By: Justin Fabiano
There is no shortage of attractive South Carolina ladies in Five Points.
Tailgating is essential to a great college football atmosphere, and it is best in the SEC. There are cute girls in dresses, plenty of drinking games, and because the SEC plays its football in the rural deep South, there is plenty of land to stumble around, but what about after the game? The lights go out, and for the most part the party is over. Not in Columbia, South Carolina, however.
Named after the intersection of five streets, Five Points is one of the best downtown districts in the SEC, and it is the most popular drinking place for fans after Gamecock games. There are countless bars lining Five Points, most filled to capacity following a game.
Dr. Rocco’s is a popular bar during the summer months, which in Columbia is May through October. It is primarily an outdoor bar; there is limited space inside, but when the overnight low is 75, who wants to be inside anyway? The bar brings its famous Everclear slushy machine outside. For six bucks, you get 16 ounces of whatever flavor slushy you want spiked with grain alcohol. Nothing soothes the pain of a Gamecock loss like a six-dollar Everclear slushy, but please, drink responsibly.
Across the street, you will find Saloon. It is what it sounds like: a saloon. It is as close as you are going to get to a Nashville bar. Saloon plays nothing but country music, and beer is cheap. With enough of that cheap liquid courage running through your bloodstream, you should not have too much trouble approaching the prettiest of USC’s southern belles to shag with.
If shagging is not your thing, just walk down Harden Street to either Sharky’s or Red Hot Tomatoes. Both have upstairs dance floors where you can jam to the most popular songs in the country. Both have cheap house liquors, too. Sharky’s charges two-dollars for house liquors and its neighbor Red Hot Tomatoes has comparable prices.
Let us say you do not quite fit in with the of-age crowd. No worries. The most popular bar for college freshmen and sophomores lies one street over. Village Idiot is the place where you can go to be a, well, village idiot. There usually is a pretty hefty line outside, but it is one of the friendlier places to go. Beware, though. It might take you 20 minutes to get a drink, but it is well worth the pitcher specials you will get over the weekend.
There are plenty of other bars to hop around to, but if you go downtown after a big Gamecock win, it is probably best that you post up at one spot. After USC beat top-ranked Alabama, there was nowhere to move in Five Points. Traffic lights did not help traffic as drunken fans were stumbling and stacking themselves in the roads. The shortest wait to get into any bar was at least a half an hour, so patrons had to meet up with their friends on the street, pick one spot to party, and stay there or wait another hour to get into the next bar.
No matter where you go and no matter what the outcome of the game was, at one point throughout the night you will hear a symphony. “What’s that,” you ask. Wait just a second. Then, you will hear the infamous banging of bass drums. The crowd will fall silent as the theme of 2001: A Space Odyssey crescendos. The crowd will go wild before chanting in unison “U-S-C! U-S-C! U-S-C!” If you are lucky enough to be in Five Points following a win over Clemson, you will also likely hear “S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C!”
After you have guzzled your last beer to wet your parched throat from chanting with fans, you will probably want a bite to eat. Five Points has plenty of food, too. The best place to grab your 3:00 am snack is Pop’s New York Pizza. The line is usually out of the door, but nothing soaks up the mixture of alcohol and stomach acid like a gigantic slice of Pop’s pepperoni pie. After that, you are ready to pass out, so walk outside, flag a cab, and enjoy the ride home.
# 68- Smokey-Tennessee
# 69- Walk of Champions-Ole Miss
# 70- Dawg Walk-Mississippi State
# 71- Drink Gatorade in the Swamp-Florida
# 72- Chant S-E-C-SEC
# 73- Bear Bryant Museum-Alabama
# 74- Bubba Hog-Arkansas
# 75- Tailgating Outside Death Valley-LSU
# 76- Nova’s Pre-Game Flight-Auburn
# 77- Death to the BCS-SEC
# 78- Oxford Square-Ole Miss
# 79- Sorority Row-Alabama
# 80- Pancake Pantry-Vanderbilt
# 81- Cowbells-Mississippi State
# 82- Weaver D’s-Georgia
# 83- Rupp Arena-Kentucky
# 84- Senior Walk-Arkansas
# 85- God and Football-SEC
# 86- Balleyhoo’s Bananas Foster-Florida
# 87- Behind the Scenes with Mike the Tiger-LSU
# 88- Signing Day at the Blind Pig-Georgia
# 89- Vol Navy-Tennessee
# 90- Rammer Jammer-Alabama
# 91- Cocky and 25 Seconds-South Carolina
# 92- Golden Girls-LSU
# 93- Jerry World-SEC
# 94- Jumbotron-Mississippi State
# 95- Battle Hymn-Georgia
# 96- Feltner’s Whatta Burger-Arkansas
# 97- Ole Miss Student Section-Ole Miss
# 98- “It’s Football Time in Tennessee”- Tennessee
# 99- 2 Bits-Florida
# 100- Momma G’s Nachos-Auburn
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