COLUMBIA -- At this rate, Jerri Spurrier and Kathleen Swinney will plan a Thanksgiving feast, inviting all South Carolina and Clemson football players to a neutral site for Braggin' Rights Week food and fellowship.
Maybe Ninety Six this year and Cross Anchor next year.
Please, guys, remember to bring a covered dish.
Don't look now, but Gamecocks wide receiver Tori Gurley actually owns an orange shirt. Or more than one.
"I have a few orange shirts. A few polo shirts," the sophomore from Rock Hill admitted Tuesday. "My girlfriend thinks they look good on me, so I have to wear them."
South Carolina kicker and punter Spencer Lanning's sister, Allison, works in the Clemson sports information office. Their mother and aunt were Clemson cheerleaders.
Just before No. 18 South Carolina plays Clemson on Saturday night at Death Valley, the two head coaches will shake hands on the field. The greeting will be unusually friendly for archrivals. Class and mutual respect have followed the infamous 2004 brawl that made both teams decline bowl eligibility.
"I think we have a really good, healthy rivalry with Clemson now," Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier said Tuesday. "I know it was ugly about six years ago, that game in Death Valley got real ugly and was really a terrible scene for our state of South Carolina. I don't sense in any way that could happen with the coaching staffs that are in place now, and the players that are in place.
"I think it will be a good, hard-fought game. I don't think there will be a lot of trash talk. I don't think there will be late hits. A good, clean, hard-fought game, and that's the way it should be."
Texts and congrats
The civility extends off the field.
"There's no bad-mouthing in recruiting between Clemson and South Carolina now," Spurrier said. "I realize some of the fans don't want to hear that. But that's the way I think it should be, and I think
Dabo and his guys believe that's the way it should be also."
Spurrier already was on the way to replace Lou Holtz as South Carolina head coach when the brawl broke out on an overcast Saturday during a game full of trash-talking and late hits but without much control from the officiating crew.
Tommy Bowden and Spurrier got along well, and, for the most part, so did their coaching staffs.
Swinney and Spurrier are closer. Swinney, in his second full season as Clemson head coach, said Tuesday that Spurrier called him "a couple times this year," apparently to offer encouragement.
Spurrier said Swinney texted with congratulations on South Carolina's SEC East championship victory over Florida. The Head Ball Coach called Swinney last weekend.
'I like Dabo'
"I started to tell him, 'Congratulations on beating Wake Forest' but I didn't think he wanted to hear that," Spurrier said. "As for congratulating somebody on something, I don't think that would have been the right thing to do. But anyway, I like Dabo. He's a good person. He's a good coach and he really runs a good program there."
You might wonder if Spurrier would say the same thing if he didn't perceive a competitive edge.
But he did say similar things about Bowden, who went 7-2 against the Gamecocks for the best winning percentage against South Carolina (77.8) among Clemson head coaches who served at least five years.
Bowden didn't say the same thing about Holtz, 1-5 against Clemson.
So this truly is the Era of Good Feelings.
And don't forget to send those covered dish recipes to your favorite player.
Reach Gene Sapakoff at email@example.com or 937-5593.
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