A crowd dressed in mostly black, with some garnet sprinkled in, arrives at the graveside. It is noon on a dreary Monday in December. Flowers adorn the location as a man rises and stands before the masses. He wears a long black robe and grasps a clipboard in his hand. Mumbled, hushed conversations cease as he begins to speak.
"Brothers and sisters, we are here to say to goodbye. It has been a long time coming, but the 2015 Gamecock football season has finally passed on.
These past few weeks have been difficult for all of us who loved this season so much. Like all seasons, it began with such promise. Who among us does not remember that first game in Charlotte? The thrilling win over our neighbors to the north? What excitement, both good and bad, we thought this year might bring!
However, like many seasons before it, the year got off track. Now, now, let us not point the finger, brothers and sisters, at those who we may think of as responsible for its demise. Let us not scorn those who did not recruit local talent, those who failed to develop promising young players, those who were incapable of adapting to difficult in-game scenarios while lining their pockets with athletic department money, amen?
Instead, let us forgive those who could not stop a grocery store employee from becoming a starting quarterback in the nation's premier football conference. Let us not wish harm on those who both called inexplicable pass coverages. Let us not hold onto any ill will towards those who refused to utilize the mythical, magical I-formation when touchdowns were so tantalizingly close!
For that is not why we are gathered here today. We are here to remember the good times! The times when Skai Moore snatched that spiraling pigskin out of the air with such grace and fluidity. The times when Pharoh Cooper galloped down the field leaving defenders to a futile chase. The times when Sean Kelly sent footballs flying down the field against the backdrop of a perfect blue sky. For aren't those the times that this season would want us to recall?
Now, this season was not without its flaws, this we know. We are all imperfect and the 2015 Gamecock football season was no different. We all remember seven -- yes, my friends, I did indeed say 'seven' -- noon kickoffs. We may cringe at the thought of screen passes to linemen and cringe even more at the memory of opponents in glow-in-the-dark uniforms at 11 a.m. local time. We may have SHUDDERED at the sight of so much unholy orange being worn by a fan base that loves to spell and count to four. But let the perfect among us cast the first stone that will inevitably fall incomplete.
We smile today, brothers and sisters, because we know that this year has moved on to a better place. A more glorious, wonderful place that we call 'basketball season.' Let us all smile today at the thought of spending more time with Brother Frank and Sister Dawn in their quest for high free throw percentages and advantageous rebounding margins. And we have not forgotten about you, Brother Chad. Yes, I see you there behind Brother Ray...we will be there to see you this spring, you can be sure of that.
Now, I must address the fact that there is one who is not present for this gathering. I am sure you all have noticed his visored absence. We will not cast aspersions on him for his contributions to this season's ailing health and his sudden departure from its life. No, instead let us bow our heads in silent contemplation for those coaching careers that may have died along with this season.
Brothers and sisters, before we depart from this ground, let me take a moment to thank those who were there with this season during its final moments. Thank you Pharoh, Skai, Deebo, Perry, Shon, and T.J. for staying with this season until its dying breath.
It is time, friends."
The speaker snaps his clipboard in half and lays it atop a long wooden casket. He steps back and pushes the casket into a deep open grave. It crashes with a thud as the crowd swarms to the opening, hurling dirt and ticket stubs down into the hole. When the people finish, a giant tombstone is lifted by a few brave souls and placed onto the site. The large marble slab bears a striking resemblance to the tombstones that memorialize the 1998 and 1999 seasons.
The speaker reaches into the pocket of his robe and pulls out his phone. With a few taps of the screen, he places a large bet on North Carolina in the ACC championship game. The crowd nods in silent approval. The speaker holds the phone before him, his eyes shimmering with tears.
"And all God's people said...amen."