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Also: If you would like to learn more about Cocky, 2001, USC's school colors, the alma mater, the fight song, what a gamecock is, then see below.
Garnet and Black were adopted near the turn of the 20th Century as the official colors of the University of South Carolina athletic teams. The colors are dominant ones on the gamecock, which is the University's official mascot for its athletic teams.
The University of South Carolina's official mascot is "Cocky." The garnet and blacked plumed gamecock captured National Championship titles as the number one mascot in 1986, 1994 and 2003. Introduced in 1980 as his father's (Big Spur) replacement, Cocky can be seen at most South Carolina athletic events and is a fan favorite among young and old.
The University of South Carolina Gamecocks feature pehaps the most unique and electrifying pregame entry in all of college football. As the minutes wind down on the game clock prior ot the opening kickoff, the Gamecocks leave the locker room following final pregame instruction from their coaching staff and assemble in the tunnel in the southwest corner of Williams-Brice Stadium. Then, as the crowd of more than 80,000 begins its roar of anticipation, the first notes of the theme song "2001"-A Space Odyssey" blare over the stadium sound system. As the music continues, the enthusiasm of the crowd is feverish. Finally, at just the exact moment, in perfect coordination with the music, the Gamecocks hit the field running, and the stadium goes wild. The theme "2001" corresponds with the University's 200th birthday, which was the year 2001.
USC Alma Mater
We hail thee,
Carolina, and sing thy high praise
of learning, we entered thy walls
sons have rejoiced to proclaim
Fair shrine of
high honor and truth, thou shalt still
USC Fight Song
Hey, Let's give
a cheer, Carolina is here,
Who gives a
care, If the going gets tough,
Hail to our
colors of garnet and Black,
So, Go Gamecocks
Go - FIGHT!
Old USC Fight Song
Let your voices ring
What is a Gamecock?
(The University of South Carolina is the only major college athletic program in the country that use "Fighting Gamecocks" as its official nickname and mascot. The University's athletic teams have been known as Gamecocks since 1903.)
A Fighting Gamecock is bred to fight and kill other chickens. Unlike the common image of chickens, these birds are not timid, cowardly, or faint-hearted...just ask any handler who has ever been attacked by one of these ferocious birds. Cock fighting is the world's oldest spectator sport, originating it is believed in Persia (now Iran) some 6,000 years ago.
The night before a big battle, Alexander the Great would stage cock fights to impress upon his soldiers traits of courage and valor. Cock fighting was the national sport of England until 1850 when it was outlawed. Famous Americans including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson raised and fought game cocks. Sumter, South Carolina, the "Gamecock City" is named in honor of Thomas Sumter, who was known as the "Fighting Gamecock" because of his courage and valor in battle.
Gamecocks fight to the death in cock-fighting derbies. The event is based upon the the fact that gamecocks will not give up...they fight to the death. Considered a "blood sport", cock fighting has been outlawed in many areas of the United States, but is a substantial industry in the Philippines, Mexico, Hawaii, and other foreign countries. It is now showing signs of revival in the U.S. as misconceptions are being replaced by better understanding of the natural instincts of these birds. A game cock which is unable to fight lives a miserable and frustrated existence.
Fights are decided by one rooster dying or through a system of counts when a rooster is unable to fight back or "show fight" as determined by the referee. For this reason, gamecocks are bred to maximize traits which will give them an advantage in the pit...size, speed, power, disposition, and intelligence. During the fight, each bird wears either a needle sharp gaff or razor sharp knives which are strapped onto the birds' legs. This is considered more humane than allowing the birds to fight with their natural spurs, which induce more brutal injuries. An observor of a cock fight is immediately impressed with the courage and tenacity of the game cock.
The ideal bird is big, tall, fast, and smart yet tame enough for the handler to work with. The game cock has a natural instinct to kill, and they would kill each other in a natural setting if not separated. They are single-minded and focused. Their only goal is to win, and they will either win or die...there is nothing in between. They prefer death to defeat, and they are among the most noble of God's creations.
With appreciation to Gamefowl Magazine & Gamecock fan Irish Red.
South Carolina NEWS