Posted by: gbake783 | March 4, 2011

South Carolina vs Clemson

This weekend my beloved South Carolina Gamecocks renew their baseball rivalry with the Clemson Tigers. It’s a really cool series: tonight in Columbia, tomorrow on a neutral field in Greenville, and Sunday at Clemson. Weekends like these make me a little homesick for the Carolinas. Without a doubt, I would be at the game in Greenville tomorrow. I’d beg, borrow, or deal – whatever was necessary to score a ticket.

That said, I feel no pressure whatsoever with this series – no chip on my shoulder, no axe to grind. And, yes, that’s highly unusual. It’s certainly not due to any increase in personal maturity. Nor does it have anything to do with my living in Utah – tv and internet make it easy to follow the team. It’s because, if you haven’t noticed (and you probably haven’t), the Gamecocks are on a pretty good run. We beat the Tigers in football in 2009 and 2010 (both resounding victories). We won the 2010 National Baseball Championship in the sweetest way possible – we eliminated Clemson by sweeping a double-header. We won the Clowney sweepstakes (I still wish he would have said, “I flirted with Clemson just I could break their hearts.” Oh well, I can always pretend he said that.) And we even won this season’s basketball game!

Yes, this is unprecedented territory. As a true Gamecock, I’m officially worried now. I’ve jinxed us for 50 years, haven’t I?

In years past, it seemed the baseball team needed to atone for the transgressions of the football team. Not this year. It was always frustrating – baseball is so dependent on luck. Even if we won the series, deep down I knew Clemson still might have the better team. And, let’s face it, most people care WAY more about football (including your’s truly).

Other than winning the baseball national title (I was there, by the way), my favorite baseball highlight came in 2008, a year we played Clemson four times. The Gamecocks took the first three with the fourth to be played at Clemson. I got a ticket (from a Clemson fan, no less) and was surprised to see the stadium packed – with Garnett! We might not have outnumbered the Tigers, but it was close. Most had brooms in hand (for the sweep, of course) as the Gamecocks prevailed (it wouldn’t be my second favorite memory if we lost).

Go Cocks! Take it to ’em this weekend.

And even if you don’t, I don’t think I have to worry about my Clemson friends calling to talk trash.

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