Monday, November 18, 2013


First off, to the family and friends of mine who I love and happen to be Bulldog fans, this column is NOT directed at you.  It is directed at that special group of Jawja Backers who give their fan base such a sparkling reputation.    So if you’re easily offended and cannot separate yourself from any criticism of UGA, you may not want to read this column.  Thanks!

Now, having said that, let me say that Saturday’s Auburn-Georgia finish couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch folks.  Georgia is just getting their just desserts for the last two seasons and the “neck” portion of their fans is suffering from red-hiney-whining syndrome.  Gotta love Karma.   When South Carolina was clearly the best team in the East the last two seasons after destroying Georgia head-to-head, but didn’t win the East, Dawgie fans thought that was justified and fine.  Now that the worm has turned, that opinion has changed and I love it.  And for the game to end that way with a hail mary after the massive comeback was the best part.  To Aaron Murray, who worked so hard to finally get that lone win against Carolina in his years in Athens:  if every Bulldog QB moving forward wants to lose their first 3 games to us just so they can win their senior year but lose the division… I am good with that arrangement.   

We are the youngest football team in the nation.  Outside of the ESPN-Clowney hype from the Outback Bowl, no Gamecock fans were really thinking this was going to be a “title” season for Carolina.  But Georgia had their Senior QB, veteran squad and all kinds of hype about how wonderful they were and how the BCS title game was theirs!   And on paper, they were the best team in the East this year.  So just them not going to Atlanta is good enough for me, but the cherry on the already-delicious sundae would be Mizzou losing another game and us going to Atlanta!  A lot of wives, girlfriends, sheep and sisters would be getting beat up in Athens if that happens.  

I will gladly admit I have some bad memories about those Silver Britches.  This is the crowd that dumped beer on my sweet Grandfather in 1983.  He was a kind man and wasn’t bothering a soul but ended up soaked for no reason.  Then in 1985, my Dad got barked at in his ear so loudly by a drunken Georgia jackass that he picked up my little brother, held him up to the guy and said, “Son this is what I don’t want you to be when you grow up.”  Great way to handle that!  And even in my first trip to the Dooley Kennels, back in 1979 when we beat the pups with George Rogers, some old woman easily in her 70s barked so loud in my ear the whole afternoon that her dentures came loose.  Thank goodness she had taken her chaw out before she started.  No, I’m just kidding of course.  She was dipping snuff.  :)
But the truth is that despite these horrible memories, I am pleased to say that they have turned out to be the exceptions and not the rule for Athens folks.  As I mentioned above, I have many good friends and relatives who are Buck Belue worshipers.  And yes, when you’re younger, all of those memories tend to get over-dramatized in your head.  But for this year, I have to admit I am chuckling loudly at the whimpering coming from the neutered K9s across the river.  Balances a lot of books.  

Now onto Coastal and Clemson.  I had us at 9-2 going into the rivalry game this year, and barring an upset against Coastal, that is exactly where we will be.  I think we will beat Coastal and lose to the Tiggers.  The Overrated Orangies and the Crazy one have their entire world and existence invested into beating us.  And they are bringing the ACC officials with them and I can promise you they are in protection mode trying to get an unearned BCS At-large bid.  Also, in my lifetime I have never seen a 5-game win streak in the series either way and that includes several 4-game win streaks by Clemson against Carolina teams that were just awful.  So everything just seems to be coming together and pointing to a Klimpleton win.  

Now I am a rivalry addict and NEVER think it is okay to lose to that bunch.  Especially when they are all hopped up on unjustified orange catnip and giving themselves a perpetual tongue bath right now despite having no quality wins on the schedule.  None.  But their strengths play right into our weaknesses and that is hard to ignore.  Now I will concede that I also predicted us to lose to them last year but that was largely because Shaw was hurt and who could have foreseen Thompson’s big day?  

But honestly, even if Yabble Dabbles and his trademarked sweatshirt do finally beat us, USC has more than lived up to my expectations this year.  We are just SO young at linebacker and in the secondary.  We’ve gotten better and the future is bright, but losing Ingram, Taylor, Swearinger, Antonio Allen, etc., is just tough to do without missing a beat.  And with a minimum of 15 starters returning in 2014 and a MUCH more favorable schedule lined up things are good in Columbia folks. 

So the sister-kissers from East Walhalla may get a victory over Turkey Day Weekend, but as I said about Murray above, if every Clemson QB wants to lose to us for three years and win their senior season…I am good with that arrangement!  J

It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!

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