Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, November 28, 2016, 10:10 a.m.
Were I still the diehard Clemson fan of my youth, I’m sure I would have watched every moment of the Tigers’ 56-7 victory over South Carolina.
Who knows? I might even have been there, decked out in purple and orange and singing “hold that Tiger!” even though the last thing a Clemson fan wants is his Tiger held. Really, the opposition should sing “hold that Tiger!” which would really be a unique custom for visitors to Death Valley, South Carolina Version.
I’ve walked inside the one in Louisiana and driven through the one in California. If only it had a football team, the one in California would have a tremendous home-field advantage.
But I went to college elsewhere, and now, I wish the Tigers well and feel good when they win because it means a lot to my nephew and his wife, both of whom went there. As a matter of fact, Ray Phillips holds a bachelor’s degree from Clemson and a master’s degree from Alabama, meaning that, football-wise, his imaginary bets are hedged about as well as anyone I know.
Still, I’ve never heard him yell “roll, Tide, roll!” and I’m satisfied that, Saturday night, he spelled out “C-L-E-M-S-O-N-T-I-G-E-RRRRRR-SS!” dozens of times. Meanwhile, back here in town, I’m guessing my mother and sister (Ray’s mother) were having every bit as much difficulty corralling Ray and Jessica’s wild child, Thomas, as the Gamecocks were with the Tigers.
Me? After assuring myself that Clemson was going to win the Palmetto Cup after watching the game’s first five minutes, I spent the rest of the night checking the Tigers’ multiplication tables during the commercials while concentrating on games between Florida and Florida State, Kentucky and Louisville, Utah and Colorado, Notre Dame and Southern Cal, and Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
All of those teams — Vandy has inexplicably found an offense since the Gamecocks edged them in the first game of the season — would have beaten South Carolina on Saturday night, not to mention Western Michigan, Eastern Washington, Northern Illinois and South Florida. Oh, yeah, Northwestern, too. Cary Grant would have dominated them in North by Northwest. Of course, that’s a highly ranked flick.
It’s over, though. South Carolina fans have turned their attention to a men’s basketball team that is thus far undefeated. Will it mean anything if the Gamecocks beat the Tigers, also thus far undefeated, in basketball?
No. The only medicine that matters in this state is a pill shaped like a football.
For the Sabbath, Twitter read almost exactly like the election was back. Fortunately, being amused but disinterested, I read books, played guitars and remained otherwise above the fray by watching surprising entertaining NFL games.
Clemson, I believe, is now the most likely to lose eventually to Alabama.
I’m sure someone has noticed this besides me because, dating back to, oh, I don’t know, Bear Bryant, it has seemed apparent. The Crime Tide has a marvelous winning formula that has been demonstrated hundreds of times by their winning.
Alabama does not care about scoring in the first half. Alabama cares about wearing the opposition the hell out. It’s as if they soften up the defenses with withering artillery bombardments. In the second half, Alabama invades in much the same manner as Mars Attacks!
But I still enjoy watching teams play that are mortal. I hope one of them defeats Alabama. Nothing against the Tide. Monopoly just gets monotonous.
Stop by L&L Office Supply, 114 North Broad Street, Clinton and buy one of my novels. Buy Cowboys Come Home, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, Crazy of Natural Causes, The Intangibles, and/or a volume of my short stories, Longer Songs.
Kindle versions – you don’t have to have a Kindle, just a free app for your electronic devices – of most of my books are available here. Links to print copies are below.
Cowboys Come Home is my brand-new, fresh-off-the-press western, a tale of two World War II veterans of the Pacific who come back home to Texas, intent on resuming their cowboy ways.
Forgive Us Our Trespasses is the latest. It’s a tale about a crooked politician who wants to be governor, whatever it takes, and another man trying to stop him. It’s outrageous.
Crazy of Natural Causes is about the fall and rise of Chance Benford, a Kentucky football coach who reinvents himself. It’s original.
The Intangibles is about the South in the 1960s, complete with racial strife, bigotry, resentment, cultural exchange and, of course, high school football.
The Audacity of Dope is the tale of Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking songwriter turned national hero with a taste for the former and a distaste for the latter.
Longer Songs is a collection of 11 short stories that all began in songs I wrote.
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