Last Saturday, Gamecock fans filled Williams-Brice stadium for an afternoon long-awaited by sports fans all around: the recognition of our university’s female athletes by having them all line up on the field in a horde to the tune of famous girl-power songs like “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack or “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton or “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift.
The ceremony, advertised for months as the main event of the fall semester, was meant to bring the university together in solidarity to show that “hey, we love women!” in a very public and unmistakable way, paying respect to our women in sports all at one time in one big gesture so they can see what it would be like to have people come to their games (and hopefully encourage them to stop asking the Provosts for more funding).
Student attendee Freckle Jones shared his excitement for the ceremony as one of the many students that camped outside the stadium the night before the game. “I just couldn’t help myself,” he said while drinking his university-provided Whiteclaw for attendants, “as soon as I heard tickets were available, I requested them immediately. This is going to be the biggest thing all season besides the Clemson game – I knew it would be a madhouse with fans coming to show their support, so I made sure to camp overnight so I’d get the best view!”
University President Michael Amiridis expressed his reservation on the matter, but also kept a positive outlook when asked about his feelings on the turnout today.
“It’s not just any day you have what seems like the entire university in attendance, especially this early. I couldn’t be prouder or more excited for our talented athletes, and wish them the best, even in the face of such a monumental opponent.“
The day quickly turned dark, however, as the sounds of Cocky’s signature scream echoed over a full stadium to reveal the beginning of what appeared to be some kind of sports game.
Players in red and black jerseys stormed the field to the tune of 90s synth wave music and the stadium was lit up blood red – – almost emblematic of a battle of war. The fans screamed and roared in fear, as they realized the ceremony they were promised was now being overtaken by men in tight shorts and helmets.
The OTHER red team also brought a handful of women with them, which at first deceived me and my companions in the stadium as we let the sparkly sparkly skirts distract from the fact that no other real female athletes were on the field. But the masculine ogres behind them continued to throw the ugly brown ball up and down the field, intermittently dancing provocatively with one another, much to the horror of onlookers.
The day went on, and the game didn’t seem to stop. “We want the ladies!” Shouted the upper level students who had paid good money for the scalped tickets to see the lovely ladies of the University of South Carolina equestrian team.
Finally, the referees blew their whistle and put an end to the madness. The women were ushered onto the field in a ceremonious parade, a beautiful show that had everyone on their feet clapping and cheering. But after about one minute we were robbed again.
More whistles were blown, and a man (my chief editor later informed me to be head “football” ? coach Shane Beamer) elicited an uproar. He yelled at the feminine stallions gracing the field, “get off the field!“ and I felt chills travel down my spine.
Who could be so disrespectful? Who does he think he is? Interrupting the most highly anticipated event in the university’s entire fall semester.
The seven women who took to the field glared, along with the rest of us in the stadium, and shortly after the student section cleared out in solidarity. Pictures show a once-full stadium now vacant in disgust.
At the end of the game, we saw Freckle Jones again, now sulking at the feet of the giant bird statue in front of the stadium. When asked how he felt about the harrowing display in the stadium, he could only shake his head through tears.
“I had such high hopes. I can’t believe after all of the hard work we put in we were just absolutely destroyed. It was like we didn’t even have a chance.“
A sad day here at The Third Spur, for Freckle Jones, and fans of women everywhere. Shame on you, Beamer guy.