Friday, August 26, 2011
It's only fitting we match a more mature, yet still skillful version of Europe with today's team now led, or at least quarterbacked by a more mature Stephen Garcia (allegedly). At #8, it's South Carolina.
Never been. Would like to. Been too busy. Tried to join a new gym. I would like to know the story behind their state flag. Best I can tell, it’s just a palm tree under a crescent moon. I do know this: the Nazis ought to think twice before going grail-searching in the Canyon of The Crescent Moon. Didn’t work out so well last time.
South Carolina may be better known as the home of the ESU Timberwolves. If you like tailgating in parking lots of industrial warehouses, then you will love a game at Carolina. Instead of tailgating in front of historic campus buildings or under some 100-year-old oaks, it's butler buildings as far as you can see in Columbia.
This stadium, the only off-campus stadium in the conference, sits in the ass crack of Columbia. You know how I know it's the ass crack of Columbia? It's located next to the fairgrounds. Every city puts the fairgrounds in a crappy area because they don't want the carnies anywhere near their homes.
The atmosphere inside the stadium is pretty good, which keeps this trip from being on the Vandy level. I am also intrigued by Carolina fans' loyal support of a historically shitty football team. They even stuck around after the 1998-1999 seasons where they won 1 game and lost 21! They lost 21 freaking games in two years. I'm not going to do any research, but I there has not been a more wretched two year run since the SEC went to 12 teams.
(Ed: Vandy in the '09 and '10 seasons came close, going 4-20 in that period. Jackie Wayne Sherrill led State to a 5-19 record from 2002-2003.)
When you witness a game in which Lou Holtz is coaching, David Cutcliffe is playing the role of mega-Steve Spurrier and rotating THREE quarterbacks in and out on every play, and Ole Miss converts a fourth and goal from the 25 (TWENTY FIVE) to essentially win the game, it scorches itself into your brain. Between traumatic flashes of Ole Miss defensive backs committing pass interference penalty after pass interference penalty and still allowing the receiver to catch the ball, I will always be able to see Ethan Flatt's (seriously, Ethan Flatt) floating pass that somehow squeezed its way into the tiny space between the cornerback and fast-closing safety. NO IDEA HOW IT ALL WORKED OUT.
I also enjoyed the idea of my pregame festivities taking place in one of these:
Unfortunately, I was in the 99% of people who did not have access to a caboose, so, like virtually everyone else, I milled around in various parking lots like I was at an Ohio State game.
Posted by Gray at 9:11 AM