Opinion: Forget the safe spaces and give me South Carolina

Photo by Frank Fraklin II/ Associated Press

By Chandler Morrison, Staff Writer —

It’s a maddening world we live in folks, even without the craziness of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.  

In a world of fake news and fugitives, it’s nice to have an underdog that we can root for again.  Among the many controversies surrounding the tournament and the country thus far, South Carolina and head coach Frank Martin have become America’s darling over the course of a single weekend in one of the nation’s most iconic collegiate event of the year.

Through the relocation of the North Carolina Tournament site—which was discrimination within itself—and the flying, by citizens, of the confederate flag outside the Greeneville, South Carolina tournament site that replaced it, the Gamecocks managed to keep focus on sports, and not the ongoing politics of this great nation (we’re looking at you Colin Kaepernick and Roger Goodell).

As the nation takes a break from busting each other’s chops to waiting on the next emerging bracket-buster, we could learn a thing or two from Martin and his squad of never-say-die competitors.  No matter the location, the team, or the odds, the Gamecocks have found a way to surpass it all in style that only Martin could pass off.

He encompasses the American spirit, blue-collar ethics, and accountability as he coaches a roster that many coaches would pass on:  a group of local kids that hide two blue-chip secret weapons in Sindarius Thornwell and PJ Dozier.  

The real girth behind it all, though is his tug-of-war philosophy.  After a tough stretch in the regular season, Martin told his players about how a tug-of-war plays out:  if even one person lets go, all will fall.  

It’s feels like a played-out metaphor, but it speaks with the wisdom of a guru locked away in the Himalayas for a few decades.  It embodies something that we all, conservative or liberal, must remember.  If only one person fails, we all do.  

So the next time you get into a heated argument over healthcare or Lavar Ball makes a complete fool of himself and his family while contesting Stephen A. Smith’s latest take, just remember that we’re all in this boat together.  Yes, even the most die-hard democrats sits next to the Donald as they both take a grip of the red, white, and blue rope in a tug-of-war for survival.

There’s no time to run off to a safe space to ‘Let Her Cry’ as South Carolina super-fan Darius Rucker once sang as the frontman of Hootie and the Blowfish, even though he did shed a tear when his coveted Gamecocks made the Final Four.  

Whatever you do, don’t let go of the rope, folks.  We’re counting on you, republicans and democrats alike.  


John Mitchell

John Mitchell

Sports Editor

John is a Chattanooga native that was named Sports Editor on November 12th, 2015 after serving on the staff as a writer for over two years. John also covers high school athletics in-and-around the Chattanooga area with River City Sports. He plans to graduate in the spring of 2017 with a Communications degree and a minor in English.

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