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Contest: How did you become a Gamecock football fan?

I was born a Gamecock fan. What's your excuse?

Kevin C. Cox

Gamecock fandom often feels more like an affliction than a badge of honor. Personally, I spend hours upon hours each week reading up on South Carolina's opponents and poring over post-practice interviews. But to what end? It's not often that we're given material rewards for our crippling addiction undying fandom, but the fine folks at Hyundai have put together the Fanthropology campaign, which promises to do just that for one diehard fan.

Hyundai has reached out to the SB Nation network of blogs in search of an incredibly loyal fan to send to a 2012-13 regular season or bowl game of his/her choosing. Want to go to the Sugar Bowl whether the Gamecocks will be going there or not? Hyundai will pay for your tickets, hotel, and airfare. Want to go to the South Carolina/Wofford game? Hyundai will pay for your tickets, hotel, and airfare. (Also, you're weird.)

So how does this work?

In the comments section, let us how/why you became a Gamecock fan or tell us a story illustrating the depths of your depravity devotion to the South Carolina Gamecocks. This Sunday (November 11th), we'll select a finalist and contact you via email to have a conversation about your love of college football and the Gamecocks, which we will subsequently post on the front page of Garnet And Black Attack. After that, the judges will select one lucky winner (and a guest) to go to the game of their choosing.

Now, let me tell you a little bit about how I became a Gamecock:

I have a hard time nailing down the exact moment that I became a Gamecock fan. I grew up the son of a Gamecock alumnus and spent my childhood bouncing between Richland and Lexington counties, rarely venturing further than 6 miles from campus. So my youth was essentially a 17-year-long unofficial visit to the University of South Carolina.

I kept a highlight video of the 1994 season, the cover signed by Brad Scott, that I watched every night as I went to sleep until the tape began to wear out and Steve Tanneyhill and Stanley Pritchett became ghosts.

I went to most of the home games during the infamous 0-21 stretch, not expressly to watch the games but to work the concession stands in an effort to raise money for my swim team. I did, however, get to sneak glimpses of the action on the closed circuit television in between ensuring that the hot dogs were being properly rotated over the heater and retrieving Super Pretzels for the patrons. (I don't remember our booth being nearly as busy as what I typically experience these days as a customer.) Some of my fondest childhood memories are of me and my dad sitting in complete silence in his 1994 Ford Ranger (which would later be my first car) after shutting down our concession stand and listening to the postgame show on 560 AM as the hosts mined for silver lining in yet another Gamecock defeat.

As a high school junior, I visited a number of schools throughout the mid-Atlantic during the fall of 2002, not realizing that I had made up my mind about going to USC two years earlier as I watched the student section sway back and forth while the band played Bruce Channel's "Hey! Baby" during the Gamecocks' historic 31-0 shutout of the New Mexico State Aggies.

That's as good of an explanation as I can offer for why I haven't a care in the world when the Gamecocks win but when Stephen Garcia goes 9 for 23 against Auburn with 2 INTs, I'm all, "SORRY 4 THE DRUNK DIAL! BLACKED OUT IN THE 2ND QUARTER HOW HAVE YOU BEEN?! i'm loneLY."

So now that you know why I love the Gamecocks, I want know why you're such a gosh-darn loyal South Carolina fan.

One important note: You get only one entry. So if you post an entry here and at another SBNation site, only the first one posted will count.

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By commenting below, you are subject to and accept the terms and conditions of the Hyundai Fanthropology Sweepstakes.