On January 9, 2017, Clemson and Alabama will have a rematch of last year”s NCAA football National Championship, won, fortunately, by the Crimson Tide.
My sentiments have not changed.
I am a Gamecock: an alum, husband of an alum, parent of two alums, uncle to two alums, brother to two alums and of the fourth generation to attend the University of South Carolina.
I have friends, neighbors, colleagues and (sadly) family that are Clemson alums or fans.
In 2015, the Gamecock football team was not just a disappointment, it was an abysmal failure. Clemson is undefeated and playing for the national championship. The team is talented and indisputably the best team in the state. This year.
As a South Carolina resident, I am told I should root for Clemson in their championship quest as a show of Palmetto State brotherhood. “It’s a South Carolina team” is the mantra for co-opting Gamecocks into Tiger Nation, if only for one game.
Or, more precisely;
It’s still Clemson. Purple and orange.
I’m Carolina. Garnet and black.
We are rivals and rivals do not wish well for their … rivals.
But why not just this one game?
Because to do so would not just infect my better judgement, but it would be unnatural and un-American.
Rivalries are essential to our culture. Hatfields vs McCoys, Edison vs Tesla, Coke vs Pepsi, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Bird and Magic, Wile E. Coyote vs Road Runner, North vs South.
As cute as some may think it to be, pictures of dogs cuddling with cats are disturbing.
And, yes, Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa joined forces against Ivan Drago, but for altogether different reasons than because they were from the same state. They did it for America. And that’s why I’m pulling for Alabama over Clemson. For America.
If we succumb to the politically correct sentiment of favoring our sworn rival, we are continuing the inane sublimation of common sense for feel good mentality. It’s participation trophies, offense-free holidays, not keeping score, welfare, Common Core, open borders, globalism and banning snacks.
Who among us wants a world in which John McClane and Hans Gruber are BFFs? If UPS and FedEx hugged, we wouldn’t cheer; we would scream COLLUSION!
Rivalries are the American way and I am first an American. If other Gamecocks want to pull for Clemson and be all gooey with “state pride,” go ahead. Sport a tacky orange hoody and tattoo a tiger paw on your forehead. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to join the “King George III Was Right” Facebook page, slap a “Putin is My Home Boy” bumper sticker on your car and get a “Terrorists Are Misunderstood” t-shirt.
As for me, I am an American-loving Gamecock and, thus, say “ROLL TIDE!”