What would bring The Rubber Chickens Blog out of semi-retirement to make an actual blog post? A Mighty Meaty pizza from Mellow Mushroom? Yes, definitely. Ronda Rousey putting Dabo Swinney in an armbar? You know it. A Jim Carrey film festival minus that stupid penguin movie? Yeah, you got us.
Unfortunately none of those things have been offered to us.
Deadspin, however, piqued our interest yesterday with a hypothetical question that involves things we love like sports, time travel, and the possibility of changing life as we know it via the butterfly effect. The question – if you could change the outcome of one play, which would it be?
They were obviously talking about sports in general, and gave the great example of Gordon Heyward’s half-court shot at the end of the 2010 national championship game against Duke going in instead of rimming out.
I, of course, immediately thought of this question in Gamecock-only terms.
My very first thought (which is usually the one that contains the most intense, deep-seated anguish that is more than likely responsible for my sciatica) is “The Push” by Rod Gardner on Andre Goodman in the 2000 Carolina-Clemson game. While that play not happening probably doesn’t change the long-term fortunes of either school, it would take away a helluva painful moment for Gamecock fans in the rivalry.
The play that possibly changes our fortunes more than any other? I’d have to say Marquez North’s circus catch near the end of Tennessee’s 23-21 upset of South Carolina in 2013. Without that play, South Carolina eakes out an SEC road victory and goes on to an 11-1 record and a date with Auburn in the SEC Championship Game*. And if we could’ve sprung the upset in the SECCG, that very well might have meant a date in the final BCS National Championship Game against Florida State.
*Of course this little exercise involves assumptions, such as Tennessee doesn’t make some other miracle play to win that game, or that we still go into Missouri the following week and win that game.
The play that I didn’t immediately think of that made me feel like a full-blown jerk is the Marcus Lattimore injury (h/t @brentsilvia). Once again, it was a play that probably didn’t change the fortunes of our football team, but it was a play that radically changed the life trajectory of one of the most beloved players in Gamecock history.
Other twitter/text mentions include:
- The Cam Newton Hail Mary on the last play of the first half of the 2010 SECCG
- Jarvis Moss blocking Ryan Succop’s game-winning field goal attempt in The Swamp in ’06 (this play changes, or at least delays, the SEC’s historic run of national champions)
- Game-winning TD from Steve Fuller to Jerry Butler for Clemson in 1977
- George Rogers’ goal line fumble vs. Georgia in 1980
- Andrew Pinnock’s goal line fumble vs. Georgia in 2002
- Brad Scott boneheaded trick play call vs. Clemson in 1997
Interestingly, we didn’t receive any plays from any other sport than football. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad fortune that we haven’t been “one play away” in other sports. Or at least not memorably.
Fellow TRC writer Tbone then posed another interesting question – what one play in Gamecock sports history would you NEVER GIVE BACK? While we didn’t pose the question to Twitter, here are the ones we came up with:
- The Hit (Jadeveon Clowney)
- The Hit (Whit Merrifield)
- Brandon Bennett over the top vs. Georgia
- Alshon’s catch vs. ‘Bama
- Jackie Bradley Jr.’s 2-out, 2-strike hit vs. Oklahoma
- Christian Walker HR vs. Coastal
- Brian Scott TD vs. UGA in 2001
- Antonio Grant game winner vs. Cincinnati in 1997
- Scott Wingo miracle double play vs. Florida in 2011
- Josh Brown game winner vs. UT in 2005
How about you? If you could change the outcome of one play in Gamecock history, what would it be?
Or which play would you keep over all the others?
Post your answers in the comments below, or @ tweet them at us. We’d love to hear some that haven’t been mentioned here.