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Know Your Enemy: South Carolina Gamecocks

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So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will win a hundred times in a hundred battles. —The Art of War by Sun Tzu as read by Joe Mantegna (yes, that Joe Mantegna, seriously)

Kentucky is now 5-0, ranked 8th in the country, has a Heisman-contending quarterback, and has a receiver (DLJ) who leads the country in awesomeness. If you’ll look back at the first “Know Your Enemy”, you will see that I correctly predicted all of this (plus bread shortages in Zimbabwe) to the smallest detail more than a month ago. This clairvoyance has generated a lot of buzz and led one Richard K. Brooks to call the Know Your Enemy staff (four pelicans and my aunt) and request an audience with me earlier this week. We spoke about boring stuff–X’s, O’s, W’s, L’s, and ex’s (that joke worked for me on Bob Hope’s USO tour in ’43 and it’s still gold)–but we also spoke about how to motivate our boys as they prepare for the Fighting Roosters. The advice I gave Richard was the same as what I gave to Valerie Bertinelli as she prepared for the Jenny Craig Diet Challenge: “You can do this, but you have to want it more than anything else. There will be nay sayers, just like there always has been, but you have to ignore them and press on. Who thought a show about a single mom, her two daughters, and the building’s handyman would be a success? NO ONE, that’s who. And who ever thought you could tame and marry a big-haired rocker like Eddie Van Halen? NO ONE, that’s who. So get out there and show the world that you can lose that weight, and oh, yeah…Mosley believes in ya, kid.” Upon hearing this advice, Coach Brooks shook his head, punched me in the throat, and stormed out of the room. You see, I angried up his blood and I fully expect him to channel his hatred for me to the South Carolina Chickens come Thursday night. Now that you’re sufficiently bored and wondering if reading the rest if worth the effort, let us continue:

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Take it one day at a time, Rich

Location

The University of South Carolina is located in the state capital of Columbia–one of only 2 state capitals appearing on the SEC schedule, which I find strangely interesting. The University itself is more than 200 years old, and actually ceased operations during the Civil War due to a lack of students. In the 30 years or so since the War, South Carolina has tried mightily to regain its former position of being the “flagship” university of the state. That’s not an especially difficult task as its only competition is from Clemson University, which I have learned must be pronounced with a “p” in the middle by all natives for some reason (CLEMPSON). The oldest building and center of campus appears to be The Horseshoe although this would seem more appropriate on UK’s campus than USC’s. The nickname “Gamecocks” has always struck me as odd as it doesn’t just name an animal, but an illegal activity in which said animal is involved. The University’s explanation goes like this: “A gamecock, of course, is a fighting rooster known for its spirit and courage.” Those are strange words to describe a chicken who is made to fight another chicken by its owner. Spirit and courage? Really? “That’s perverse”–Frank Costanza.

Notable Alumni

Aside from such political luminaries as Andy Card, Lindsey Graham, and Renaldo Balkman, Carolina’s most famous alum would appear to be none other than Leeza Gibbons. You remember Leeza as being the perky co-host of Entertainment Tonight through much of the nineties as she would attempt to have interesting interviews with ambivalent celebrities. Each of these resulted in failure. She then went on to host a talk show that proved to be just as interesting and popular as “The Tony Danza Show”, “The Tempest Bledsoe Show”, and the “Larry Hagman Show” (later renamed “Dallas”). Leeza most recently appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” where she was one of the few “celebrities” that an average person would have a chance at recognizing as a celebrity. Once again folks, this is the best that our competition can do in terms of graduates. Pity them. And now let’s go to Mary Hart who caught up with Christian Slater to discuss his reaction the the Cheerleader Scouting Report.

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Renaldo Balkman

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Cheerleader Scouting Report

For the second week in a row, we struggle to find a team picture. I found one, but it’s informal and one cheerleader is even wearing a hat–frustrating indeed. However, I have gone the extra mile and have inspected the individual head shots of the USC cheerleaders to better prepare you for today’s game. All in all, a pretty good collection of ladies, although the stars appear to be Jenna Desavino and Claire Fox. Expect ESPN to focus on these two 8-9 times each as we return from timeouts. Poor Katie Kelly is rockin’ bangs, so there are some weak points in the lineup.

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Football History

As previously discussed, South Carolina’s football history is not quite as good as even they believe. USC’s first season was in 1892 where they were blistered 44-0 by Furman and its first victory came only three years later in 1895. It would be only 100 years between the ‘Cocks first victory and their first bowl victory as USC won the Carquest Bowl in 1995. Wait, did they really not win a bowl game until 1995? In no way can this be described as a successful program. Kentucky has a richer football tradition and that’s not a compliment to UK. Speaking of which, Kentucky and the ‘Cocks first hooked up in 1937 with the Cats (of course) coming away with a 27-7 victory in Lexington. The Banny Roosters do, however, hold the all-time series lead at 11-6-1.

Players

A lot of possibilities here. One player not to look out for is Coach Spurrier’s son, Scott Spurrier. Ol’ Scott stands 5’4 and weighs in at 154 and the media guide proclaims that the sophomore, “could see game time as a holder on placements”. Gut feeling here is that Scott sees the field about as much as Leeza Gibbons cause Daddy loves winnin’ more than he does family. Other players to dislike include walk-on tight end Foxy Foxworth (real name “Eugene”), junior cornerback Stoney Woodson (real name “Stoney Ray”), and Captain Munnerlyn (real name “Captain”). Stoney and Captain are the two fastest Gamecocks according to 40 times, so it’s safe to say that a ridiculous first name makes you faster, hence Dicky Lyons, Jr.’s 3.9 speed (it’s science).

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Stoney and…

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the Cap’n

Airtight Predictions

The game will be closer than the score indicates. The final score will be 67-15, but it will seem like it should have been 61-19. Cats march on to 6-0 and Les Miles will really question whether he wants to play the Cats and risk maiming his entire team. In a fun twist akin to Rocky surprising Apollo Creed by fighting right-handed, the Cats will lead-off the game with DLJ at quarterback and Woodson at receiver. To no one’s surprise they hook up on the second play of the game for a 54-yard touchdown strike. As things get ridiculous towards the end, Wesley Woodyard is inserted at fullback and South Carolina’s linebackers refuse to play the remainder of the game citing Woodyard’s reckless hitting ability. Kentucky bravely doesn’t blink and goes on to score on the next play against a South Carolina defense of only 8 players. The game will be well in hand by halftime and instead of a stirring speech, Coach Richie will require the team to take a 10 minute halftime nap so that they will be rested enough for the following week and can devote more time to their studies. Also, Cocky the mascot will continue to be the best mascot in the SEC.

Shout Outs

New feature for you this week as we are constantly innovating around here. In this space we will give a shout-out to special readers of Know Your Enemy. I’ll try to hit everyone, so this feature should last for about 3 weeks. First up is Coach Russell Melton at Leslie County High School. Coach Melton is a stellar baseball coach and has led his Eagles to the finals of the 14th Region in each of the last two years. He enjoys pumpkin pie, cardboard boxes, and Know Your Enemy. If you see him about, say “hey” and give him my best–but don’t look directly into his eyes.

Summary

Amazingly, you now probably know less about South Carolina than you did before you started reading this–I never claimed to be informative. Incredibly handsome? Yes. Informative, articulate, intelligent? I claim none of these. Anywho, feel free to employ the dark arts as you seek to hex The Ol’ Ball Visor Coach and his team and sit back and enjoy the Wildcats continue their utter domination of all things football. Go Cats!

Article written by Mosley