O is Orange Crush

I’m not talking about the classic REM song. Gamecock football fans know what I’m talking about. For years the schedule makers would have us ending the season against Tennessee, Florida and Clemson. All three school’s primary colors are orange. Nearly every season we’d get our skulls caved in by the Vols and the Gators. By the time we’d get to Clemson, our arch rival, we’d be battered and bruised. More times than not we’d lose to them too.

Every year we started well it was like Charlie Brown kicking the ball just to have Lucy pull it away again. We’d could start the year in pretty good shape and Gamecock fans would be excited at the possibility of a good bowl game.

It didn’t matter though after that dreaded 3 game stretch 5-3 or 6-2 starts would end with either sitting at home during bowl season or playing in some crap bowl after finish 5-6 or 6-5 again.

Thankfully about 10 years ago they started adding bye weeks or non-conference games before Clemson. It did a great job of breaking up that run of tough opponents.

Carolina joined the SEC in 1992 and in the 14 years prior to the change in 2005 Carolina went a combined 5-37 against the Orange Crush. With 4 wins coming against Clemson and the lone win against our orange clad SEC brothers coming against UT in 1992.

The change, amongst other things including Tennessee and Florida regressing, worked. Since 2005 Carolina is a combined 16-17 against those 3 and more importantly 6-5 against Clemson.

That might not be something to write home about, but it is leaps and bounds better than 5-37!

What are some of your not so fond sports memories?

C is for Charleston

Situated on a peninsula created by the Ashley and Cooper rivers lies one of the oldest cities in the United States, Charleston, SC. Known as the Holy City, Charleston was once largest city in the America, not called NYC, Philadelphia or Boston.

I could go on for hours about her history and her charm, but I’ll let you go there and discover that for your self. Instead I’ll focus on what Charleston means to me.

In the spring of 2004 I met a girl. Some call her E, I’ll call her the OBG. Barely a month in and I knew she was the one. Later that spring/summer we took our first trip together. We spent 3 days in Charleston and it became our city.

Over the next year or so we’d come back for visits, but in June of 2005 while strolling along The Battery I asked her to be my wife.

Flash forward 2 years and we’re staying in a colonial mansion on the battery that had been converted to a B&B. This was the place where we found out LM was on his way.
Twelve glorious years later E and I will be back in our city, staying at our mansion for our ten year wedding anniversary Memorial Day weekend.

I can’t wait to see what this trip will bring.

One and Done

I love basketball. Despite being vertically challenged I was a very good player in my younger days.

It made my heart swell with pride when at the age of 6 LM informed me that it was his favorite sport. He has since discovered soccer and, for now, basketball is a distant memory.

During my late teens through my late 20s I loved college basketball. I would watch 5 or more games a week on TV throughout the season and would watch the opening weekend of March Madness games for hours at a time. Fast forward a “few” years and I find my self caring less and less about the sport with each passing year. A big reason for my growing disinterest is the recent trend of the “one and done” star players playing one season and moving on to the NBA.

This is of course due to the recent rule change by the NBA requiring players be one year removed from high school before being able to declare for the NBA draft.

I wish basketball could adopt baseball’s model that allows players to go pro right out of school or go to college, but if they choose college they have to stay 3 years.

Over the past few years I’ve heard several media analysts and other so called experts clamor for this model. The are many reasons why this wouldn’t work for basketball, but the biggest reason that no one mentions is the fact that baseball has an enormous farm system designed to allow young players to develop their talents on their way up to the big club, while the NBA has the 18 team D-League.

The NFL in my mind has the right model. They don’t allow players to go pro until after they have been out of high school for 3 years and essentially have a free farm system in college football.

What are your thoughts?