All is not lost.
It just seems that way to too many people.
For instance, plenty of Gamecocks fans were still plenty glum Friday.
But look on the bright side:
Lots of Clemson fans Friday were still reveling in die Schadenfreude (German for taking pleasure in the misfortune of others) produced by Thursday night's final score of the SEC Network's inaugural game telecast: Texas A&M 52, South Carolina 28.
OK, so lots of USC fans enjoyed last year's Florida State 51, Clemson 14 mismatch, too.
And while USC's 18-game home winning streak finally ended Thursday night, it's still riding a five-year winning streak over the Tigers.
Beyond such steep-yet-silly mood swings induced by sports scores, though, lie dangers of other collective attitudes. When shared perceptions of gloom and doom warp into widespread angst, self-fulling consequences loom.
A new poll from Rutgers University's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development reports that 71 percent of Americans think the recession that technically ended in 2009 has inflicted a "permanent" drag on the U.S. economy.
Uh-oh. Public confidence is a significant factor in the strength - or weakness - of economies.
More alarming numbers:
17.6: trillions of dollars in the record, rising national debt.
4: number of recently and ominously intensified international crises (ISIS in Iraq, ISIS in Syria, Russia in Ukraine, Israel vs. Hamas in Gaza). And that's not counting North Korea's nuclear arsenal and Iran's continuing pursuit of one.
2: dubious new "allies" (the governments of Iraq and Syria) in the fight against ISIS.
0: chance of Congress passing long-overdue, comprehensive immigration reform.
0: chance of President Barack Obama ceasing and desisting in his over-the-line power grabs on, among other issues, immigration.
Closer to home, we South Carolinians (and not just Gamecocks fans) face some depressing numbers of our own:
25: years since our state's too-low gas tax has been raised.
0: chance of paying for long- overdue road maintenance and construction without raising that gas tax.
1: our state's ranking in the rate of women killed by men.
55: points allowed by Presbyterian on Thursday while scoring only 3 in an opening loss at Northern Illinois.
511: passing yards by Texas A&M's Kenny Hill in his first college game Thursday night.
OK, so that last stat doesn't depress us Clemson fans.
Back to work
But enough negativity numbers. This column, as a public pep-talk service, now focuses on these positivity numbers:
5.7: the S.C. July unemployment percentage, which though higher than June's 5.3 is still much better than the 10.5 back in January 2011 when Gov. Nikki Haley began her first term.
6.2: The U.S. July jobless percentage, much better than the 10.0 back in October 2009 nine months into President Obama's first term.
OK, so those rates wouldn't be nearly so low without historically low labor-participation rates. But try not to dwell on that downer.
Nearly 25: years of Charleston's winning streak against big hurricane hits (Hugo came on Sept. 21, 1989).
Very nearly 128: years of Charleston's winning streak against big earthquake hits (the last one that got this place all shook, er, shaken up came on Aug. 31, 1886).
61: points scored by Charleston Southern Thursday night to only 9 points for Point University in the first game under the new lights at CSU Stadium.
Beyond S.C. borders:
0: number of eras without many dire predictions that the worst was about to come.
0: number of U.S. presidents not routinely accused during their tenures of making one bad call after another.
Never give up
Sure, the College of Charleston is on a find-a-basketball-coach losing streak.
Sure, there are valid concerns about not just the Gamecocks' football defense but the national defense.
But if you're still alive and well, or even just still well enough to read this, you can - and should - still heed this wisdom of our state motto:
Dum spiro spero (While I breathe, I hope).
And lest ye abandon all hope for outstanding 2014 football seasons by college teams in our state, remember:
USC, despite losing last year's SEC opener at Georgia, won 10 of its next 11 games to finish 11-2 and was ranked No. 4 in the final Associated Press poll.
Remember, too, that Charleston Southern, The Citadel, S.C. State, Furman, Wofford, Coastal Carolina, Newberry, Benedict, Limestone, North Greenville and Clemson are still unbeaten this season.
Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His email is email@example.com.
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