Steve Spurrier

The Almighty Cocks!

Congratulations to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, henceforth referred to as “The Cocks.”

Last weekend, the Cocks were playing their first game after coach Steve Spurrier, the Head Cock himself, quit. Yet the Cocks didn’t come out flaccid. Nobody would’ve been surprised, or even blamed them, if they had been a little limp or come up a little short.

Sure, Vanderbilt isn’t exactly the most turgid of opponents, and the Cocks have smacked the Commodores across the face repeatedly in recent years. But if there was any time Vanderbilt was going to be able to manhandle the Cocks, this was it.

I mean, The coach just up and quit in the middle of the season! I know he’s old, and, at 70, maybe it’s not as easy to get his Cocks up and ready week after week. And with only two wins this season, and winless in the tough SEC, there was already speculation that he’d retire at the end of the season. I just didn’t expect the premature ejection.

Okay, okay. I’ll give it a rest. Take a breather, smoke a cigarette. But only for long enough to get ready for Round Two.

Because I don’t care if it’s sophomoric, dammit. Double entendres are funny. Unless you have a stick up your ass (and that’s not a double entendre).

There’s a teacher in my department that was bemoaning the maturity level of high school boys, who kept laughing at her Vietnam War PowerPoint.

“Every time I mention the attacks on the Cu Chi Tunnels.”

I snickered. So did the other men at the table.

“No seriously, guys. That’s where the Viet Cong would hide. The Americans were always trying to find out where the Cu Chi tunnels were and infiltrate them, but they always had trouble getting in.”

“Sounds like my twenties,” I mentioned.

“Stop it!”

“Hey, I have a question,” another teacher asked. “Did the VC trim the vegetation around the Cu Chi Tunnels?”

“Ugh.” She had given up, but we kept going.

“Maybe if they had played around with the mountains a little first, the Cu Chi Tunnels would’ve been more receptive.”

It turns out the age of the male in question has little to do with his reaction to trying to get into the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Have I mentioned that one of my life dreams is to be invited to the wedding between Ms. Poon & Mr. Tang. I’m also sad that we’re no longer going to be two resignations away from President Boner.

Which leads me back to rooting for the South Carolina Gamecocks.

I know, I know. One should never pick the team one is rooting for because of its mascot. Your favorite team should be much more manly and logical than that, such as a team that you live near or a team that was good when you first started following the sport.

But picking by mascot is just bush league. You can’t just pick the Giants because you are tall. Or the Vikings because you’re a fan of softcore porn on the History Channel. It’s not like chronic masturbators unite in their love of the Yankees.

Especially in college. If you start picking teams just because of their mascot, who are you going to root for when the Auburn Tigers play the LSU Tigers? Maybe you can just switch to be a Wildcat fan when Kentucky plays Arizona State.

Yet there’s something about those Cocks.

By the way, when those Wildcats of KY meet up with the Cocks? It can get messy!

My love of the Cocks (um, I mean my fandom of South Carolina) began one hungover New Year’s Morning. I woke up in a cabin with about thirty people I didn’t know. I was one of only a few that were awake at first because I had slept on the uncomfortable floor in front of the TV, which somebody had just turned on to a random bowl game.

“Who’s playing?” I asked as my bleary eyes tried to focus.

“South Carolina,” the unknown guy who had secured the couch the night before said. “The Cocks.”

A linebacker was on the screen. I responded, “Wow, that’s a big Cock.” Then it was on.

South Carolina sacks the quarterback? That cock got some good penetration. Lining up in the I-formation? A lot of cocks in the backfield. The other team gets called for pass interference? Can’t keep his hands off that cock!

As each new person in the cabin woke up, the process would start all over again. Except for one guy, who was convinced South Carolina was in Canada.

If you would think repeating “That Cock split the uprights” every time a field goal or PAT was kicked would get boring, I direct you again to the Cu Chi Tunnel discussion. Over a decade later, when Jadeveon Clowney hit Vincent Smith in another Outback Bowl, my phone blew up with texts: “They just cock-smacked that dude’s hat off!!” And when South Carolina won the second of their back-to-back College World Series titles, I couldn’t get to Twitter fast enough to congratulate them for rising up and finishing twice in a row.

Before 2000, the Cocks were relatively unknown. They were Baby Cocks – small, barely noticeable, not really sure what they were there for. Lou Holtz ushered in the awkward teenage years, when the Cocks occasionally rose up and made everyone know they were there, but most of the time was spent fumbling around in the wrong direction. There were a few quicks flashes and spurts, but not against anyone that mattered, and the best that could be said was that they could “hold their own.”

Then Lou Holtz left coaching to do impressions of Sylvester the Cat on ESPN.

So the Cocks hired Steve Spurrier and entered the prime of their lives. It didn’t matter who they faced, they were ready to hit it hard and hit it fast. Waking up Sunday morning and looking over at the fresh tail of Gator or Bulldog they had plowed through the night before.  Fielding calls from AP Pollsters who wanted the blow-by-blow of how it all went down. They even tapped the Ol’ Top 10 List from time to time.

But after a decade, that relationship started to get old. Even before this year, the Spurrier-Cock duo had lost a step. They weren’t quite getting up for the big games anymore. More often than not, when the pre-game excitement rose, they had trouble showing up at all. Some of those games, they were finished after running through the tunnel at the start.

Did the romance grow stale? Did the Cocks just not do it for Spurrier anymore or did all of his old moves no longer get their juices flowing? Every commercial break during the baseball playoffs tells me that this is common in older men. Maybe they should’ve looked for some little blue pills.

But now that marriage is now over.

Now that the Cocks might not be relevant, maybe it’s time to move them to the Pac-12. Just imagine annual games against USC (“That Trojan defense is preventing the Cocks from depositing their cargo into the endzone!”). And the Washington State Cougars would always be happy when the Cocks come to town. Then, of course, there would be the games against the Oregon State Beavers. I think those games would have to be broadcast on Pay-Per-View to avoid FCC fines.

In fact, maybe they should form a brand new, “All Innuendo” conference. Take those four teams and throw in the Wichita State Shockers. Ball State and Sac State would be an instant rivalry. Maybe throw the Massachusetts Minutemen in. Would the Crimson Tide be taking it too far?

Regardless of where they play, they are at a crossroads. They are really in the same spot as any recently-divorced Cock. Do they realize their best days are behind them and settle for some Saturday afternoon dates with the sweet Tar Heel or Volunteer from the next block over, maybe spiced up with an occasional minor Bowl game in mid-December to think back on those crazy younger days? Or do they find some fresh new piece of ass- istant coach that helps them rediscover that virility that was lost?

I know what I’m rooting for!  Come and sing their new alma mater with me!

Get up ye Mighty Great Cocks
How turgidly ye rise
Thrust! Firm!
Plunge! Deep!
And depositing your seed
Into the eeeeeeeeeend-zooooooooone!