Tidbits - November 26, 2020

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


OPTING OUT
  Gamecock fans found out firing a coach before the season ends has repercussions.
  Four players, including three defensive backs, opted out for the remainder of the season. Two of them quit to get ready for the NFL. The other two had other reasons.
  Of course, the firing of Will Muschamp was the impetus. The players  love and admire their coach.
  Saluda players love Stewart Young, but they’ve won 57 games in the last six years, played in four upperstate championships game and won the state championship last year.
  Clemson players love Dabo Sweeney, but they’ve won two national championships and have been in the playoffs every year since they began.
  If the Gamecock players loved their coach so much, why didn’t they perform on the field, why did they give up 159 points in the three games prior to the firing, and why did the three defensive backs who opted out allow Mississippi to throw for 500 yards against the Gamecocks?
  A tweet war began soon after the players quit. The Muschamp player “opters” and in the pros cut down the Gamecock fans. The Gamecock players who played or Spurrier and Holtz, etc., cut down those who criticized the fans and called the “opters” quitters for letting their teammates down, using the phrase “they should play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.”
  I was particularly disappointed in Javon Kinlaw and Deebo Samuel, who had some unkind things to say about the Gamecock fans, who spent fortunes to watch them play and cheer them on. Both are now members of the San Francisco 49’ers. I saw, “Stay out west, young men.”
  Saturday, the depleted Gamecocks played their hearts out but lost to Missouri 17-10. Finally, freshman quarterback Luke Doty got a chance to play and almost led Carolina to a come from behind victory.
  Fans have been calling for Doty to play all year, because starter Collin Hill couldn’t out run a light pole. Doty produced. He’s one of the fastest players on the team and made some nice runs. If the fans knew he had the tools, why didn’t the head coach.
  The Gamecocks lost their only receiver Shi Smith to injury early in the game. If Doty had played the whole game with a healthy Smith, maybe Carolina could have won.
  Muschamp has been fired from two big coaching jobs during the season twice. Ironically, he was fired from the Florida job after the Gators lost to Carolina in overtime. He was allowed to coach the rest of the season, however.
  His “severance” pay from both jobs totals about $20 million, so don’t cry for him.
  He doesn’t need another job. I think he would be an excellent football commentator. He has the personality.
  Only two more games are left on the schedule in this terrible football season for the Gamecocks.
  Hopefully, a new coach will be hired soon and we can .... wait till next year! Where have I heard that  before?


DID IT AGAIN
  As I’ve written  before, I should never list people or events from memory.
  Last week, I named the Carolina football coaches in my lifetime. Normally, if I leave someone out of a list, I’ll remember them after the paper is printed.
  For some reason that didn’t work this time. My brother Jamie saw Joe Brent Padgett at the convenience center, and Joe Brent said to him, “I can’t believe Ralph left Joe Morrison out of the list of coaches.
  Joe Morrison, the first coach to lead the Gamecocks to a ten win season, the creator of the best looking uniforms, the coach who proved you could use two quarterbacks, Allen Mitchell and Mike Hold, in every game, the coach of the Fire Ant defense, and I forgot him.
  Joe, tragically, died while he was the Gamecock coach.  If I remember correctly he was only 53. He was succeeded by Sparky Woods.
  One day, I will learn not to list names or events from memory.... Seems like I said that in a column a few weeks ago.


ANOTHER SAD WEEK
  Mrs. Rosa Eva Rankin was a Saluda legend. She worked well into her 80s operating her beauty shop at her home on the Greenwood.
  She was loved by everyone who knew her.
  I’ve known Lessie Quarrels since I was a little boy. Her son Darrell and I started first grade the same year at Saluda Elementary. We were in different classes, but everyone knew everyone. We were on different little league teams, too, but you get to know all the parents.
  Late in her life, she could be seen at Lunch ‘n Treats all the time. She’d clear the tables or fill tea glasses. Oh, she didn’t work there. She just wanted to help out.
  She was a tiny lady, who was always smiling.
  I’d see Toby Edwards once a year a the Christmas drop-in given by his relatives, Randy and Angie Rita. Many of his Edwards relatives were and are members of Emory Church where I attend.. He was a good man.
  The biggest shock to me came when I got a Facebook message from Mable Robertson asking if I heard Reggie Padgett had died. I assumed his death was in some kind of farm accident, but Mabel told me he died of a heart attack. He was only 46.
  The last time I saw Reggie, he was sitting at a table at Punk’s. Most of the other people at the table were around my age, and we were talking about something, and I said to Reggie, “that was probably  before your time.”
  Now the old folks around the table are left, and Reggie is gone.
  Reggie was an award winning, hard working farmer. He will be greatly missed.