The South Carolina Gamecocks’ new script Carolina helmets were the most controversial discussion topic before the season opener, and thanks to a breezy win over Coastal Carolina, they’ve remained one of the biggest sticking points from Week 1. It’s a divisive issue among a normally agreeable fanbase, especially since it’s unclear whether the script helmet will be the only garnet lid worn this season. So far, I haven’t encountered many who thought the helmets were just okay — it seems to be a clear love-them-or-hate-them situation, even with fans who witnessed the birth of the script in the 1980s.
Regardless, the script helmets exist, and it’s the first time South Carolina has incorporated any kind of throwback element into its uniforms. Since many of us are still arguing over whether it was an inspired choice, I thought I’d take the opportunity to dig through the archives and unearth some other logos of the past. Some of these would be candidates for helmet appearances of their own, while others...well, you’ll see.
Once upon a time in the mid-1960s, a block SC appeared on the Gamecocks’ helmets, though unlike the baseball logo, the letters weren’t stylized and didn’t interlock. They were also somewhat rounded, so I suppose calling them “block” letters is a bit of a misnomer. At any rate, there are two versions of this logo: The original rounded letters, and one that Under Armour and other brands have been using on retro gear for the past couple years. I’m not sure whether the second one was an official logo (I’m also not sure why this particular image has a bullhorn in the background), or if it’s just a faux throwback. I think both are excellent candidates for official team use, however, and I’d love to see them. I’m also intrigued by the appearance of the ‘60s logo on this new Under Armour hat. Perhaps a hint of things to come?
This little guy downed a few shots before the game and is ready to talk some mad shit, but is also an utterly charming Southern gentleman. He’s not arrogant, he’s just confident. He started popping up on official merchandise a few years ago, and appears to originate from the cover of an old Big Thursday rivalry program. He’s probably a little too cartoonish to get much use on team-issued gear, but he could be a fun one-off helmet for the games against in-state FCS teams or something. Regardless, I love seeing him around on fan attire, and have some of my own. His swag is irresistable.
The Spur (or Claw)
Ah, the spur — perhaps the only other South Carolina logo as embattled as the script. To my knowledge, this has never appeared on the Gamecocks’ uniforms in any sport, with the exception of the waistband on the men’s basketball shorts the past couple seasons, and I think as pride stickers on the football helmets ages ago. For my money, this is a criminally underused logo that could function like the spear does for Florida State, or whatever Michigan calls the design on their helmet. It could be something that isn’t the primary athletics logo, but is simple, easy to read from a distance, and just looks cool on the football field. However, a lot of fans seem to despise it for reasons I’m incapable of comprehending, so perhaps that’s why the university has never done much with it. I’m glad it’s still technically kicking around, though. (Seriously, it’d be the perfect compliment to #SpursUp...)
For people who think the classic Block C is too busy for a helmet and becomes a blob at a distance, a challenger has appeared with this hyper-detailed take. The interlocking SC is the most interesting part to me, since it’s similar to the baseball logo and depending on its age, might have been a prototype for that. I like the realistic style, but yeah, there’s a lot going on here that’s just too cluttered to translate for most gear. It also feels more suitable as an academic or general university logo, since it gives off a stately vibe and not much of a sporty one.
But perhaps best of all...
Folks, we have arrived at the masterpiece. I have absolutely no idea what the context is for the why, how, and when of this incredible creation, but I strongly feel this Gamecock is a product of the 1970s because the logo is borderline incomprehensible. I’m so glad he’s seen the light of day again, even if he probably shouldn’t have been unearthed. You’re dang right I own the only T-shirt I’ve ever seen this logo on. Protect this bird.