Friday, September 2, 2011

South Carolina Gamecocks

This is an excerpt from the book 'The Totally Biased Guide to Southern College Football' by Pete Davis, available now on's Kindle for just 99 cents at:
And you can follow me on twitter: @petedavis1
Based in Columbia, Suicide Capital of Central South Carolina.
            A gamecock is a fighting cock.  A badass rooster if you will.  College football’s most phallic mascot this side of a Toledo Rocket.
            Cockfighting is a sport found in Caribbean islands, third world backwaters, or Oklahoma, but I repeat myself.  USC East is the only major college team to use the moniker ‘Fighting Gamecocks.’  Everyone else has moved out of the Middles Ages.  They first started using the name around 1900, about the time they finally surrendered Fort Sumter to the Union Navy.
            Other nicknames considered were: the Harassing Hens, the Charging Chickens, the Dynastic Drumsticks, the Battling Bantams, the Rampaging Roasters, and the Pugilistic-Minded Poultry.
            General Sumter himself, the famous fighter for the American side during the Revolutionary War, was known as the Fighting Gamecock.  How proud his mother must have been.
            As explained on the school’s official website, a cockfight ends when one of the cocks dies, an unpleasant thought altogether.
            Cocky is the name of their giant red, yellow, and black mascot, which looks like something Walt Disney threw up or Jim Henson aborted.  Try and imagine Big Bird mating with Ronald McDonald.  The costume has become a stepping stone to fame as two former wearers moved on to higher callings as Sir Purr in Carolina and Billy the Marlin in Miami.  This represents the highest a South Carolina grad has ever climbed on the corporate ladder.
            Fans chant “Go Cocks!”  Insert your own joke here.  Only Austin Peay’s “Go Peay!” comes close to this holler.  They proudly exclaim “I’m a Cock!”  It is a declaration never challenged.
            Cocky can be accused of being cocky since he’s won three national mascot championships in 1986, ’94 and 2004, the closest the football team will ever get to holding a title.
            Cocky is carrying on a family tradition.  In 1980 he took the place of his father, known as Big Spur.  Big Spur was retired and they held a banquet in which he was the guest of honor.  And the main course.
            Be sure to catch Cocky’s entrance at every home game when he pops out of his Magic Fryer, I mean Box.
            Their live mascot, no offense Cocky, is Sir Big Spur.  He has also been called Cockadoodle Lou.  It is no coincidence that Sir Big Spur has never come within paw distance of LSU”s Mike the Tiger.
            They began play in 1892 and were originally known as the College Boys.  It took them until their third season to actually win a game, four seasons before they got a coach in Dixie Whaley, and five years before anyone in South Carolina knew what the world ‘college’ meant.
            The College Boys did manage to win the first game against arch-rival Clem and his son, 12-6 in 1896.  It’s now known as the Palmetto Bowl, named after the huge, disgusting bug constantly underfoot that is the official animal of the state of South Carolina.  Clemson has dominated this rivalry and therefore has the most bugs.
The annual game with Clemson is usually a one-sided affair.
If you like what you've read so far just wait until you see the rest about South Carolina and all the other SEC schools, as well as Texas, Texas A&M, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Miami. It's all in 'The Totally Biased Guide to Southern College Football' by Pete Davis and available for the price of a Whopper Jr. on Kindle at:
And you can follow me on twitter: @petedavis1