Imagine what it would be like to want, more than anything in the world, to be really good at one thing. To be obsessively passionate about a single pursuit. To immerse yourself in it for decades to hone and perfect your craft.
And now imagine you suck at it, while every single person around you seems to have mastered it with the effort required for a preschooler learning to whistle.
Now you have an idea what it means to be a South Carolina football fan. South Carolina fans are as passionate about college football as anyone else in the SEC or the South. Yet they’ve never won an SEC title like the schools they imagine to be their conference contemporaries, much less a national title like the ones the ACC school they share their state with has been claiming on the regular.
If you want to decrypt the barely focused rage that characterizes interactions with Gamecock fans on the internet and in real life, this bit of knowledge is your Rosetta stone.
South Carolina enters this game 2-3 (1-2 SEC) off a bye week after beating a beat up Kentucky squad 24-7. The Columbians really needed that one. They actually need a lot more. They won’t be favored against any other opponents for the rest of the season except Vanderbilt (probably), Tennessee (maybe) and Appalachian State (possibly incorrectly).
This South Carolina team is the Charles Barkley golfing of SEC football. They want to be good. They’ve even got some decent equipment to work with. South Carolina’s defensive line is as athletic as any we’ve seen this season. Their skill position players are above average. In true Muschamp fashion they want to run the football (senior Rico Dowdle is a solid tailback) but have the ability to throw the ball around effectively, if not efficiently, when necessary.
But in the end these guys, like Sir Charles enthusiastically hacking it around and running out of balls on no. 14, aren’t breaking 80. Oh, the Gamecocks will score some points early and they’ll land a blow here and there. But it will end the way fate has appointed it to always end for South Carolina football fans: with a game no longer in doubt by the start of the fourth quarter. It keeps happening over and over again and they keep coming back for more, God bless them.
What is the perfect recipe to represent the South Carolina fan experience of showing up to the party only to get forcefully jabbed in the meat and two veg every single time?
It’s like a creamy, decadent energy smoothie, if your energy smoothie could help you forget another 4-8 football season. You’ll need:
- 1 and 3/4 cups evaporated milk
- 1 and 3/4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 ripe peeled banana
- 1 and 1⁄2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
- 3 ounces spiced rum
- freshly grated nutmeg for garnish
Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth except the nutmeg (grate that on before serving). Enjoy.
This will be the thread for any evening college football action, or other hijinxs up to which you find yourself getting. Until later…