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Know Your Gamecock Rivals: The History of the Georgia-Clemson College Football Feud

On August 31, just 59 days hence, the Georgia Bulldogs and the Clemson Tigers will renew their long-dormant series in a nationally-televised night game featuring top ten teams and showcasing top-notch quarterbacks (at least when they’re not going up against Jadeveon Clowney). This high-profile clash not only promises to begin the 2013 college football season with a bang, it also will provide a useful measuring stick for fans of the South Carolina Gamecocks, who will, as always, face both longstanding rivals during the regular season.

Though Clemson’s annual battle with South Carolina for in-state bragging rights always has been the autumn’s most significant Palmetto State showdown, and while the Bulldogs’ perennial rivalry with the Gamecocks has grown in importance and intensity since the Garnet and Black began competing in the SEC East, there is much history between the Orange and Purple and the Red and Black, as well. The heyday of that border war kicked off in 1977, which began an eleven-year stretch during which Georgia and Clemson went 5-5-1 against one another, saw nine showdowns settled by single-digit margins, and won national championships in consecutive seasons.

As many of you may be aware, I researched and wrote a manuscript called Fighting Like Cats and Dogs, which chronicles the history of the series that will be rejoined on Labor Day weekend. I am pleased to report that Fighting Like Cats and Dogs is soon to be published by Clemson University Digital Press. I trust the fact that the book was written by a University of Georgia graduate and season ticket holder, and published by Clemson University’s academic press, attests to the evenhandedness of the book’s treatment of this long-running college football conflict.

Because I have a tendency to be longwinded, the publication of the book will be done in stages, with the chapters covering the earlier series meetings to be available for digital download at the Press’s website and the accounts of the modern history of the border battle, from 1977 through 2003, being available in a print edition, complete with period photographs. Here is how the print edition of the book will look when released:

The print edition of the book, which will be released before the start of the 2013 football season, is currently available for pre-order. I am presently in the process of setting up a website for on-line orders, but, in the meantime, you may download, print, and complete this .pdf order form and mail it to the address shown on the form, together with your check or money order, and I will send you your copy of the book as soon as it becomes available. If you would like your copy (or copies) autographed, there also is a space on the form for you to let me know for whom the autographed edition should be personalized.

I am working on scheduling broadcast and podcast appearances, speaking engagements, and book signings to promote Fighting Like Cats and Dogs, so, if you would like to keep abreast of where I will be, you may follow me on Twitter and join the Facebook group devoted to the book. If you would like to arrange such an appearance, engagement, or signing, feel free to e-mail me about it. As we count down to kickoff, please join me in reliving the greatest days in the history of this series, which Gamecock fans ought to enjoy immensely. After all, every chapter features either the Bulldogs or the Tigers losing a football game!

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