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September 8, 2012
Bill Robinson took a long pull from a cold beverage and surveyed his tailgating spot in the new Gamecock Park, located within the former site of the Farmer's Market.
"This is nice," Robinson said. "Everything you could want is right here."
The new tailgating complex, completed at a cost of $30.5 million, has 3,000 spots, some of which are equipped with electricity and cable TV hookups.
Robinson's spot is shaded by a large oak tree. A country boy with a good arm could throw a rock and hit Williams-Brice Stadium, and it's a short, stress-free walk to nearby, brand-new bathroom facilities.
Robinson said that he paid $750 for his spot.
"I think it's well worth it," he said.
New video board
The South Carolina scoreboard underwent a major makeover in the offseason, and Saturday's home opener against East Carolina marked the debut of a 36x124 video board. In addition to the live action, the board shows video replays, statistical updates and even live footage of "sideline dignitaries."
On Saturday, that included wrestling great Ric "The Nature Boy" Flair, a good friend of USC coach Steve Spurrier. Also spotted on the sideline were former Gamecock quarterback Blake Mitchell and former wide receiver Moe Brown.
Installed at a cost of $6.5 million, the board is the third largest in the 14-team SEC. It replaces a 20x29 board that was the third-smallest in the SEC.
"When the offense was on the field, I got a look at it," USC linebacker Shaq Wilson said. "It's way better clarity and a better picture up there."
Punt, pass and kick
If you don't know 28-year-old Daniel Smith of Columbia, it may be a good time to friend him on Facebook.
Smith will receive a party for 40 at Fatz Caf?fter winning a punt, pass and kick contest at Williams-Brice prior to Saturday's game.
Starting at the 20-yard line, Smith was allowed to punt once, pass once and then try a field goal.
In Smith's case, his punt and pass left him with a 22-yard attempt. The kick was low, but cleared the bar with room to spare.
Newbies take a bow
USC had three honorary captains for Saturday's game.
New baseball coach Chad Holbrook, new men's basketball coach Frank Martin and new women's tennis coach Kevin Epley were the honorees.
Adding some fresh paint
Two more records have been painted on Williams-Brice Stadium. Spurrier's record 11 victories in one season has been recognized, as has former wide receiver Alshon Jeffery's career-high 3,042 receiving yards and 23 touchdown receptions.
Other popular content on GamecockCentral.com:
Recruit Reaction: USC hosted several talented visitors on Saturday
Injury Report: Who got dinged up in Saturday's game?
Three quick photo galleries of the video board and game
South Carolina NEWS