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Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

Weekend Wrap-up

In Football on September 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

Let the record show that I am no kind of football expert. I suspect that I am slightly more educated about the details of the sport than the majority of women you run across, but that is about as far as it goes.

All that being said, I am going to venture out on a limb and say that the play that my beloved Gamecocks brought against Navy this past weekend is just not going to cut it. The next seven games are conference games and include people like Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Florida, just to name a few. And let’s not forget about Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Auburn and Kentucky – all threats in their own way.  What is most frustrating as a fan is that this team has so SO much potential and an amazing amount of athletic ability. To an armchair observer, it just reeks of a lack of cohesion and team work.  Now, in all fairness, Navy has one outstanding offense and the Gamecocks did win, but I’m just really concerned about this kind of play while entering the most challenging part of their season.

But there was a bright spot and that was Marcus Lattimore. That kid is unfreakingbelievable.  Check out this video from Saturday Down South – not only is Marcus a phenomenal athlete, he seems to be just such a nice person. I mean, who’d expect one of the best college running backs in the country to be talking bowling and church? Have a look…http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/2011/video-marcus-lattimore-interview/

Bringing this back closer to home, The Citadel had the weekend off, so no real news there.  Next game is on the road in NC at Elon, and hopefully they will be able to put up a better showing than they did against Furman.

Now, here is what all five of you have been waiting for…the BIG story, which was the Clemson Tigers ending the Auburn Tigers seventeen game winning streak. Auburn was slightly favored in what I began calling the Tiger Track Meet, as up to this point neither team had shown much defense, hence the running up and down the field, hence the track reference…or just never mind. Anyway, things were pretty even steven until the third quarter when the Clemson offense just collectively lost its mind and went nuts on Auburn. And seeing how Auburn’s defense has been already called into question, well, 1+1=2, or, in this case, = 38-24 handily. Score still too high for my impeccable tastes, but that’s a story for a different day. (see LSU/MSU game – much more realistic numbers for teams of that caliber)

Like I’ve said before, the Gamecocks are my team, but I have a soft spot for Clemson too. Not when they play each other of course, but for the most part, I like to support my state as a whole when I can. But any good fan should be able to give credit where credit is due and Clemson did great this past weekend. Plus I’m still mad at Auburn from last year as well as being a closeted Bama fan (Roll Tide!), so they get no love here.  Or maybe a little, just due to the conference association but only as a last resort.

I sound crazy today, I realize that, thankyouverymuch.

ANYWAY. Here we all are.  South Carolina actually slipped in the rankings, despite the win against Navy, down to 12, and Clemson has joined the top 25, jumping in at 21, which in my humble opinion is a little too high, but whatevs.

Clemson still is having defensive issues, regardless of how well their offense can put the ball in the air so I do not see their next game be nearly as much fun for them.  #11 Florida State is coming off a heartbreaker and would probably love to throw a conference rival against the wall just to make themselves feel better, so the Tigers better bring their A game next Saturday at Death Valley. The Noles’ offense is no joke.

South Carolina is hosting Vanderbilt next week and this game is notoriously unpredictable, no matter anyone’s record or stats. Hopefully BOTH the O and D lines will arrive at the game simultaneously and that our QB Garcia lays off the hooch. (you may interpret that any way you like). I’d love to see the Gamecocks find their rhythm and be the team that the whole freaking world knows that they can be by putting up some huge numbers and not just those of Marcus Lattimore.

We’ll see how it goes at Elon for the Dawgs – hopefully they’ll get some momentum going and put up a decent showing in the SoCon but it’s not looking great. Got to be able to put up something other than field goals…

Stay tuned and as always, have a happy and safe Gameday.

Gameday Gastronomy

In Tasty Tailgating on September 14, 2011 at 10:23 am

When I first think about game day, I of course conjure up visions of glory, where my team annihilates their competition, making play after fabulous play and never looking stupid. Aaaannd since THAT rarely happens, then my thoughts next turn to food.

Here in the south, I’d wager it’s a close race between which is more important – eating or football. The combination of the two is a hallowed institution called tailgating. And in case you weren’t sure before, now you know that tailgating is not a hobby in the South; it’s a religion. The best goodies come out on Gameday and the combo I’m about to share with you is a game changer in its own right.

I have tailgating staples –  tasty goodies that are easy to transport, that don’t spoil quickly. The crowd pleasers that are a snap to multiply.  HOWEVER. Sometimes it’s time to bring out the big guns, whether it be to celebrate an especially important game or to just remind people of your tailgating prowess.   You know, those times when you want to knock one out of the park, so to speak.

Enter Slatherin’ Sauce.  Slatherin’ is locally owned by Charleston native Robin Rhea, a woman dedicated to fresh, good food since she started cooking at the ripe old age of three! However, here is the real beauty:  her sauces use ALL natural ingredients as well as local ones when available. No food coloring, no preservatives, no artificial sweeteners and definitely no high fructose corn syrup. Nothing but goodness!

Since its inception in October 2009, Slatherin’ has been making a steady climb to fame, because as they put it, “It’s an everything sauce!”  Not only is it “the cure for boring food”, it is good on ANYTHING. Meats, veggies, salads – you name it and you can Slather it!

Now, enter Holly Herrick.  Another local talent, Holly Herrick is ridiculously accomplished in her own right.  An award-winning chef, cookbook author and recipe innovator,   Holly is bringing her talents to the Slatherin’ table, developing crazy good recipes for Slatherin’, with a special focus on local, fresh, farm to table ingredients.

And since I love food AND football, and since I especially love the combination of the two, I’m thinking the Holly and Slatherin’ team is the ticket to Total. Tailgate. Domination.

Meet the Slather Burger:

I’m sorry – did someone say applewood smoked bacon, grass-fed beef and gouda? Yes? I am SO THERE. Treat this burger to some Vidalia onion and original Slatherin’ Sauce and you can consider yourself the king or queen of the grill. All challengers will flee in terror, guaranteed.

Now, every great main dish must be accompanied by a supporting side. And since we here in the South are blessed with about a zillion days of sunshine, it also means we have a longer growing season for summer veggies. I know I’m a little behind the curve for corn, but it’s still out there and what better way to usher it out for the summer than with a faboosh summer salad? Holly has developed this recipe specifically for use with Slatherin’ Sauce, anything else just will not do! Have a look at this golden goodness:

Fresh corn, fresh basil, fresh red bell pepper and Slatherin’ Sauce? Yes, please. Holly’s divine recipe is the exact right blend of spicy and sweet and is the perfect accoutrement to your Slather Burger in place of the usual boring fries or chips!

As an added bonus, it travels well, keeps easily and requires waaay less effort than cooking a hot side on site.  And who needs more heat during September tailgating in South Carolina on an asphalt parking lot? NOT ME.

So whether you’re tailgating or cooking at home, I think this combination of the Original Slather Burger and the Spicy Slathered Grilled Summer Corn Salad is a fantastic way to celebrate with friends.  Try it out and let me know what you think.  And, as always, have a happy and safe Gameday!

 Be sure to stop by the websites of Slatherin’ and Holly for more recipe  goodness!

http://slatheriton.com/

http://hollyherrick.com/

It’s Gameday Bay-bay!

In The Fan Experience on September 9, 2011 at 10:23 am

Y’all. There is just nothing cuter than a baby or toddler dressed up in the school colors on game day. I love seeing all the little girls in their cheer leading outfits, or the baby boys wearing Under Armor shirts that say “Protect This House”.  And so what I’m thinking is that since we came up with some options for the ladies last week, it’s only fair that we provide some inspiration for the littlest fans this week!

Personally, I like kids to look like kids, not like miniature grown ups. Which is why I love things like this girl’s skort from http://www.bumbleboutique.com – adorable, functional, washable and well made! LOVE it.

If you have a young male fan in your house, he probably doesn’t want to wear a skirt, so how about something a little more rough and tumble? Like this adorable cap from http://www.tigerpawtraditions.com.  I mean, who could argue with a three year old rocking a orange and purple hat?! Not me, that’s for certain. Check it out…

And for the Bulldog baby, what about something for the tootsies? Babies will always find a way to kick off their shoes, so when they do, be sure they have on cute socks!  For these and a zillion other fan choices, check http://www.kidfanatics.com.

Now then, we have the ladies decked out, the children all spiffed up…what’s next? The GUYS. Stay tuned…

Trifecta

In Football on September 5, 2011 at 9:20 am

So this past weekend was pretty darn good for the three teams I follow here.  The Citadel went to town on Jacksonville, Clemson shook off some early on fumbling around and roared back to dominate Troy and South Carolina brought the pain against ECU.  All in all, I’d say it was a winning Saturday.  The Citadel’s game was probably the most consistent, as both Clemson and South Carolina made several mistakes that their opponents quickly capitalized on, thus technically making the second half a “comeback”, but once they got their respective games rolling, it was pretty much over.

Next week is where it really gets interesting for South Carolina, as they take on Georgia between the hedges in Athens.  Georgia had an abysmal showing against Boise State, who took advantage of every mistake the Bulldogs made.  This will be the first conference game for both teams and thus begins South Carolina’s attempt to secure another SEC East  championship. Georgia has also been considered a contender for that prize, but if they don’t tighten their game up, they won’t have a chance.  However. The Bulldogs are extremely difficult to beat at home, so I am not writing them off in the least.

Clemson will play at Wofford, and if they play like they did in the second half of their game against Troy, they should have no problem.  There is some SERIOUS speed in the freshman class and that is exactly what the Tigers needed to get some momentum and begin the rebuilding of their program.

The Citadel/Furman game is always interesting if for no other reason than it is CRAZY. This is a huge rivalry as well as a conference game, so all smart bets are off.  The Paladins got the W last year but there just really is no calling this game – it is notoriously unpredictable.  Lots of fun to watch in person too, and being  a smaller conference/venue, it’s easier on the wallet, especially for families.

So that is my weekend wrap-up.  I’m planning that my next post will be about my second favorite thing about college football – FOOD. I’m going to be throwing down some awesome tailgating recipes, so be sure to check back in mid-week!

Fabulous Fan Wear

In The Fan Experience on September 1, 2011 at 11:09 am

We girls here in the blessed south-land have a tradition of looking fabulous for sporting events, but especially for football games.  Hours are spent trying to decide on the perfect outfit to wear to the game that shows support for your team without looking ridiculous.  My frustration up to this point has been that other than wearing the team colors, the options have been somewhat limited.  Most of the mass produced gameday apparel is not really my thing – too cartoonish, sometimes too vulgar (we are the Cocks, remember?) and perpetually cheesy.  Some of the over the top stuff is fun, but mostly I just want to support my team and look cute! 

Problem, meet solution.  I’d like to introduce Halftime Designs.  Owned by Megan Wood, a native Floridian and lifelong Gator fan, this line of fan wear is fashionable, fun, flirty and, you guessed it, FABULOUS. 

Megan says, “Halftime Designs was an idea that came about after spending almost every weekend at a college football game. Week after week, I would spend too much time in the mall trying to find the perfect gameday outfit. It takes a lot of creativity to find something cute in your favorite teams colors. I am not a fan of plastering myself with team logos. My vision was to create a line of clothing that brings flirty & fun fashion to football.”

And bring it she did.  Megan perpetually has people chasing her down wanting to know where she got her adorable tank or tee, and is happy to refer them to well, herself.  Men seem to find her designs especially inspirational as gifts for their ladies, and we all know how great it is to have your guy surprise you with something cool!

Check some of my favorites from her collection:

I love the baseball style sleeves and the fitted design, plus at 21.99, it’s no more than what you would pay at most sporting goods/specialty stores. 

You Citadel fans may be a little more interested in this one:

I love the tanks, especially because you can layer them and wear into fall with total ease.  This design was originated for Butler, but it looks “Citadel blue” to me!  Again, great price for something you’ll get lots of compliments on when you wear it a the game.

Already have that perfect game outfit chosen?  Take it up a notch with this adorable and functional tote!  I’m sure my Clemson friends will figure out something fun to put in this…

Now, if none of these teams are your favorite, do not despair!  Halftime Designs has choices for a host of other college teams, as well as for the NFL, NBA and MLB.  And you aren’t limited to apparel and accessories either – Megan has all sorts of things to chose from for your home, your phone, your dog and even your car! 

Lastly, when you spend 40$ you get a 20% discount with coupon code SCHOOL15, so head on over to http://www.halftimedesigns.com/ and get your game gear on!