Monday, September 10, 2012

Does Spurrier have a point about the fans?

The Head Ball Coach sort of came after his own fan base on Sunday, admonishing them to stay until the end of ALL games.  He also feels that the game should be the main focus of the weekend for fans.  Well, Coach, Gamecock fans have always been an interesting bunch to observe.  The stadium used to empty early because the team was losing so often and so badly.  I still believe that was at least part of the thought process that led to the policy that says when you leave you can’t return without a new ticket.  

Now it is coming from the other way.  The fans left in droves again on Saturday despite Carolina winning big.  Now I will concede that Saturday was one of the hottest days I have ever seen at that stadium.  I was sweating like Rosie O’Donnell at the Equator and it was still mid-morning at our tailgate.  So I can see why the brutal weather contributed to folks ducking out on this particular Saturday.  I don’t see a whole lot of difference between leaving early for heat or leaving early for a gully-washer rain storm, for example.  

And I have no doubt that Spurrier knows that too.  That’s why I think he was trying to lay down a marker to prevent future exits during big blowouts in our favor.  The Coach has really done a nice job of making long-term permanent changes to the mindset of Carolina fans.  This is just the next one to fix.  Unfortunately for USC, our football program was built on a foundation of winning in the parking lot and losing on the field.  Now that has changed and the fans need to continue their metamorphosis as well.  

We’ve come a long way the last few years.  Gamecock fans no longer obsess over everything Clemson is doing, while many Clemson fans are in a drooling, fetal ball with beating Carolina at the center of their universe.  (Go see how many of your Tiger friends actually took time to post something about Carolina’s new facility upgrades this weekend and you’ll get a chuckle.  I was floored but I digress…)

The bottom line is that we as a fan base are a work in progress but we’re much better than we were.  No longer do teams come roaring into Columbia, take over our stadium and parking lots and pat us on the head while complimenting our Cockabooses and kicking our tails.  We no longer have to read letters in the paper every week from smug opposing fans whose teams have just waxed us saying how nicely they were treated.  But yes, we must learn to handle “normal” week-to-week large wins against “bunny” teams as well.  So Coach Spurrier, although it was an odd week to talk about it due to the scorching temperatures, you have a point about the fans.  

(One other note:  Congratulations to my buddy Willy Powell at who has gotten the better of me on Claws vs. Paws this fall.  Nice work Sir!)

It’s a great time to be a Gamecock! 

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