If it is possible to embody the team spirit more than South Carolina's 2010 National Championship squad, I think this year's squad might have done it. I cannot recall a team I've enjoyed watching more than the 2011 iteration of the Yardcocks. They're not prima donas. They're not stereotypically entitled athletes. They're just a bunch of hard-working, regular guys, that have managed to accomplish much more than the sum of their parts. And I love them for it.
Of course the character of Ray Tanner's Gamecocks has a lot to do with the fervor with which we South Carolina fans support our team. Just more proof that USC has some of the best fans in the country (and Florida some of the worst - ZING!).
Band-wagon fan. AmIright?
YES! If there's one thing in this world I love, it' a great pun. Omaha is quickly climbing up my list of favorite American cities that I will most likely never visit (Feathered Warrior Fun Fact: #1 is Augusta, Maine).
There's been some hand-wringing over Jackie Bradley, Jr's decision to toss the game-winning baseball into the stands. For his part, JBJ doesn't regret his decision one bit. In fact, he took to the Twitter and defended his decision in a series of tweets (this one included). Personally, I wonder if it was a conscious decision at all or whether he got caught up in the moment and habit took over. Perhaps now he is stuck defending a decision that didn't seem like a big deal at the time. Part of me doesn't want to care about such a small thing. After all, it's just a ball. But another part of me wants to see the important mementos from our most important athletic achievements preserved for posterity. I guess we will still have plenty of images to cherish from our latest National Championship, but next time, let's try to keep the ball. OK, guys?
People who visit Garnet and Black Attack regularly know that my answer to this question is much like The Highlander; there can be only one. That one is far and away John Taylor. Kid had a record setting 50 appearances this year and carried the lowest batting average against on the team (.185). He was basically our second and third starters. Michael Roth, , Scott Wingo, and Christian Walker have gotten most of the spotlight this year, but the man running the show behind the curtain was John Taylor.
Is there a better line when picking up women in college than "I just won a national championship?" One doesn't immediately come to mind. If you didn't know, Michael Roth was on his way to Spain for a Summer abroad program while we were having our parade on main street. So Roth wins a national championship and then later in the week gets the seat on the airplane next to the hot girl. Is there anybody in the country having a better Summer this year?
How does this relate to our back to back National Championship? This is how. Apparently, thoughts of winning a second national championship were not weighing as heavily on Michal Roth as a desire to plank.
Is this an insignificant gripe? No. When we're shelling out $75 for a polo shirt the least UA could do is fully support our most successful program. If you don't think the consumer loyalty of Gamecock fans is important to Under Armour's success, then maybe you should take a look at NASCAR's business model. UA makes a lot of ugly, overpriced apparel, and as a group we Gamecock fans eat it up because it is understood that on some very small level we're also helping our athletic program. I own quite a bit of Under Armour apparel, but you know which garments I appreciate the most? Their socks. Seriously, these things were actually worth every penny. They have no idea how much money they're missing out on by not marketing these puppies as "the best athletic sock in the world." Anyways, my point is we pay a premium for a lot of crap. Get our team some swag.
Adam Westmoreland sums up the season better than I could (though I will be attempting just that later in the week). Just take a moment and let the message of this Tweet steep in your brain for a while. Makes the double championship that much more special, right?
P.S. As always, you may find the GABA commentariat under the names below:
Gamecock Man: @GABAttack
The Feathered Warrior: @FeatherdWarrior
Skulls and Spurs: @SkullsandSpurs