I was only moments away from turning my radio off Tuesday night. Right when it seemed that Phil Kornblut had a good thing going, one of the most popular all-time segments in the history of Sports Talk Radio in the state of South Carolina .... and lately it has been reduced to nothing but a billboard for a competitor site and an outlet for tired old discussion about the same old cliche press conferences from both camps.
Hey Phil. Get rid of the taped monologues and put the talking heads back on.
To add insult to injury Tater Dan Scott got more airtime than our Insider boys tonight.
I am disappointed. Very disappointed. Thousands of Gamecock and Clemson fans alike have been trained over the summer to tune in to the Tuesday night segment with Rusty and Roy, only to now see our loyalties being whored out to a first thirty minutes of taped fill schpeak and one live ad in particular that I find insulting about a place so many of us refer to as "Kiddy Central."
We're being cheated. I am not a happy camper. Looks like it is back to Fox TV for me after 7:00 PM on weekdays until the coaches' call in shows start.
So just as I was reaching for the radio off/on dial I heard it. Some guy called in and tried the old back door slam on The Rooster. Did you hear it? He called in and started by saying he had something to say to both Rusty and Roy. He began suspiciously, as if he was one of those middle of the road losers afraid to take a stance. He said something along the lines, and I paraphrase here of course, but he said, "I respect both of you and you two sure know your stuff. Rusty, you especially, you sure know your stuff. I respect your love for the Gamecocks. You're one of the best I've ever heard .............. (insert caveat) so why are you always being mean to my Clemson Tigers and pickin' on my Clemson coaches you bad mean old Rusty The Rooster?"
'Uh oh', I was thinking to myself. Rusty is a sucker for the old folks. He worships them. Plus he's been looking more and more like one himself lately with the gray hair and all. So by then I was standing and yelling, 'Don't fall for it Rusty! It's a sneak attaaaaaaack!!!!!! Crush the old fart!!!!!!!!!"
I'm 56 years old myself so I should be allowed to type 'old fart' and get away with it. Still, I was worried about my boy Rusty. He's only in his mid forties and he is one of those kids who was obviously raised to say 'yessir' and 'no sir.' I figured the old Taterhead caller was about to make toast of Rusty, it would be a first. For a moment I admired the elderly Clemson fan thinking he may have finally found a chink in The Rooster's armor. Someone must have surely put him up to it. I hesitated to think, and then hunkered down to listen.
The old Clemson fan hit below the belt. He used his senior status to throw a sucker punch that caught Rusty a glancing blow upside his noggin.
"I have no idea what you are talking about?" Rusty replied with a laugh and a couple of friendly age pokes about senior moments. "If I say anything about Clemson's fans, coaches or players it is because you prompt me to. We would not be having this discussion right now if it were not for your call."
Rusty tells it like it is.
Epiphany! Clemson fans are crying Uncle! They are sending in their Mommies and Daddies to pull us off of them. We've pinned them to the ground and we are making them say Uncle into our butts. (Admit it, that is one funny Malcolm commercial.)
Isn't it ironic that Clemson fans are so quick to call all Gamecock fans who have learned to fight fire with fire, 'hate mongers.' If any of us say anything about Brad Scott or Tommy Bowden it is because we hate them.
Keep crying Uncle you Taterheads. How's it feel to have someone applying the pressure day in and day out night after night 24/7 non stop never giving you a chance to breath never giving you a chance to relax?
We Gamecock fans have become relentless.
The rivalry never had to be this ugly. I realize that some of us take great pride in the level of intensity of our rivalry - we're almost as nasty as the Auburn/Alabama feud. But you Clemson fans, you took it too far a long long time ago.
What got me thinking tonight was when the antique kitty caller harassing Rusty said something about, "you people pick on Brad and Tommy too much."
Like Rusty said. That arrogant smart aleck Tommy Bowden has brought all of this on himself. In his first few years in this state Bowden and his staff never once missed an opportunity to take a public dig at our University of South Carolina and/or our legendary head coach. For awhile there it seemed like every time Tommy Bowden sat down in front of a microphone he took a cheap shot at Lou and our crew. Heck, Lou was not even allowed to graciously grant a jersey color change without Tommy's classless staff turning it into a question of our coaches' intelligence. Remember?
But now they want us to back off? We hate them right?
And the Clemson Codger actually had the audacity to accuse Rusty of saying mean things about Brad Scott! This from an elderly member of a fan base that made such a run on the drug stores and pharmacies in the Greenville area on the day Brad Scott was hired, that there was nary a razor blade to be found in five upstate counties!
Because every Clemson fan in the foothills had to rush out to scrape the "More Chins Than Wins" bumper stickers off of their trucks. They had made an art of making fun of Brad Scott when he was in Columbia ... but of course they did it out of fun.
We're doing it out of hatred. It's the old politically correct Bill Clinton school-trick of turning things around to cover your tracks. We are the Great Gamecock Wing Consiparcy!
All the while, while we have been down here hating them, Clemson has had two fans, both of whom who have been recently arrested and convicted for acts which most of us would consider lewd and obscene ... but these two Clemson fans are worshiped by their fellow Clemson fans on their internet sites.
Because these two deviant Clemson fans have led the effort to turn us in for violations which were never committed - both through the use of the Internet.
But Gamecock fans are full of hate? Yeah, right.
Clemson fans are crying Uncle and I love it. You should too. That old man tonight, what he was really say was, 'Rooster, quit picking on us. We can dish it out for a few decades but we can't take it for a minute once we realize the tables are turning.'
He did say that, that's what I heard.
And now the moment of truth has come. Do we let them up? Do we shake hands and become friends all of the sudden? I mean since around 1975 this rivalry has really turned mean and cruel. Do we let them off the hook now after having endured their verbal assaults and insults for the past 25 or more years?
Let's do this Gamecock fans. Let's let them keep stepping on themselves on the talk shows. Let them keep crying about how mean we are to them these days. But let's keep applying the pressure.
I hope Georgia beats the snot out of Clemson. And like that old man accused Rusty of predicting, I hope Middle Tennessee State lays it on them too. Because I want to see them go down hard this year. Call it hatred, call it a sickness or obsessive or whatever. That's your judgement call of my admitted dislike for our neighbors to the north. I despise them, especially during football season. And I know in my heart that I heard them yelling Uncle tonight. But just incase, just to be sure, I want us to dominate the instate recruiting this year. And to finish them off I want our football team to roll into that final game of the season with ill intent. I want total annihilation. If they want to interpret that as hatred then that's okay with me. All I know is that I heard them screaming Uncle earlier tonight and it made my evening. As fans we only need to show a little killer instinct and put these guys away. This is going to be the year that the momentum changes in our series, the year that we go on a roll like none before. I know it, you know it, we know it ... and now I know that 'they' know it too. This is going to be a fun season.
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