As the famous quote from William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night goes, “some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” In football, some players are born great; Jerry Rice and Peyton Manning, for example. Others have to work to achieve greatness; your Tom Brady’s and John Randle’s. Others simply have greatness thrust upon them – no player more so than former backup South Carolina quarterback Erik Kimrey.
Hate is a strong word. Many of us were raised to never hate anything. The Bible tells us that hatred and bitterness can literally ruin us through poisoning our hearts and minds. But, we are all human, and if my hatred for almond milk and kale destroys me from the inside out, then so be it.
And let’s be real, hatred can exist amongst rivals. Growing up the son of a West Pointer, I can tell you, without hesitation, that I hated Navy growing up. For fourteen straight years Navy beat Army. It was horrific. Every year, the week leading up to the game caused teenage Chris great anxiety. And you know what the sad thing was? The anguish and pain I went through every time Army lost to Navy far outweighed the happiness I felt when Army won this past year. I almost had that feeling of “this is it”? Don’t get me wrong, I was happy, but beating Navy was a feeling that lasted an hour, maybe 24 hours. Losing to Navy wrecked me for weeks, months, heck, the entire year.
So SEC fans, here are the College Football Programs that do that to us. Some because they win, some because of how obnoxious their fans are, and some because their very existence annoys the crap out of us.
The summers after my first two years of college, I worked as a volunteer assistant football coach for Marlboro County High School in Bennettsville, South Carolina. For those unfamiliar with Bennettsville, it’s a town of about 15,000 people located a little over an hour west of Myrtle Beach. Despite its small town status, it is home to an incredible number of current and former NFL players. Every morning as I rolled into work, I passed a sign above the field house that had all the retired names and numbers in Marlboro County history; greats such as Robert Ayers, Cam Newton (not that Cam Newton, the ORIGINAL Cam Newton, who played safety at Furman University and later played for several NFL teams), and Quinton Teal. One name and number, however, always stood out to me; that was #17, Syvelle Newton.