Friday, November 24, 2006

THE GAME: Does it matter too much?


Gillespie has an interesting item in today's edition of The State about the wives of Spurrier and Baby Bowden.

Interesting not just because a lot of people don't realize how stressful it is to be a coach's wife -- we have stereotypes that women don't understand football, and they're not true -- but also because it gets to a question that bothers South Carolina fans that are also SEC fans in general and, I imagine, Clemson fans that are also ACC fans in general:

The Bowdens and the Spurriers -- husbands and wives -- believe their teams' focuses should be on the ACC and SEC, respectively.
But this week, they know that such reasoned viewpoints, at least among their fan bases, go right out the window.
"Steve tries to make all games equal; I don't think he realized that wouldn't be an easy task," Jerri Spurrier said. "No matter what you say, (USC) people would probably rather beat Clemson than any of Florida, Tennessee (or) Auburn.
"I have trouble with that."
Linda Bowden used to, too, but now she accepts it.
"The coaches have tried to downplay that; us wives, too," she said. "(But) when Tommy and coach Spurrier do the (booster club) circuit, that's the one (fans) want talk about."

Now, before anybody accuses me of not understanding what this game is about or worth, let me stop you right there. I believe this is a HUGE game. We need to win this one bad. Not just because the Cows are 6-1 against us under Baby Bowden. I would gladly take a win here and lose the bowl game -- and I hate to lose bowl games.

But every time you get into a debate with Clempstoned fans on message boards, their ultimate comeback is always the same: "We beats all y'all big boys from the citay last year."

I suspect it has something to do with the fact that the schools have but one NC between them and not much beyond that. A lot of years, this is the only game that matters.

In reality, Clempstoned fans ought to be pissed that they aren't playing for the ACC title on Dec. 2 with the way their team has played at times this year. In reality, USC fans ought to be encouraged that they came so close to being able to pay for the SEC crown but discouraged that they always fell short.

But Clempstoned fans will be thrilled if their team wins, and the anger if they lose will revolve solely around the USC game. And USC fans will be crushed if we lose, ecstatic if victorious.

And I will be celebrating with them.

In short, we're all stupid.

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