Wednesday, August 31, 2011

SEC Weekly Feature - Columbia, SC - Forever to Thee

University of South Carolina

Stadium: Williams-Brice Stadium

Colors: Garnet & Black

Nickname/Mascot: Gamecocks, Cocky, & Sir Big Spur

Head Coach: Steve Spurrier, aka Head Ball Coach

Biggest Rival: Clemson University

Notable Alumni: George Rogers, Sterline Sharpe, Hootie & the Blowfish, Darla Moore, Ainsley Earnhardt (Fox News), Leeza Gibbons, and Amos Lee.

Where to Tailgate
The most coveted spot to tailgate in Columbia is the Cockaboose Railroad.  Cockabooses are actual converted train cabooses.  They are located less than 50 yards from the stadium.  Essentially, they are stationary RVs.

In recent years, full condos have sprung up around the stadium.  Places like, Carolina Walk and The Gates, have grown in popularity.  They are ideal for those that get in town on Thursday and stay until Monday.  Many recent grads tailgate at the Memorial Lot.  You are bound to run into that random person you and freshman English with.  The Fairgrounds and Farmer's Market is where you will find the die-hard families and people who have been parking in the same spot for years.
The tailgating atmosphere in Columbia is not like most schools where the stadium is located on campus.  It is spread out, but it does not stop everyone from hopping from friends' tailgate to friends' tailgate.  There are several places up and down Bluff Road that fans pay for season passes to park and included in that pass is weekly entertainment and food.  Having our stadium off campus allows for such tailgating opportunities.

What's on the Table
South Carolina fans have three places they love to get food for tailgate.  They are Bernie'sLizard's Thicket, and Maurice's BBQ.  Bojangle's is conveniently located right across from the stadium.  Platter's of chicken and ribs will line tables.  It is not uncommon for tailgate goers to throw together a big pot of lowcountry boil.  A southern tailgate is not complete without bourbon and there is always plenty flowing.

Where to Watch
The best place to watch the game when you don't have a ticket would be any bar in 5points.  Located a few blocks from campus, this area is a hot-spot for co-eds.  Within its five points, a bar for every style of co-ed can be found.  Students will be huddled in the booths around buckets of beer cheering on their Gamecocks just as fervently as if they were in attendance.  If you are looking for a more adult atmosphere, I suggest the Vista area where Carolina Ale House and Wild Wings are located.

After the Game
Salty Nut and Jake's will be packed with students and grads celebrate a Gamecock victory.  Be prepared to "Sandstorm" and to hear "2001" several times before the evening is over.  Tin Roof is the newest bar in the Vista to celebrate after a win.

The Mighty Sound of the Southeast leads the crowd in cheers.  Throughout the day, fans will randomly yell "GAME" expecting someone to return with "COCKS."  Recently, the Gamecock faithful have adopted the techno song "Sandstorm" as their unofficial hype tune.  The entrance to "2001" has been voted one of the most exciting entrances in college football.  The favorite cheer among the fans is
"U-S-C...Goooooooo Cocks!"  During the last line of the alma mater, all students and alumni give a toast to the school.  Everyone raises their hand and form a u-shape, as though hold a cup.  It was one of my favorite traditions as a student and still is as an alumna.

We might not be a school rich in football {victory} history, but we still love to cheer on our Gamecocks with reckless abandon.  Even when we went 1-21 in 1998 & 1999, WBS was still selling out.  We were just further perfecting the art of tailgating.  The 2000s proved to be our most successful decade on the gridiron.  We are setting up for a pretty amazing ride this season, and I can't wait.

I will be attending the opener in Charlotte against the ECU Pirates.  I am ready to paint the town GARNET!!



Shrimp and Glitz said...

Great post!! GO COCKS! :)

Allison said...

I will also be at the game this weekend, but cheering on the Pirates! I know a fun time will be had by all!

I have a lot of family connections to the Gamecocks though, my great uncle was the old AD who hired Spurrier. I can't wait for this weekend!

Britton said...

Love this!!!! Can't wait for Saturday!!! GO COCKS!!!!

Jessica said...

Love this post!!! I'll also be in Charlotte Saturday for the game. Only 3 more days! Go Cocks!!!

Frankie said...

As a new resident of Greenville, NC (home of the Pirates) but a die-hard GAMECOCK fan, I have been surrounded with sh*t talking all week as we prepare for the weekend! Unfortunately I will not be in attendance but will be cheering on the Gamecocks in spirit! Go COCKS!

Ashley said...

AMAZING post! gave me chills! can't wait for our first game saturday! holla!

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