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.