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todd ellis

For those of you who’ve never had the misfortune of encountering former University of South Carolina quarterback (and current football announcer) Todd Ellis, consider yourselves lucky.

Seriously, people … this guy is equal part egomaniac and ignoramus … with a little pyramid scammage (among other reported ethical lapses) thrown in the mix for good measure.

He’s also perhaps the worst play-by-play announcer in the history of college radio … which (believe us) is saying something.

Anyway, Ellis was in Birmingham, Alabama for the 2010 Papajohns.com Bowl, a game in which his alma mater was humiliated by a middle-of-the-road Big East team that wasn’t even playing Division I-A football a decade ago.

We know this to be the case because the University of South Carolina is also our alma mater, and we drove for hundreds of miles last weekend to sit in the freezing cold  – on the shady side of a shady stadium (in a shady neighborhood) – to watch the Gamecocks lay down against the University of Connecticut.

Anyway, on the eve of the “big game” (or what passes for a big game at USC), Ellis appeared at a pep rally for the Gamecocks and Huskies that was held in Five Points South, where Birmingham’s night life is primarily clustered.

After listening to Connecticut’s enthusiastic but respectful “we’re going to give our best effort” presentation, Ellis grabbed microphone and proceeded to strut about the stage like a rooster bragging about the Southeastern Conference and how much better it is than all the other conferences.

He also previewed a radio “call” of the game in which South Carolina was leading Connecticut 35-13 late in the fourth quarter with USC quarterback Stephen Garcia ostensibly having thrown for a career-high 375 yards and four touchdowns.

“But Spurrier wants more …” Ellis yelled, proceeding to describe Garcia tossing an imaginary fifth touchdown pass that would have – in Ellis’ demented dreamworld – put USC up by a 42-13 margin.

“Touchdown!!!”

The display was ridiculous, distasteful and annoying … to say nothing of implausible, considering how South Carolina’s anemic offense was held to seventeen points or less in eight out of twelve football games this year.

On one count Ellis is right, though. The SEC – even in down years – is by far and away the best college football conference in America.

Unfortunately, under head coach Steve Spurrier the Gamecocks remain an embarrassment to the SEC’s proud football heritage, while Ellis remains an embarrassment to the Gamecocks.

Like we said three seasons ago, USC needs to learn how to shut up and play …