Welcome to To Thee, Forever Ago
Come for the obscure Bon Iver reference in the title, stay for the South Carolina Gamecocks history posts.
Hello. I’m Connor Tapp, former managing editor of Garnet & Black Attack and podcasts director at 247Sports. I’ve been looking for a way back into writing about South Carolina athletics in a way that would a) be fun for me and b) offer a unique value proposition compared to the vast quantities of other Gamecock-related content.
Writing about the Gamecocks used to be an all-consuming passion for me. But the past decade has seen Facebook and Twitter ruin most types of writing, including writing about the Gamecocks. There are very few media outlets still in operation whose business model isn’t predicated, at least in part, on tricking you into clicking on an article that isn’t actually about anything and then, as reward for your trouble, subjecting you to an absolutely miserable user experience, replete with auto-play videos and pop-up ads. It’s not very enjoyable to consume content in this environment, and it’s even less fun to create it. So you’ve probably figured out from the overall tone of this paragraph that I’m not interested in writing about the Gamecocks (or much of anything) if it means doing so within the requirements of the digital advertising overlords.
The quest to reclaim this part of my identity - writing about the Gamecocks - has been a project six years in the making. So I’m excited to have finally found a good angle to write from and a means of delivering the finished product.
After spending some time digging through archives of The State and the Post & Courier, I’ve realized that so many weird and incredible things have happened in South Carolina athletics history that almost no one remembers. For instance, did you know that there was panic in Columbia when Lou Holtz’s original introductory press conference was canceled at the last minute amid concerns that the Notre Dame legend had cold feet? Or that Steve Spurrier spent two years from 2007 to 2009 running a website called spurrierhbc.com, which invited you to pay $29.95/month to have early access to insider information, such as which players were facing suspension? Or that Governor Jim Hodges pushed hard for moving the Aloha Bowl to Williams-Brice Stadium, only to be rebuffed by a board of trustees that cited among their chief concerns “not wanting to make people work on Christmas”?
So once a week at To Thee, Forever Ago, we’re going to go into the archives and tell the story of a weird and/or interesting thing that happened with respect to South Carolina athletics.
If that sounds good to you, I hope you’ll subscribe. The first post is going up on July 9th. We’re giving away a month for free if you sign up before the start of the 2021 season.
In the meantime, tell your friends! Tell your enemies, too, for all I care.