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The Weekly GABAbag

Music, traditions, and a query as to whether or not a certain defensive end is in general pursuit.

This picture is a few years old but god I love it.
This picture is a few years old but god I love it.
Streeter Lecka

Welcome back! This week, we somehow wound up with three music questions and three culinary questions. Also, we discuss pregame rituals and who the team's next hard hittin' penalty factory might be. And as always, sound off with your own responses in the comments!

@MeetMeAtTapps asks: "As a design professional, what are your thoughts on the CFB playoff logo? More importantly, can you whip up an alternative?"

I am what the business world calls a "creative professional", a term derived from the middle English phrase for "preening manchild" that was most often reserved for court jesters and moody squires. So as you might imagine, I have opinions on this logo. I think it’s a bit crude, specifically the golden parentheses that form the football. I am a big fan of minimalist design, but whenever I can immediately recognize the footprint of the software, it feels like I’m looking at cheap cosmetic surgery. Plus, the gold gradient looks like a Word Art default. Tacky!

Of the four logos , I’d have picked the stripey shield. The spikey ring looks too much like something that could hurt you in a video game, and that swooping golden badge may as well be the official logo for the year 1998.

Regarding my own alternative, here’s an uber-quick not at all taken seriously and not indicative of my design standards mockup:


@PhilKenSaban asks, "Is allowing Kenny Chesney to play a concert in our stadium more embarrassing than allowing Clemson to score 63 in our stadium?"

I’m torn. No one wants to be embarrassed at home, which is a criterium you could apply to either scenario. But let’s not be naive: we are a large southern university, so our fanbase will overlap with Chesney’s. It's mindboggling, but there are those who regard Chesney as the epitome of country (Chesney might be one of them) and thus welcome him into the confines of Billy Brice. But he is a flaming UT fan, so the bigger offense here might be that thousands of South Carolina fans are going to pay to worship at the altar of a Volunteer on the Gamecocks' home terrain. And with Clemson's 2012 Orange Bowl showing paired with our run of rivalry wins, we've got plenty of fodder with which to counter evocations of what is now a decade-old accomplishment for the Tigers. We can at least say we've since atoned for that embarrassment, but it's not easy to un-Kenny Chesney a venue once it's been Kenny Chesneyed.

@jgunnels27 asks: "Clowney Comin?"

[Inputs complex data sets into supercomputer; flips series of switches prompting computer to blip, whirr and flash; computer noisily prints reams of paper; tears off final sheet from multi-page printout; dons reading glasses; reads results; removes glasses] Clowney Comin’.

@Heisman4Clowney asks: "With DJ Swearinger heading to the NFL, who steps up as the hardest hitter not named Jadeveon Clowney?"

DJ set a high bar here, so I’ll be surprised if anyone other than JD is fit for the task. But in the interest of making a selection, I’m going to go with a darkhorse candidate: Kelvin Rainey, newly minted linebacker who might aim to make up for a lack of experience with a few solid licks. However, Chaz Sutton should have his opportunities to lay claim to the title. Your thoughts, readers?

Brandi asks "What song does Spurrier play to get turnt before a game?"

This presumes that Spurrier partakes in such fanfare which is hard for me to believe. But let’s treat it as a rhetorical. I think Spurrier’s tastes are probably on par with most southern baby boomers. We're talking classic rock and digestible country. And, it pains me to say, Jimmy Buffett. Apologies to his fans, many of whom I’m sure read this blog, but I can’t take that guy. Come to think of it, Buffett’s music doesn’t bother me so much as the culture surrounding it. It’s like Salt Life for retirees. "I’m a modern day pirate, DEAL WITH IT. Now excuse me while I pour sand and coconuts around my tailgate and crack a Lime-a-rita. Fins to the left!" Ugh. So who knows. If he’s playing Clemson, the Allman Brothers’ "Whippin’ Post" could work.

By the way, if I ever get the chance to mint a pump-up tradition like Joe Morrison did with 2001, I’d go with Arcade Fire’s "Wake Up". It’s been, what, 10 years since that record came out and I still get shivers when the "WHOOOOA-OOOH!!" chorus kicks in.

@RubrChickens asks "Will I be made fun of for purchasing two tickets to see Darius Rucker in concert? Asking for a friend."

Wait, USC alums have to pay for Darius tickets? This is an outrage.

@HalfCockedShow asks, "Jadeveon Clowney: LET HIM EAT or don’t let him eat? If the former, what do you feed him? Or would you make him kill his own dinner?"

You let him eat. My god, you let him eat. Hungry Clowney=angry Clowney, and nobody wants that. As for what you feed him, the usual. Raw bear steaks, copperhead eggs over easy, chum, and a tall glass of recluse venom. And you give him these things to prevent him from killing his own dinner, which he will very much do if tempted. See, when Clowney gets hungry, he starts hallucinating like starving characters in old cartoons. "The Hit" only happened because Jadeveon skipped his pregame snack, so he thought Vincent Smith was a piñata filled with pork tenderloin medallions.

@BlockCBlog asks, "I heard that Shaw and Thompson don’t sit at the same table while dining California Dreaming. Quarterback controversy?"

Clearly this is cause for concern. If quarterbacks can’t share some flakey sweet croissants or a 4,000 calorie Cobb salad, can they share snaps?

@garnetnblackop asks, "If Clemson fans were a restaurant, what would it be?"

We’re all tempted to say some hole-in-the-wall fast food joint, but I say Clemson is Olive Garden. Both maintain a presentable appearance. Both tout a familial environment. Their product is immensely satisfying to dedicated patrons but, ultimately, not taken seriously by the community at large. And no matter how upset patrons might be about that fingernail in their fettucini alfredo, they'll still be back next Saturday.

Tom asks, "I want to know about weird pre-game rituals some of the guys might have. Anybody wearing lucky socks all year?"

You know what? I don’t really have any, aside from playing the week’s game on Playstation in the days leading up to it, but my regular 55-7 victories don’t seem to correlate with reality very often. So I defer to fellow GABA scribe Connor:

During the early 2000s, wearing my belt on my head was a big deal. It started with the 2001 Arkansas game when we trailed early as the #9 team in the country and ultimately lost in Fayettteville with Corey Jenkins in the game in relief of an injured Phil Petty. I was watching the game with some buddies at the now non-existent Carolina Wings in West Columbia. I don't remember exactly how, but we determined that removing our belts from our waists and tying them around our craniums would propel the Gamecocks to a come-from-behind victory. We were mistaken. This superstition continued through the remainder of the Lou Holtz years.

During the 2006 season, I discovered alcohol and the magic of being intoxicated for the entirety of an SEC football game. The 2006 and 2007 seasons were good years in which to have recently discovered this phenomenon.

I have never tried heroin, but the final games of Stephen Garcia's career made me seriously wonder what it was like. It was a rough time. Something amazing or completely horrific could happen at any moment, it seemed, and I was in constant search of something to dull the anxiety. I couldn't handle it. I never began a Saturday during the 2011 season without a full handle of Jack in the freezer. I had serious conversations with my girlfriend about whether or not SG5 was driving me to alcoholism.

Now, in my late 20s, I've reached something of an equilibrium. Wearing garnet boxer/briefs on gameday is probably the craziest thing I'll do, except for the Georgia game, which I still utilize as an opportunity to come as close as possible to getting thrown out of Sanford Stadium (via shots of Kraken and licking rear view mirrors on my way into the stadium). But any time a security guard threatens me, I whip out my Constitution app, which - I remind them - gives me the right to be wasted wherever I please.


That's all for this week, folks! We got a few questions a bit late in the game, so I'll roll those over into next week's pool. Thanks to all those who contributed, and remember to tweet @GABAttack or e-mail with your questions.