By: Justin Fabiano
When Jadeveon Clowney enters Williams-Brice Stadium for the first time, he will be entering one of the most electric atmospheres in college football.
I remember my first time at Williams-Brice Stadium as a college student. It was my first night on USC’s campus as a freshman. All the freshmen loaded up in buses at the student union, and they took us to the stadium for “First Night Carolina.” The student body president, cheerleaders, and the mike man (the guy you can actually hear lead the cheers) all met us at the stadium. Their goal: to make sure the freshmen understood the atmosphere surrounding Williams-Brice Stadium.
They called it the most exciting 25 seconds in football. Those 25 seconds include the playing of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Black Magic” which is when an empty box gets covered in black curtains, and when the curtains fall, Cocky is in the cage going crazy. They showed us what it actually looked like on game day, and I remember chills going down my spine when I saw this for the first time.
However, in the past, those 25 exciting seconds might have been the most exciting 25 seconds of the entire game. Let us face the facts: USC used to be a laughingstock in college football.
Since my time as a freshman, I have seen embarrassing defeats, but I have also witnessed some of the greatest moments in school history. As those moments began to become more common, the atmosphere has gotten better.
USC began playing the famous techno song “Sandstorm.” The nation found out about it when it witnessed Steve the Cockfighter take down Alabama, but “Sandstorm” made its debut and really caused a storm on campus when the Gamecocks beat fourth-ranked Ole Miss in 2009.
Since then, Sandstorm has become a huge part of Gamecock Nation. Students have it on their iPods. Fans play it in their cars on game day. When I take a trip to a road game, the first thing I play in the car is that song.
Carolina never had tradition. It never had “Rocky Top” or “Rammer Jammer.” Heck, it never even really had a reason to play those types of songs fans of other teams love so much. But as the Gamecocks have slowly built a winning tradition, the game day atmosphere has followed with rapid growth. Now, those 25 most exciting seconds have grown to possibly the ten most exciting minutes in college football.
And when Williams-Brice Stadium witnesses “First Night Clowney,” it will erupt with electricity.
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