BASCock's venture to the real "Death Valley" Posted by BASCock at 10:51:22 11/05/02 Warning, this is lenghty, but aren't all of my posts like that! It is with great trepidation I weigh in on the current USC program, being my absence has been almost total this season. But yea, I am a Gamecock, so I weigh in! In between continuous trips to Omaha, I had planned, since last year, one road trip for the season. It was a big one in the scheme of USC football fortunes. It was a road trip to the BIG EASY and Baton Rouge for the Cocks vs. Bayou Bengals on a crazy Saturday night. As we woke from a Friday night stumble on Bourbon street (3 hours sleep), me and the brother planned our trip across the Bayou up to Baton Rouge. Rain threatened, but we never waivered. Rain Slick….Real Gamecocks don’t need no Rain Slick. We used a circuitous route provided by some great tiger fans, right here on FGF (Fighting Gamecock Forum) , the week of the game. While in the back of my mind I thought, what if these dudes send Gamecocks off on a crazy route and we miss the game, but my senses told me…..remember boyscouts and the mapping/navigation field trip. We pulled in to the free parking and got the fever. It was SEC football on a Saturday night in the Bayou! May not get better than this, unless its Williams Brice! My brother, a Tater (Clemson Tiger), was awed by the spectacle of the real death valley. Yes, he may hold his tiggers and their “beloved” death valley dear to heart, but quickly realized this is BIG TIME Southern fried football . He placed the BLOCK C hat on his head and cheered the Gamecocks. He is starting toi make a habit of this. The tailgate was tremendous…we mingled with the CAJUN brethren and talked USC, LSU, Lou, Saban, and players. Drank a little more while we were at it. All in good spirits. Upon approach to the stadium, we walked past the baseball stadium, with all their “banners” proclaiming their faith in the diamond. Impressive. Across the street, it seemed they had metal signs for each bowl, and the years they participated in those bowls. Yes, we were entering a venerable setting that placed pride in the program at a new level, maybe equaled only by BAMA’s display of its storied history! Suddenly, from a pack of tailgatin’ CAJUNS, came a lady(?) in Tiger apparel. Her eyes conveyed the frenzy of our opponent. She screamed repeatedly, running directly to my chest, extending the index finger, yelling “TIGER BAIT, TIGER BAIT…..” I was amused yet surprised by the severity of her champ. Being a Woman, I restrained myself, being the Southern Gentleman that I am, and stated, “Lou and the Cocks” got somethin’ for you!” Still all in good fun! As we neared the entry gates, there were several delirious young tiger boys that Cursed our mascot, with a violence and hatred unseen except for Georgia. Blasphemously using our moniker as a vile curse word. I told my brother, “all opponents love to hate the Cocks, because we are the COCKS!” We moved throught the turnstile and took our seats. The seats were as narrow as those at the venerable Neyland stadium. This was the set up for the visitors, as we saw that single box seats with backrest and arms were available to the faithful tigers of many years, conveniently located in the lower west and east stands. Hey Priority means something to these fans. Beautiful stadium! As the Cocks opened up behind a pounding running game, and a death strike from Jenkins to Williamson, to take a 14 – 3 lead, the tiger stadium grew massively quiet. Then conservatism and botched assignments gripped hold of the play calling on our last drive, and gave the mighty beast a chance before halftime, converting a field goal with, “miraculously” 1 second on the game clock. Suddenly the fan base erupted. I went from thinking “We got em” to “Hold onto your Spurs!” We were in for a war. Second half, the avalanche began! Not a normal avalanche, but one originating from the Himalayan peaks. They scored on the opening drive, converted a 2 pt conversion to tie it, and it was, for all intents and purposes , OVER! I have rarely seen the overwhelming flood of emotion and adrenaline take hold of a team, generated by its fans. This was an incredible, and humbling experience. Although we Cocks fans have witnessed this avalanche of momentum in our favor, particularly the last 2 years and back in 84, it seems this is the norm in the real “Death Valley!” Funny thing, the LSU fans became nasty after they had us by 20. Call it a gang of masses, and probably quite a few drunk masses, but they almost had to call on the national guard in the 4th quarter. Go figure! Overall it was a “FAN”tastic experience I will always remember. Me and the brother didn’t get too much from the fans leaving and the walk to the car. Then again, we may have been the exception being two pretty big fellas with our “GAME” Cock faces on. We did congratulate and give a couple of high fives, so we were gracious visitors. All in all, it was everything you come to expect, and everything you hear about regarding SEC football. So proud to be a Gamecock, and proud to be a member of the unique and prestigious SEC. Next, a followup to the Tenn game, and how we rebound! AND YES,,,,,,WE WILL REBOUND. As Lou said, “Things are not always as Bad as they Appear!” Go COCKS! FWIW…. BASCock! A Fightin’ Gamecock!