Remember how George Jefferson kept the first dollar he ever made in the dry cleaning business in a frame on his wall?
I did the same thing as a kid.
The difference was that I made my first dollars hustling sodas to Gamecocks fans at Williams-Brice Stadium as a child. (Truthfully, I spent that dollar years ago. Becoming a man was more expensive than I planned.)
The point is that I have been a South Carolina fan all of my life. There were seasons where I had attended all the home games. I pulled for them whether they won nine games, or lost 10.
The thing I most identified with was that Gamecock football teams were often outmatched at multiple positions all over the field, but we always fought to the very last whistle. Teams were always stronger and faster than us. We had to play mistake-free football because the talent just wasn't there.
The Gamecocks came into 2011 loaded on both sides of the ball. With a top WR and RB, an SEC schedule missing heavyweight roadblocks, a defensive line bolstered by the addition of the No. 1 recruit in the country, and a fifth-year senior returning to quarterback the whole show, there were even whispers of a national championship title.
Despite poor showings in a 4-0 start, South Carolina was still favored by 10 points over Auburn—last year's national champion. Inexplicably, the Gamecocks lost 13-16.
My hat goes off to Auburn, but here are my five reasons USC didn't have to lose.