too shabby. Thanks coach.
I got this. Since taking over at quarterback Connor Shaw has just kind of “been there”. Aside from a huge passing game against Kentucky and one spectacular run against El Cid, he’s managed games, made plays when he had to, and led this team to victories. But we all wanted more. We wanted to see the guy take this QB job by the stones and not let go. And last night Shaw played better than we ever could’ve dreamed. He took the game over on offense, using his legs to churn out 107 yards on the ground, and was super efficient through the air going 14-20 for 220 yards and three TDs with no interceptions. If he can play like this for two more years, we’ll be hell to deal with.
1. I don’t know about you, but Alshon’s TD catch near the end of the game was pretty emotional to me. The guy came into the season on the cover of SI and all over All-American lists, but has had a very sub-par season. To my knowledge he’s never complained or acted like a diva and has often said he’s only concerned about winning. To see him make that very Alshon-like grab in the back of the end zone was (and I know I’ve already used this word) satisfying.
It made me happy for him above all, because he deserved that moment. If that’s his last catch in Williams-Brice stadium, then let’s frame that sucker and salute, because we won’t ever see another guy quite like #1 in a Gamecock uniform.
31. Another guy who may have played his last game in Williams-Brice, Kenny Miles came in and played the best he’s played since the Clemson game two years ago. Good for you Kenny, and thanks.
Play of the game. Clemson had just kicked a field goal to tie the game at 10 and had seized some momentum. We moved the ball into their territory and were facing a 4th and 2 with 3:43 left in the first half on the Clemson 38-yard line. Tbone texted me “What do you do here” and I responded “No idea, but I have a sneaking suspicion this is the play of the game coming up”. What we did was run a very simple zone play right up the gut with Miles that picked up seven yards. We scored a touchdown a few plays later, and though we didn’t realize it at the time, the rout was on.
D is for Defense. About midway through the year CTU’s offense was scary to watch. They ran fast, they ran with precision, and they had players with mad skills dotting the field. The problem, however, was they were playing against some pretty bad, untalented ACC defenses. What they ran into last night was unlike anything they’ve seen since…well, since the South Carolina game last year. The Gamecock D was crazy good last night, harassing Tajh Boyd and showing his early season Heisman candidacy was nothing but fools gold. The front four of Ingram, Taylor, Robertson and Clowney got steady pressure all night. The linebackers played very well. And the defensive backfield had Watkins and Hopkins and company covered like kudzu. Props to Ellis Johnson.
6. Man I’m going to miss Melvin Ingram. What a season.
7. Man I’m going to enjoy watching Jadeveon Clowney the rest of his career. He was out of control on a lot of plays last night, but was inches from decapitating Boyd on several occasions, and finally got him at the end of the game. When Clowney was cleared to play Scott Hood of Gamecock Central had a puzzling tweet about him saying something along the lines of “don’t expect much from him he hasn’t practiced much this week due to the concussion.” Look, defensive end is not a thinking man’s position compared to a lot of other spots on the field. I have a feeling Clowney’s assignment last night was “see ball, get ball”, and for a young man with his skills you don’t need a whole lot more than that.
Not so special teams. Wow we need to get the third phase of our game fixed. Big time.
All right, gotta get to church, but we’ll talk about these things and a whole lot more on TRC Unleashed tonight at 6 p.m.
This doesn’t even qualify as a ‘Snap Judgment’ post – I’ll leave that to Buck and tomorrow and time and cooler heads, but HOW FREAKING GOOD DID THAT FEEL?!?!
I’m gonna avoid trying to be witty, or thorough, or insightful, and will just give out some game balls;
- To the HBC, for coming here in the first place, putting CTU in proper perspective, and changing the whole feel of this rivalry.
- To Ellis Johnson, for coming with a gameplan and shutting their skill guys out.
- To John Butler, cause you haven’t earned one yet this year. You better get your unit squared away IMMEDIATELY as the only reason this game was ever close was because of your unit.
- To Melvin Ingram, way to go out in style. Unblockable at times.
- To Kenny Miles, ditto on the style points. Good to see #31 go out with a bang.
- To Connor Shaw. Man, what can we say. Coming out party? We’ve got ourselves a quarterback, people.
- To DJ Swearinger. The CTU coaches gotta hate they didn’t offer you early.
- To Stephon Gilmore – the sack on the first play from scrimmage set the tone for the rest of the game. Oh, and who was that guy wearing #2 for CTU? Look like you pretty well blanketed him up.
- To Buster Anderson. Only a freshman, but came up strong and HUGE.
Ther’s more but I’m worn out and a little drunk. I’ll leave you with this: Our team physically whipped the orange necks: on both lines of scrimmage, and even in the defensive backfield. Those CTU wideouts weren’t dropping balls for no reason.
A few thoughts to ponder/debate/throw guacamole at your friends over:
- Who gets the ball first? The HBC consistently choses the ball if we win the toss, and our opponents consistently want to get a stop on us so they elect to kick. Either way, there’s usually a 90% chance we get the first possession. For some reason (OK its CTU’s defensive struggles) I expect Dabo et al to play against the norm and take the ball if they get the chance. Opening kick to Watkins? [shudder]
- Watch DJ Swearinger – The Greenwood native mentioned it again this week – The Tigers didn’t strongly recruit him and only came through with an offer in the final weeks leading up to signing day. He knows as well as us what that means: He was their backup plan. Hopefully the chip on his shoulder carries over to a physical play.
- Speaking of physical play - This rivalry game swings from year to year on who hits the hardest at the point of attack. It’s not going to come down to a big play by CTU WR #2 or SC WR #1, the team that wins will be the team that consistently out-hits the other guys.
- Injuries – Both teams are riddled with them. But to suggest that the nicks and bruises on the CTU squad are anywhere close to our issues is laughable. Not an excuse, just a talking point. Oh, and #winanyway.
- Smack talk - Hasn’t been an inordinate amount of back and forth this week, but I will list a few just to keep your hatred fresh: Boyd and his “SMH” tweet re: Mangus, Allen says he doesn’t know #2′s name, Allen says Boyd will crack under pressure, Dabo drops the HBC’s age about ten times in his presser, the HBC calls Dabo the “CEO,” implying what we already know is true: the Excited One is (only) the CTU head cheerleader.
- Place kicking – Both teams have issues with their field goal units. A “Wide Left” game redux is not out of the question.
- Tailgate Grenade - If you are forced to watch The Game with CTU fans, please do yourself a favor: during the first conversation lull proclaim thusly: “My brother-in-law (etc) is a big Gamecock Club donor and he says the Board of Trustees has already voted to do away with the CU/USC series now that the SEC has expanded and needs 9 conference games. It’s not really a big deal to most Gamecock fans, actually, since we’ve pretty much passed you guys and have 3 or 4 other better rivals. I’m sure its gonna suck for you guys, but hey whaddyagonnado?” Enjoy the spasms of outrage that result. You’re welcome.
- In Case of Emergency - In the unlikely event of a CTU win tonight, just avoid the Dollar General for the next couple of weeks. You will run into significantly fewer CTU fans that way.