The Walker family took our usual Fall Saturday trek to support the Georgia Bulldogs last week. We thought we were going to the South Carolina midlands, the state capital of Columbia, Williams-Brice Stadium, or whatever you wish to call the site of the Georgia vs. South Carolina game.
I have a new name for the place. From now on, I will refer to Carolina's stadium as The Twilight Zone. Every time Georgia plays in the place strange things happen. It doesn't matter how heralded or poorly ranked either team is coming into the game Georgia encounters demons wearing more than just a pair of horns.
There must be an explanation for why some very good Georgia teams show up at this place every even numbered year and have the ball bounce so weirdly so often. Where can we start to find the answer?
It could be the intense loyalty of the Gamecock fans. The school has a football tradition that is so bad that I can't find their overall lifetime record because they don't publish it on the internet. I do know they won 10 games in 1984 and went 8-4 two straight years a while back. Their fans couldn't suddenly go berserk because they stay that way. Fans of all schools could take a lesson from this bunch. They support their team through thick or thin, mostly thin. They are loud with a capital L.
Their team's pregame entrance is what really ticks me off. Only fellow state school Clemson rivals them for overkill. The stadium speakers are turned up to a zillion decibels while the theme from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey blares away. It has a fancy formal name but I don't care to remember it. Fireworks boom, the fans roar and the Gamecocks finally run out strutting like roosters in a hen house. They usually end up getting smashed like the fans.
You never know what combination of garnet, black and white uniforms they might wear. They change helmet colors almost yearly, perhaps trying to turn over another new leaf. Maybe all these changes make Georgia forget who they are playing.
I can grab bag possible reasons for the Bulldog's ineptitude in Carolina's Twilight Zone forever, but thankfully Georgia usually finds a way to win. They found a way to win this time 20-16 after trailing 16-0. The defense, with Danny Verdun Wheeler playing a huge role, held on until the offense snapped out of its stupor.
Everyone was happy afterwards. Georgia got the victory and so did South Carolina, albeit a moral one. Their fans gushed, "You guys were supposed to kill us."
I despise to complain about a win of any kind. Having more points than the opponent is all that counts. I will say this however. If points were given to the Gamecocks for every Halloween incident experienced in The Twilight Zone by the Georgia Bulldogs, Carolina would lead the overall series 42-13-2 rather than the other way around.
I'm also convinced that South Carolina Head Coach Lou Holtz could legitimately change his name to Rod Serling. How many of you remember the weird little tune that punctuated Serling's old TV show? I can hum it for you because it was twinkling in my ears Saturday night.