When the football schedule was released this summer and our eyes skimmed over the lineup for the year, everyone knew that a win over Louisiana State University was going to be tough…or nearly impossible. This past weekend it was proof that the Gamecocks couldn’t conquer the Tigers, but something much bigger trumped the final score: kindness.
In a time of disaster due to treacherous floods; washing away homes and stores, causing roads to crumble, and sadly, taking some lives, the Gamecock and South Carolina family wasn’t alone. Our community grew much bigger when a university, nonetheless a USC football rival school, supported and provided for us in our time of need.
The students and faculty of LSU went out of their way to make Gamecock fans feel welcome. When the game was moved from Columbia to Baton Rouge (LSU territory), the Tigers flew our football team to and from their stadium at their expense. When we arrived, “Stand Strong” signs welcomed us and our flag flew high over the LSU stadium. Our team was granted keys to the stadium with the privilege of entering and leaving whenever we wished. A tailgate was prepared for our fans on LSU parade ground, and their pep band played our Alma mater and fight song. But most exciting of all, Sandstorm thundered over the stadium as the Gamecocks took the field first as the home team. We were given a moment of silence to keep thoughts and prayers with our home state.
With kindness and selflessness in their hearts, LSU is also donating all the money made from tickets sales to the USC Athletics Department. Furthermore, the American Red Cross collected monetary donations from the LSU fans at the entry gates.
The surprises from our rivals didn’t end there.
This weekend, we will take on the Vanderbilt Commodores at the Williams Brice Stadium. Unexpectedly, the Commodores equipment semi-truck found its way to USC earlier than expected filled with water and supplies. After hearing about the flooding and the disasters that pounded Columbia, the Vanderbilt football team set a goal to fill their semi-truck with necessities and deliver it to the center of campus to provide for those in need.
Those of us in South Carolina, those of us who are Gamecocks, and those of us at Her Campus want to thank our fellow SEC teams for the overwhelming support. Everything that has been done and given to us is appreciated more than you know.
“Rivalry isn’t hate, it is a partnership in disguise. If you want to give it your all and be your best, you need a rival. Without one you wouldn’t be your best, you wouldn’t give it your all.” – Anonymous