When the 'Cock crows

The social networking site Facebook reunited USC classmates Ronda Templeton and Doug Jolley. It also can lead to some friendly back-and-forth banter among friends. When Ronda put up her definition of "Gamecockian" Wednesday evening on Facebook, Doug put up an alternate definition, which led to a lot of fun Thursday night after USC's big win. Check out the winning definition of Gamecockian!

Gamecockian - adjective 1. Great hope followed by great disappointment. 2. A euphoric feeling rarely felt but exquisitely enjoyed when experienced.

I have to give my South Carolina classmate, Doug Jolley - publisher of gamecockanthem.com - a shout out tonight. His alternate definition of Gamecockian, a word coined in our household to describe great hope followed by disappointment, was prescient.

For the first time since 1981, my beloved Gamecocks have defeated an Associated Press Top 5 team, taking down Mississippi by the score of 16-10. That makes Doug's usage of Gamecockian ever so appropriate: "South Carolina fans could hardly be contained Thursday night after their team finally fulfilled its potential and upset the No. 4 Ole Miss Rebels on national TV. The fans were in a Gamecockian frenzy!"

And what a frenzy it was - both at Williams-Brice Stadium (where the bleachers were rocking) and at Fatso's on Henderson Pass in San Antonio, where I celebrated with a small but devoted coterie of 'Cocks fans who reached a rare state of nirvana. For a moment there in the fourth quarter, it looked like disappointment was ahead. But our defense made a heroic stand and the Rebels left 'Cocktown rejected and dejected. Too bad, so sad.

Offensive sportscasters dominate defensive battle

Sports announcers are a special breed of annoying. First, they have a knack for stating the obvious. Second, they go with the flow. When your team's players are performing well, they're amazing, talented, on the rise, the real deal. But let your opponents show a little life and sportscasters are off and running in the other direction.

Take Thursday night, for example. During the first quarter, the ESPN team talked up Mississippi as if Jevan Snead & Co. were the second coming. Mississippi, led by Houston Nutt, was top-notch, about to kick some Gamecock tailfeathers, a genuine contender. An "it" team among "it" teams.

Then, when Carolina began to dominate, the Rebels suddenly were overrated, lucky, untested and certainly not deserving of their No. 4 ranking. In the fourth quarter, when Mississippi came to life and it looked like they might eke out a victory, they suddenly were supremo once again - and the Gamecocks just didn't have what it took to "put the game away."

Of course, when USC held on and claimed victory, the ESPNers once again jumped onto the "Mississippi was overrated from the start" bandwagon. Raspberries to them.

Which reminds me: Lee Corso, ESPN analyst, you're still Carolina enemy No. 1. We haven't forgotten that in 2007, you said Steve Spurrier couldn't win an SEC championship at USC if he coached our team for 400 years.

I'm calling you out right here and right now, buster. This is a new and different South Carolina team - a team that's showing real spirit, determination and toughness. You'll eat those words, Mr. Corso. Maybe not this year, but very, very soon. Be ready to dine on crow. We'll enjoy watching.

For more of Ronda's unique Southern voice, go to Ronda Templeton

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