7 Reasons Why There is Only One Carolina

7 Reasons Why There is Only One Carolina

There is Carolina. And then there are the Gamecocks.
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It was two summers ago in Myrtle Beach when I met a Gamecock. Being the excited high school graduates we were, topic of conversation turned to college. 

"Where are you going in the fall?" I asked.

"Carolina! You?" he replied.

"No way! I'm going to Carolina, too!" 

It didn't take too long to realize that we had two very different definitions of "Carolina." I hadn't even attended orientation yet, but I already bled Carolina blue. "Umm...sorry, but there is only one Carolina," I explained naturally. 

And here's why:

1. UNC was founded in 1789. USC was founded in 1801. I guess they can be Carolina Jr. if they'd like?

2. The football argument is invalid. Unless the two teams play each other once annually, there is no way to claim one team's superiority over the other. And for possible future reference, a single ACC-SEC matchup at the Belk Bowl does not suffice. 

And honestly - who looks better in the black uniforms anyways?

3. Okay, I'll give it to USC: they're ranked 5 spots ahead of Carolina (#30) in the National Rankings of Public Universities. However, the University of South Carolina (oh yeah, Southern California claimed the namesake too) sits at a comfortable #113. 

4. Two words: Carolina Basketball. Enough said. 

5. The Tar Heels. The name takes pride in our state's rich history. Rameses is pretty cool, too. However, let us explore South Carolina's mascot - the Gamecock. Do realize, a game cock is a rooster that displays traits suitable for cockfighting. Cockfighting is illegal in not 48, not 49, but all 50 states in the US... 

6. Carolina has won 42 national championships (among all sports). South Carolina has won a lot less than 42. 

7. Garnet and black make for cute t-shirts and impressive uniforms. However, at the end of the day, God made the sky Carolina blue. 

Go Carolina! Go Heels! 

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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14 Gifts For The Girl Who Loves Sports

Any fierce female merits a holiday wonder.

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What?! Girls who like sports? I know, shocking, but these pots-of-gold deserve all the adoration they can get, and, in reality, research reveals "44 percent of the NFL's fan base" is women. From Sunday afternoons surrounded by chicken wings to a friendly scrimmage of soccer, these competitive gals are ready to stand up to any stereotype.

It might even surprise you that pop star Britney Spears was even sports-headed as she played on her high school basketball team. Yet, not every sports fanatic is a Serena Williams who's amazing at playing tennis or a supermodel equestrian like Kate Upton. Nevertheless, if it's basketball, soccer, dance, golf, motorsports, et cetera, your fit chick or sports fanatic will appreciate more than just a sports bra, Yankees cap, or hair-ties.

No matter if it's college, nationals, or local teams, maybe even players, the girls who love sports will adore these presents this holiday season.

3. Ballet barre

Forever-B

Perfect for the ballettomane who longs to follow the steps, strictly speaking, allegros, of Misty Copeland and practice her arabesques out of the studio.

4. Fitness tracker

I've fallen in love with my Fitbit and I can promise you that your girl will, too.

5. Gear

Cleats, sneakers, ice skates, mouthguard, the list goes on and on. And, no, it doesn't have to be pink for it to be for girls. Plus, who doesn't want to look as chic as driver Danica Patrick?

6. Personalized water bottle

My protein shake brings the boys to the yard. And they're like: your muscles are hard. Damn right, my muscles are hard I could train ya, but I'd have to charge.

7. Sports themed glitter stilletos

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I mean, I'd rock them at a football watching party.

8. Sports conspiracies

Baseball Continuum

If she's a nut about the ins and outs of sports, the schemes involved is definitely up her alley.

10.  Sports themed pillow pet

Pillow Pets

"It's a Pillow, It's a Pet... It's a Pillow Pet®," but better because her favorite team is incorporated.

11.  Custom printed shoes

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Vans, Puma, Reebok, Keds, Adidas, Converse, Nike the list goes on. Just pick a brand, a team, and you've got the ideal gift.

12.  MLB/NFL/collegiate ugly sweaters

Fanatics

Forget your average ugly holiday sweaters, these sports-themed sweaters are where it's at. Plus, there are even light-up ones!

13.  Yoga mat and accesories

Got a zen yogi who spends most of her time standing on her head? Surprise her tranquil soul with exactly what she needs to succeed the next flow.

However, important to note is that unlike the sexist saying: "Girls who love [sports] are rare. Wife em' up," female sports supporters are not, in fact, unicorns or rare mythical creatures. On the contrary, these women are beautiful human beings who like any other fierce, kindhearted spirit deserves appreciation this forthcoming holiday season.

Debunk the stereotypes.

Note: As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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