Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
Families around the state of South Carolina will gather on Thursday to give thanks for food, fellowship and football.
A large number of Gamecock fans will be spending the holiday with friends and family members who support the Clemson Tigers. In past seasons, Thanksgiving served as the unofficial kickoff to the rivalry weekend, a chance for Gamecock and Tiger fans to exchange barbs and banter about the upcoming game. However, there will likely not be much trash-talk coming from the South Carolina faithful this week.
The Gamecocks are 3-8 and fresh off a home loss to The Citadel, while Clemson sits atop the national rankings with an unblemished 11-0 record. Gamecock fans are likely not looking forward to sitting around the Thanksgiving table with their orange-clad acquaintances.
Here are some tips for how South Carolina supporters can survive this holiday:
1. Talk politics and religion
Did you know we're only a year away from a presidential election? Ask everyone at the house who they think will be leading the country in 2016. If someone tries to change the topic, tell them that their candidate is incompetent. You're probably right. If all else fails, talk about the big news from your church. Either of those topics is almost guaranteed to cause an elderly person who has had a little too much to say something that will make everyone wish they could just go home.
2. No football on TV
There are three NFL games and two FBS games that will be televised on Thursday. Those games will not be shown on your television set. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 9 a.m. and will be covered wall-to-wall. "General Hospital" will take up the afternoon and, of course, you don't want to miss the evening news. If that doesn't satisfy you and your guests, feel free to pop in a fun romantic comedy or that History Channel DVD you got for your birthday three years ago that's still in the wrapper.
3. Decorate for Christmas
If you haven't done it already, there's no time like the present to start putting up those Christmas decorations. Crank up Bing Crosby, hang the mistletoe, nail the wreaths to the front door, string the lights over the gutters and break out the ornaments from the attic. Start right after lunch and, if the whole family helps, you should be finished by the time everyone has to go home.
4. Backyard baseball
Under no circumstances will there be any sort of post-lunch football game in the backyard. Baseball, corn hole, wiffleball, horseshoes...anything other than pigskin should be played. Heck, don't even go outside if you don't have to. Monopoly is guaranteed to provide 60-75 minutes of heart-stopping fun and who doesn't love a good Call of Duty tournament on the ol' Xbox?
If you can't avoid the topic of sports, just start spouting every basketball-related thought that pops into your head. South Carolina has a darn good women's basketball team and the men should be fun to watch this season. Discuss the pros and cons of expanding the NCAA Tournament to 128 teams. Mention LeBron. Everyone has an opinion on him. You're welcome.