We need to have a little chat. It’s been a long time coming, but the time is finally here, so let’s just get right to it: you need to be better.
I don’t mean at the beginning of the game, when you’re all screaming and Sandstorm-ing and waving towels. That part’s solid. I mean after halftime.
Watching the game on TV Saturday night, the student section looked disgraceful in the third and fourth quarters. And y’all can’t use the “it was hot!!!” excuse this time, so don’t even try.
The first step to improving is by simply STAYING IN THE STANDS. Like, look, I get that Saturday’s game was on its way to blowout status at halftime. I get that it was Vanderbilt, who isn’t terrible, but who isn’t great, either. I get those things, but I don’t care.
There was still an entire half to be played. It was an SEC game. It was the first home SEC game of the season. Your team was playing well.
And you left.
That’s not very supportive. Connor Shaw called y’all out for it, too, saying that there was no reason the stands should have been empty like they were in the second half. That guy leaves it all on the field every game. He’s 12-0 as a starter at Williams-Brice. He takes hits and throws touchdowns and runs all over the place and does it for the fans.
And you left.
Back when I was a freshman (that’s 2007, for those of you who don’t know), the Gamecocks weren’t very good. They weren’t awful, but they weren’t great. And gradually, they started to get better. Now they’re one of the best teams in the country, with one of the best players in the country, with one of the best coaches in the country, playing in the best conference in the country.
And you left.
It’s not fair to the players and coaches who work so hard. It’s not fair to the people who don’t get tickets and would have stayed for the entire game. A friend of mine attended his first USC game this weekend. This was not only his first Gamecocks game, it was also his first SEC game. He was blown away by the sights, the sounds, the fans. He’s already hoping to make it back to Williams-Brice.
Getting to be a part of what has been seen as a top-notch student section is a privilege. It’s fun, there’s good football, and you don’t even have to pay face value for tickets. You’re lucky.
So don’t take that for granted. Every Saturday (and the occasional Thursday) that USC has a home game, I sit in a bar or on a couch 1,000 miles away and feel so jealous of all y’all who get to be in that student section. You only get four (maybe five) years to be there. There are only 6-8 home games a year. They go by fast.
The bottom line is that this team deserves better than what they’ve gotten. The guys out on that field are your fellow students, and they deserve your respect. The Gamecocks are finally gaining national recognition and they’re backing it up with victories. They have the second-longest home winning streak in the country. They’ve done their part, now it’s time to do yours. So show up, get loud and proud, and stay for the entire game.