You’ve heard of the Iron Bowl, the Red River Rivalry, the Egg Bowl, “Clean, Old Fashioned Hate,” the Backyard Brawl, the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry and the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party … and you’ve probably heard of the Barrel, the Golden Boot, the Governor’s Cup and the Little Brown Jug.
All of these names and symbols are associated with great college football rivalries, and yet one of the greatest college football rivalries in the entire nation – the one played annually right here in South Carolina – has literally nothing to distinguish it from, well, any other game..
Officially, the Carolina-Clemson showdown is called the “Battle of the Palmetto State” or the “Palmetto Bowl.”
We know … how original. Of course our worst-in-the-nation “one size fits all” system of public education isn’t exactly breeding creativity (or literacy, for that matter).
Meanwhile the rivalry’s prize – the Hardee’s Trophy – is a particularly uninspiring piece of corporate-sponsored hardware that most Carolina and Clemson fans have never even heard of. Seriously, the trophy comes from a Missouri-based company and has absolutely nothing to do with our state.
One University of South Carolina fan wants to change all that. In fact, this fan – who writes under the moniker “The Thoughtful Gamecock” has proposed the following …
… the commission of two bronze palmetto tree statues, one to be located at Williams-Brice Stadum, and the other at Death Valley. Each tree should be around ten feet tall, and identically cast. Each tree should have a spot on top where a scale crescent moon, also bronze, could be affixed; and every year, Carolina and Clemson should play for that moon.
Imagine: Our big game would have a truly unique trophy to compete for, a trophy that could be displayed to the public year round, and even in losing years the lone palmetto still serves as a symbol of the state. Imagine ceremonies for the removal and presentation of a giant bronze moon to a winning team. Imagine ceremonies for the affixation of the moon to a previously bare tree. This could be really fun stuff.
According to the “Thoughtful Gamecock,” the Palmetto tree and crescent moon are “the most evocative symbols of our state,” and incorporating them into the annual Carolina-Clemson rivalry would “add a much needed bit of originality and fun to our rivalry.”
The website even has a new proposed name for the game – the “The Battle for the Carolina Moon.”
We’re “game” for these changes – assuming of course that athletic boosters at the two schools (not taxpayers) pay for the statues. Also, we’re guessing that this “moon” would require round-the-clock security at its permanent new home outside of Williams-Brice Stadium.
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