Tidbits -September 21 2017

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



AND, AGAIN

  I am getting sick and tired of being used to the Carolina sports’ teams breaking the hearts of their fans.
  I was listening to 107.5 at lunch Monday, and Pearson Fowler summed it up pretty well.
  He said as he was leaving the stadium Saturday night, he saw fans cursing and throwing things, but he left happy, because the Carolina football team did exactly what he had come to expect them to do.
  He’s only 23-years-old. Imagine what fans my age have gone through.
  For instance, I knew when Carolina’s kicker missed the PAT after the first touchdown the game would be lost.
  I also knew when they announced the game was going to be a “blackout,” the Gamecocks were doomed.
  The next person to suggest such a stupid idea  needs to be publicly flogged on the front steps of the State House.
  Carolina is the worst game “promotion” school in America. If you want to guarantee a loss, everybody dress in black.
  The loyal fans did their part. If they didn’t have any black items, the went out and bought them, anything to support their team.
  And what does their team do? They score on the first play of the game, then fold their tents.
  Knowing how much their fans had gotten up for the game to welcome them home after two games away, how could a team play this way? Strap all black, or all garnet, or all white, or garnet and white, or black and white, garnet and black, and a Block “C”  on them, that’s how!
  If the Gamecocks had split their first two games, or even gone 0-2, the loss to Kentucky would not have been as unbearable.
  But’s that how these heartbreakers get you. They won their first two games, and people started talking about how they may challenge for the East, and then the game comes against a crappy team that has beaten you three times in a row, and you lay a big old ostrich egg, and crush your fans again.
  And to make matters worse, your hated rival Clemson plays another team from Kentucky and beats the slop out of them.
  It’s got to be a conspiracy.
  In one game, the Carolina football team went from being the media darling to the armpit of the SEC.
  With Vanderbilt beating a ranked Kansas State team, and Kentucky beating Carolina, the Gamecocks are currently the worst team in the SEC’s worst division.
  But that can change.
  Losing Deebo Samuel is going to hurt, but maybe that will force the Gamecock offense to use more weapons. The offense was supposed to be this team’s strong point. So far, the offense has failed miserably to live up to the billing.
  It’s just one game. Maybe, the Gamecocks will start a winning streak, get better with each passing week, and get bowl eligible.
  And when they do ... they will surely lose to Wofford. I’d be disappointed if they didn’t.
  I’ll use again this favorite poem that you can substitute any profession  as the subject:
  “A Gamecock stood at the pearly gates,
  His face was worn and old,
  He stood before the man of fate,
  For admission to the fold,
  ’What have you done?’ St. Peter said,
  ’To gain your entry here?’
  ’I’ve been a Gamecock fan’ He said,
  ’For many and many a year!’
  The pearly gates flew open wide,
  St Peter rung the bell
  ’Come in,’ he said ‘and choose you harp’
  ’You’ve had your share of hell!’
  Nuff said!

NOT THE SAME

  The Saluda Tigers used to be the high school equivalent of the Gamecocks.
  In the ‘good old days” Saluda Gamecock fans could get their hearts ripped out of their chests on Fridays and Saturdays.
  Danny Bledsoe always blamed it on the “Chicken Curse,” since part of Saluda’s stands came from the old Carolina Stadium.
  But in the last few years, things have changed for Saluda. Fans have come to expect them to win. Two straight trips to the Upper State Championship game inspires confidence.
  In those “bad old days” a loss to Batesburg-Leesville was considered automatic. Not anymore!
  The Tigers claimed their third straight win over the Panthers Friday night. You have to go back to 1971, 1972 and 1973 to find the last time that happened.
  This was not a fluke, either. The Tigers did not play great by any stretch, but still won 27-0.
  Like Carolina, Saluda had placekicking woes, but the Tigers overcame them. Carolina did not.
  Like the Gamecocks, B&L lost their best player early.  Quarterback Bishop Cannon has been outstanding in the first four games, rushing for 345 yards and passing for 450.
  I thought the Panthers back-up QB did an excellent job, but it was not the same.
  I hate to see any player get hurt, but I especially mourn when a great player goes down.
  Unfortunately, injuries comes with the territory.
  Before the game, Jay Hendrix, who writes up the Panther games for the “Twin-City News” dropped by the press box and gave me a copy of the excellent pre-game report he prepares before each B&L game.
  Included are the year-by-year scores in the series. Did you know Saluda and Batesburg-Leesville started playing each other in 1920, and the Panthers won 50-0?!!!
  Jay doesn’t have every score in the series, but he shows that Saluda has beaten B&L three times or more in a row only four times in the last 97-years - 2015-2017, 1971-73, 1955-1957 and 1936-1939, the only four year streak.
  The Panthers longest streak against the Tigers is 19, from 1984-2002, and this was followed by an eight  game streak from 2003-2010.
  Considering Saluda only beat B&L once from 1984-2010, the current three-game Saluda win streak takes on even more significance!

KINSHIP

  I’ve written  before, it is appropriate that I have been the Saluda High football public address announcer for over 35 years, since I am related to the stadium.
  Friday, the families of Dr. T.B. Matthews and  Bettis Herlong were recognized before the game.
  Dr. Matthews gave the land the field is on, and Bettis led in the purchase of the current home stands from Carolina, and erection of the stands at Matthews Field.
  Dr. Matthews was married to my great-great aunt Sudie Grigsby.
  Bettis was my father Shake’s first cousin, and Sudie Grigsby was Bettis’ great-aunt, so when Bettis played on Matthews Field as a player and a coach, he was related to it too!
  Ironically, the two men saluted have descendants on the current Saluda High football team.
  Matthew Herlong is Dr. Matthews great-great grandson. That’s right, Herlong.
  Matthew’s grandfather, Frank Herlong, is related to Bettis on the Herlong side, and his grandmother Amelia Matthews Herlong is related to Bettis on the Grigsby side. Frank and Amelia are only related through marriage,however.
  Bettis’s great-grandson Hunter Herlong is on the Saluda varsity, and another great-grandson David Warren plays on the Jayvee.
  So, basically, two families were introduced by announcer who was kin of all them, and they were all kin to each other, too.....
  Confused, yet?