Can Cocky Secure Presidential Pardon This Thanksgiving?

Cocky, the beloved avian mascot of UofSC, has managed to earn a presidential pardon for the last 49 years, exempting him from Thanksgiving festivities here on campus. However, this year, he faces some stiff competition: Torky, the wild turkey that wandered onto campus last week. For the first time since his introduction in 1971, Cocky finds himself on the Aramark chopping block.

Some less-informed readers might protest that Cocky is a gamecock, but that’s a common misconception. “For tax reasons, former president Thomas F. Jones recruited a turkey from the woods and advertised him as Cocky, the fighting rooster,” states President Harris Pastides. “In order to spare him from the horror that most of his kind face in November, it has always been my position to grant him sanctuary from Thanksgiving. But the student body has really taken to Torky.”

Sophomore Amanda Kirksey discovered Torky on her way to Humanities. Since she first put him on her Snapchat story, he has quickly risen to fame among students of all demographics. Thirteen students have already submitted new student organization applications for a Torky Fanclub, and several sororities have begun planning bake sales to fund Torky’s residence on campus.

“Cocky is nice, but I would lay down my life for Torky,” says junior Blake Raddings. “Plus, I say Cocky’s gotten a little too comfortable with his place here. I mean, how does Cocky want to explain the way our football team has played recently? His hype game has been weak. It wasn’t until Torky came that we actually started winning.”

In anticipation of South Carolina’s most giant turkey finally joining the Thanksgiving menu, frat houses have been seen lighting up barbecues, and reports have rolled in of Aramark employees setting game traps around Williams-Bryce Stadium. This past Friday, the Gamecock emergency warning announcement played turkey sounds, begging the question, “For whom does the bell gobble?”

As Pastides’s time to make a decision approaches, Cocky has been sighted working his tailfeathers off to earn this year’s pardon. From perfecting his triple-double to several failed attempts to hack the Williams-Bryce scoreboard, he is doing everything he can to prove how integral he is to UofSC. Torky, meanwhile, has continued adorably gobbling and waddling around Davis Field.

At press time, Torky was polling at 99%, according to a leaked report from the president’s office.