No Carolina-Clemson game
It appears official.
The Southeastern Conference brainiacs are going to let the South Carolina chickens off the hook this year.
They won’t have to or be allowed to play Clemson.
Too bad. It ends a 109-year-old tradition.
If you were a Lamecock, would you welcome another chicken lickin’ like the Tigers have been dishing out since Steve Spurrier left?
Lost are millions in TV rights and ticket revenue.
The annual rivalry football game – known officially since 2014 as the “Palmetto Bowl – is the longest uninterrupted series in the South and 2nd longest uninterrupted NCAA Division 1 series in the country.
Standing room only
The 109 consecutive game series dates back to 1896 and has been renewed every year since 1909, according to online Wikipedia,
Both maintain football stadiums in excess of 80,000 seats each, placing both in the top 20 in the US.
Clemson, with national title teams under Coach Dabo Swinney, has packed 88,000 into Death Valley via standing room only.
Carolina, despite a dismal record under Coach Will Muschamp, has no trouble filling its seats. But its fans are unhappy with their coach’s performance and the contract USC gave him.
A bit more history of this fabled game we won’t enjoy – or suffer through if you are a true Gamecock.
The series has been interrupted 7 times but is uninterrupted since 1909.
It is 2nd only to Minnesota-Wisconsin, uninterrupted since 1907, but is the longest in-state rivalry,
From 1896 to 1959, the game was played in Columbia on “Big Thursday” during State Fair week.
It was a state occasion for the influential.
Gentlemen showed up in suits and ties. Ladies wore cocktail dresses and fashionable hats which many had to remove during the game.
Fans behind them could not see the field.
Although alcohol was not banned, many fans brought their own booze.
Adults managed to get out of the stadium at the end of the games on both legs but some students did not.
One once bragged to me that he missed the entire 4th quarter of every Carolina home game in the 5 years it took him to graduate. He remembered only parts of the 3rd quarters.
Home and away
Since 1960, the game has alternated between both teams’ home stadiums as the regular season finale.
Clemson holds a 71–42–4 lead and a 43–29–2 advantage since WWII.
Clemson leads the series 12–7 in this century and has more wins against USC than any other team.
Carolina is 2nd behind Georgia Tech in most wins against Clemson.
One old joke is about the virgin wife of a Carolina fan who always told her, “Just wait until next year.”
Are you sad that Carolina and Clemson won’t play each other this year?
Email me at ChronicleSports@yahoo.com