Welcome to the refreshed Garnet and Black Attack! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
Let me paint you a picture of a different time.
The year is 1987. The Minnesota Twins would win the World Series that year. Phil Simms told everyone he was going to Disney World, and Kevin Bacon told us that your brain on drugs was a delicious fried egg. We hardly knew what a personal computer was, and Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s Prime Minister. We had no idea who Hatin’ Ass Spurrier was, Full House (the real one) was running their first full season, and Jadeveon Clowney wouldn’t be born for six more years. Joe Morrison was in his fifth season of coaching for the South Carolina Gamecocks; ‘Also Sprach Zarathrustra’ was entering its third. Every seat in the house at Williams-Brice was a metal bench. It behooved you to bring a cushion. And a flask.
I was three years-old when South Carolina and Clemson played football on a frigid November evening in 1987. As a father now myself, I can appreciate the reckless decision-making process that probably contributed to my father taking me (without my mother) to a night game with probably zero snacks and insufficient warm clothing to watch the team my father loved play a football game against a team my father most certainly did not. I don’t remember much in the way of detailed events from my life before, oh, the age of six or seven, but I do recall vividly this particular evening at Williams-Brice with my father. We got there way too early to meet some of my Dad’s friends in a parking lot. I begged for an exorbitantly expensive program (which I lost almost immediately). I consumed the first Coca-Cola I’d ever consumed in my life, and I ate more than the recommended daily allowance of popcorn and boiled peanuts. Football was awesome, insofar as I could tell.
I remember those anecdotes from being told that they happened, more than actually remembering them. However, the things I remembered were from the game itself. As soon as the unmistakable opening notes of 2001 began to play, I was there. This was where I was supposed to be. Sure, I may have fallen asleep for a little while, only to be awakened by the deafening sound of Brad Edwards’ deal-sealing interception return in the fourth quarter, but it still remains one of the most indelible memories. Not just from childhood, but of my life to-date.
This year will mark thirty years since my father and I shared a completely human experience that would forever change the course of my life. Not because he wanted to force me into fandom, but he wanted to share with me a thing that he loved. My daughter will be nearly three years old when the game comes to Columbia this fall. My father won’t be here this year to see me take my little girl to see that same football game, but it is my hope that I can give just a little bit of the same gift he gave to me, back to her.
...She can have all the popcorn and boiled peanuts she wants, too.
Drive safe, Go Cocks, Tip your Waitress.
Share your Gamecocks fan origin story with us in the FanPosts and be entered into a chance to win a $500 Fanatics gift card!
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