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Old 04-21-2014, 05:09 AM   #21
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

Gamecock alumnus now living in the Chicagoland area, and I think this would be a really interesting read. Most people I've interacted with here just don't understand the enormity of college football in the south. It would be cool to see an outsider's perspective.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:10 AM   #22
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

I've lived around the country. Although we like to think we're unique, it is really not that different than pro football fans up north. Down here, we like the college game better.

As for the culture, yes it is exciting and people are passionate in large numbers. The Big Ten's big schools (OSU, Michigan, etc.) have similar environments.

Not sure what your theme will be for your book. It has to be more than college football is like the NFL up north. You're dedicating a year to traveling in the southeast and writing a book about football culture. Seems a little sketchy. I'm skeptical.
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:26 AM   #23
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

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Originally Posted by ds401 View Post
My husband and I moved to Columbia 4 years ago. I grew up in Chgo./Gladstone Park and Skokie, then Cleveland. I remember when we were looking for a house here in the city of Columbia near campus EVERY home in the 400k range had a garnet colored room. You see these were not 'college' rented homes. These were GAMECOCK FAN'S homes. Honestly I thght. who the heck paints their living rms Garnet. In Cleveland and Chgo. we did not paint our walls orange and blue nor orange and brown. Now I understand. I go to football, baseball, and both men and women basketball games.

COACH SPURRIER
He definately knows the game. He says it like it is which I appreciate.

FOOTBALL GAME ATTIRE- Ladies- black sundress and pearls I heard. I thght. my husband was setting me up. At Pro football games we wear parkas, pants, team sweatshirt or team color sweater, hat scarf, ect. b/c it is COLD!

FOOTBALL SCHEDULE- Do NOT schedule ANYTHING not even death during a game! The Phil Harmonic Orchestra schedules their concerts around the football games. If u schedule something during a SEC football game, you will have a low turnout.

THANKSGIVING It is GAMECOCKS vs Clemson. DO not expect me to go back home during this holiday. Do not expect me to entertain u if u visit us on that gameday unless u want to WATCH the game with me.

BOWL games- remember when the Cleveland Browns fans drove on the school buses to Baltimore to get the Browns name back ??? Well, SEC fans will go to that Bowl game no matter what the name is. That is THEIR TEAM. THEIR BLOOD. SEC teams rule.

RELIGION Base
YES Football is a religion in the SEC. EVERY Saturday during football season is gameday and tailgating. During off and during the season it is recruiting.

We have been in Columbia for 4 years now. Our football tickets were renewed last month. They are on my husband calendar so no business trips are planned.

When u come in for a game, wear Garnet and Black.

USC GOOOOO.... COCKS!

Oh Dear God, this had me rolling. Mainly because it is so true. Thanks for the fun read.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:04 PM   #24
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

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Hey All,

I'm a die hard Notre Dame fan and a 28 y/o teacher from Chicago (hope you don't hold that against me). I'm going to take next year off teaching and tour the SEC with the intention of writing a book about fan culture and identity and what it's like being a college football fan in the SEC.

I'm hoping to get to know some of you and get to know what makes you tick, what you love, what frustrates you, etc about South Carolina football. The plan is to be down there for the Tennessee game November 1st, get there a couple days early, check out campus, meet fans, check the tailgate and game.

Hope you don't mind me picking your brains. For starters, whats it like having a legendary coach at the helm? Whats the impression of head ball coach? What's it been like over the past few years having program changing players like Clowney, Lattimore, and to some extent Jeffrey (as I Bears fan, I was soooo happy when we drafted that guy)? Where do you see the program headed and what needs to happen for you to get over the last hump and win a National Championship?

Thanks in advance for welcoming me to the board and feel free to ask any questions you have about ND football (if you have any. I think I'm a pretty level-headed fan and I get that I'm part of a largely elitist fan base that hasn't deserved national attention for the better part of 20 years since Holtz left)

Jim
I am not a subscriber to the idea that you have to be born into the football culture in the South to understand it, but it does take a while to fully grasp it. The way it permeates everyday life is special.

I'll post more of my thoughts later, but I hope when you are researching University of South Carolina football that you focus on more than win-losses. I personally think that history plays a part in the evolution of our program, fans, and ultimately the fierce loyalty that we have for our Gamecocks. Our university's history, especially our rivalry with Clemson, is deeper than sports. It has roots in politics during Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction before football was even a thing. I want to point out that we don't sit around talking about that history anymore, but this information sets the historical context for the evolution of USC as an institution and then the athletics program by extension. The quick summary is that South Carolina had no money after the Civil War, and higher education that didn't directly relate to the state's economy (agriculture) was no longer considered a priority. Thus, USC was not well funded until the GI bill and subsequent baby boomers needed a place to go to college. And as we all know, money=success=money=success, etc.

The games themselves were (and are) social events. The 'Big Thursday' game was arguably the biggest event of the year in the state of South Carolina in its heyday, with the governor and many other elected politicians attending each year along with other important people in the state. Many of the traditions (particularly girls being well-dressed) evolved from that era.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:17 PM   #25
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

I'm assuming you've read this book:



I love this book and its concept. It sounds somewhat along the lines of what you're trying to do. Clay obviously was raised a UT fan so you will be more of an "outsider." It's also coincidental that you will be at SC for the UT game. I felt as if Clay's South Carolina chapter was simplified a little as he was with his parents for that game rather than finding an old buddy to stay with as he did for the other games. I am anxious to read your perspective and how an outsider's perspective has changed over the past 8 seasons. How else will yours be different?
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:08 PM   #26
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

No SEC fanhood book would be complete without talking about fans who didn't attend that school, and why they are fans. I went to Coastal Carolina, even played ball there, but my dad went to USC, and many of my friends are USC fans who didn't go there. Why?

There is a strong history in the South of loving college football for many reasons, and one big one has been the lack of NFL football for so long.

In SC, I grew up as a kid before the Panthers existed, and the Falcons weren't very good. I have a couple brothers who are a good bit older than me, and they grew up when the South basically had the Falcons and Saints both of whom were awful, and the Dolphins way down in Miami. The Panthers, Jaguars, Titans didn't exist mostly, and the Bucs were a new team that was awful too. The Redskins had a big presence down here in NC and SC, just by default. I recall a lot of older guys here who are either fans of the Redskins or Dolphins...because growing up, those were the closet NFL teams with a .500 record that was worth watching.

But the teams at Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, etc, were very good, and their stadiums just as big and loud and fun.

More a lot of SEC fans, the SEC is our own version of the NFL. And in my opinion, so much better, because so many players are local in-state guys, people who are known in the communities in the state or families who are friends with our families. A much more local connection.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:47 PM   #27
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

Absolutely love the feedback, guys. This is fantastic and a lot of it stuff I couldn't read in a book or find on google.

To answer a few questions buckshot:

The reason I don't want to do this with the Big 10 is summed up in your answers about football and the rivalries being a way of life, rather than a game. I can't help imagine that the 'stranger in a strange land' aspect of narrative will open a door to that world if only for a glimpse.

I'm fascinated by and only know that I have no real idea about the tradition and ritual of gameday, tailgating, and as you said, football as a daily reality. (I've been asked to sit down at ND games WHILE WE WERE ON DEFENSE multiple times over the past few years).

Because an SEC-wide tour could never attempt to do justice to showing what football means in the south, what I see as my goal is to provide anecdotal, observational representative accounts of it through my mile-wide, inch-deep journey.

Thank you for the historical background cliff notes on what makes USC/Clemson so heated. I had no idea, and again, embracing my ignorance is going to be the best thing I have in hopes of getting to know a little bit of this way of life.

I haven't read Dixieland Delight yet. I'm familiar and understand the idea. I can give a better answer of how I intend my story to be different after I've read it (I'll need 2-3 weeks).

Jim
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:48 PM   #28
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

Oh, and I'll be in Auburn for the South Carolina game the week before coming to SC for the Tenn game.
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:24 PM   #29
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

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Oh, and I'll be in Auburn for the South Carolina game the week before coming to SC for the Tenn game.
I'll be at the Tennessee game as well as the Auburn game down in Alabama!
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:57 PM   #30
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

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Oh, and I'll be in Auburn for the South Carolina game the week before coming to SC for the Tenn game.
Well, War Eagle then!
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:20 PM   #31
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

Hey Magoo, thanks for your interest.

I am married to a South Bender and miss the good old days of "that other" USC's rivalry with the Irish.

However, as THIS USC, OUR USC, I look forward to your survival this year to meet us on the field later.

By the way, Friday nights down south are why we are so good, year round.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:33 PM   #32
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

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Oh, and I'll be in Auburn for the South Carolina game the week before coming to SC for the Tenn game.
Do you have access to a Cock-a-boose? If not inbox me as the time gets closer and I'll get you an in. You at least need a tour of one to get the extremes we go to tailgate.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:41 PM   #33
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

I've been posting on a few boards the past week or so and got some more questions asking me to clarify a bit what I'm looking for. So, I'm going to throw this abstract out there and maybe a few of you could take a stab at it. Again, I'm really grateful you guys have been so receptive.

Okay, keep in mind that I'm still in the early stages of this. I'm halfway through a second draft of a pubishing grant proposal and about 10 days removed from the idea and decision to do this. So bear with me if it's still a bit scattershot.

First off, I intend this to be written from the lens of a 'stranger in a strange land,' fully aware going in that I know nothing about what football in the south is, walking in with a sense of curiosity and wonder at this way of life that makes my big-city, Northerner, Fighting Irish fandom pale in comparison, and trying to gain some insight into what it is to breathe college football. I'd imagine I'll get a lot of mileage out of the contrast between who I am and what I represent and what is represented by this culture.

That said, I want my end product to be something that people like yourselves can look at and say that though I can never fully understand it because I don't live it, I did my best to paint an accurate picture and do it some semblance of justice and one that offers readers from other areas around the country to get a scrapbook of stories, historical context (from your eyes rather than a textbook linear narrative which they can read in SEC: 75 Years of Pride and Tradition, or whatever the name of that book was) and background within a road trip narrative that has a sports organizing principle.

Things I want to examine:

What does college football in the South mean to those who live it?
How these rivalries came to be and why they're so much more than just the 60 minutes on the field once a year.
What are the unique rites and rituals that each school and each rivalry, and what significance they hold?
Fundamental questions about the nature of regional and national identity
The uniquely American instinct to fashion our own heroes and this uniquely American game
What role does family lineage play in shaping this
To what extent the identity of the American man living in the South is tied to College Football fan - are they one and the same?
How teams like TAMU and Missouri fit can/will fit into this story moving forward
How each school came to be a football school

If you have any other guiding questions/ideas that would work well with this or that touch on some aspect I've missed, I'm all ears. Like I said, work in progress. But that should give you the gist.

Two Questions: 1. does missing some of these teams make this less compelling? I feel bad not hitting some of these schools, but comforted knowing that according to multiple boards, it's more about experiencing the rivalries in action than checking off a list... 2. I'm a little unsure on how to approach schools like Florida State, Clemson and Texas (their historical context is big for 'understanding' ATM football. Thoughts on whether this would be better served as SEC or football in the south (which largely leaves out schools like UK, Vandy, Mizzou Miss St-which I feel worse about missing than the others- and touches on schools like Clemson and FSU)

Here's a second draft of the schedule that I've planned out. It's almost identical to one another poster laid out for me...
8/28 - aTM @ USC
8/30 - Clemson @UGA

9/13 UGA @ USC
9/20 UF @ Bama

10/4 LSU @ Auburn
10/11 LSU @ UF
10/18 Tenn @ Ole Miss
10/25 Bama @ UT
11/1 WLOCP
11/8 Bama @ LSU

11/22 Ole Miss @ Arkansas
11/28 LSU @ aTm
11/29 Iron Bowl
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:32 AM   #34
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

Nice schedule, but The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry (Auburn vs UGA) is going to be intense this year.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:59 AM   #35
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

Hitting two USC games.. Nice. Both of those games are going to be absolutely electric.
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:24 PM   #36
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

For the first time I have a small inkling of what black people must feel like when they see this:

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Old 04-25-2014, 11:36 PM   #37
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

A guy I went to college with put it like this after seeing different levels of football in the south:

Southern high school football is bigger than a lot of northern college football, and southern college football is unmatched in most of the northern USA.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:34 AM   #38
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

magoo here is a 1st hand account of an infamous day in the rivalry of Carolina and Clemsin. It was shared by a friend on another Gamecock board.

-----------------------------------------------
A First Hand Account Of The 1961 Sigma Nu Spoof

By Theodore Kohn
Posted Nov 18, 2005

| More This story was originally published on this very day, 2002. The forward belongs to Russ Perry...the rest is pure Kohn. We hope you enjoy it as you prepare for "The Big Game 2005"...

In 1961 the Sigma Nus of USC pulled a prank on Clemson that made the news as far away as California and New York. This is a first hand, behind the scenes, account of how it all went down ...

Yep, I was a member of the Sigma Nus. It was Nov 11, 1961. Big day against ClemSin. We had started the year 1-5, and so another losing season was upon us. But what the hell? We partied with the best of them! Question was, how could we save the season?

College Pranks were legendary back then. A couple of years before, ClemSin students had vandalized statues of respected Carolina Alumni on Sumter Street before the Big Thursday game! That had gotten a lot of state attention. So Carroll Gray, believe it or not, now the Pres. of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, came up, along with Doc Howard of Gray Court, SC (Doc later was instrumental with Ed Robinson in creating the Cockabooses), with the Prank of all Pranks: Our frat would dress up as the ClemSin Tigers and appear on the field of Carolina Stadium pregame, and spoof the ClemSin faithful! (in 1961, Carolina Stadium held about 47,000. Same location, and was the predecessor to W-B).

At any rate, the fraternity had 3 weeks to prepare for the big event. Bo Mullis, my college roommate who was later to become the President of the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association, and I, were USC cheerleaders, and therefore were not part of the Clemson pre-game team as we had to go on as usual as cheerleaders egging on the crowd with our hottie partners! (Mine was Anna Louise Long, Bo's was Carole Jones, whom he later married). But we were privy as to what was going to happen, and had participated in the three week practice.

No kidding. The fraternity practiced looking like a football team for three weeks in secret, running onto the field, doing drills, synchronized push-ups, stretches, and so forth.

The secrecy was made as a collective blood oath: It was great! like being in the CIA! Unbelievable, but more than 50 kids all kept it to ourselves, a remarkable task. The more I reflect upon it as the years passed, the more I realize what a monumental secret we all kept, because when it happened, it was shocking to 47,000 people, and ultimately to all of college football!

Anyway, we had an inside track to Orangeburg High School through one of our members. Their colors were Clemson colors, Orange and Purple, and we were able to appropriate Orangeburg's uniforms for the weekend.
In years past, the Carolina-Clemson game had been played on Thursdays, and as most of you know, it was the only game in the US played on Thursday. In the State of South Carolina it was known as Big Thursday. But Frank Howard and the Clemsin folk, didn't like playing the big game in Columbia every year during state fair week, so on Nov 11, 1961, it was the first Big Saturday in Columbia.

Meanwhile, as the Big Saturday approached, the Sigma Nus practiced and practiced doing the Clemsin warmups.
We had found an old milk cow and Ed Hancock was in charge of trucking it to the stadium. The cow was going to have a sheet tied on it declaring her the Clemson Homecoming Queen. Ed and a few others loaded Bessie onto the back of a pickup truck and headed to Columbia from Lexington County.
Meanwhile, inside the stadium, the pregame crowd was loud, and the Clemson band was playing Hold that Tiger, and the Carolina Band was playing our Old Fight Song. (Which is great and should be brought back!) They were like dueling bands! We were cheering Culture vs Agri-Culture! and Beat the Damn Farrrrmers! and the Clemsin rats (frosh) were in unison standing and giving Carolina hell.

Then it happened. The Sigma Nus came streaming out of the Southeast corner of the end zone, and Clemson fans could be heard yelling Here Come The Tigers!!, and the ClsmSin cannon went off! And their band broke into Hold that Tiger!
And the Sigma Nus lined up and started doing precision drills, doing synchronized pushups and exercises, and then Ronald Leitch comes strolling out on the field with a pillow stuffed under his all black outfit, posing as Coach Frank Howard (of Howard's Rock fame), and the Clemsin crowd goes nuts! And then Ronald starts spitting black stuff from his mouth like tobacco juice from an oil well, and the Sigma Nus degenerate from precision drills to spastic displays of ineptitude. The punter, Jack McCathern, starts practicing punts which go over his head. The erratic QB starts fumbling, the running back starts doing somersaults at the line of scrimmage, the football starts slipping out of the hand of whoever has it, and suddenly, the Clemsin fans know they've been had! First the rats come pouring onto the field, then the rest of the Tigger faithful, and there's an old fashioned rip roaring riot on your hands, right there on the middle of the field, with the entire Carolina faithful laughing their collective asses off as they realize what's happened! The poor Clemsin students lose the fight as they are cracking knuckles upside the heads of Sigma Nus protected by helmets, shoulder pads and other articles of exoskeleton attire. Young turks such as Guy Meares, Alden Sweatman, Jerry Ballentine get in serious punches to unnamed Clemsin rats! Not to mention future Lt. Governor of SC, Mike Daniel from Gaffney who cracked a couple of skulls, or Chuck Simons from Aiken, a future SC Supreme Court Judge, or scrappy future attorney from Gastonia, Ben Morrow, who gave a lick or two, or Guy Meares, and Alden Sweatman from Columbia, Bennie Pendarvis from Barnwell, and Jeffrey Brooker from Denmark, all future medical docs of note who were two fisted that day, and held their own! It was one heck of a fraternity, and one heck of a prank!

We won the game by the way 21-14!

And the riot was reported in papers as far away as the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press.

By the way, Sigma Nus who were on the team and could not participate in the big prank, were John Caskey, who later was an All-ACC end, and Johnny Jones, and Richard Lomas. Later, Dan Reeves pledged Sigma Nu, largely because of them.

And finally, the old cow, Bessie, the Clemsin Homecoming Queen never made it to the field. She actually died en route to the stadium on the back of the truck. If you don't believe me, ask Ed Hancock!
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:26 AM   #39
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

Pretty awesome - poor Bessie though
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:03 AM   #40
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Default Re: Chicago ND fan/SEC book idea

I'll enjoy it.

I'll say this, up here outside of a few teams, (ND and Penn State) no one gives a shit about CFB, would be nice to see one of there own go in.
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