Following South Carolina’s fifth straight win over Clemson back in 2013, it became a common practice on social media for Gamecock fans to throw their hands up with all five fingers, representing their Gamecocks dominance over the Tigers during that stretch.
Some South Carolina fans even got gutsy enough to do it in a picture with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, unbeknownst to him. A lot of them would even use their kids to drop what came known as “the five-bomb” in a picture with Swinney.
As funny and as cute as Gamecock fans thought it was, it got under the skin of Clemson players. So they made it a point to do something about it.
“It was not too funny, to be honest. It was disrespectful,” linebacker Kendall Joseph said.
What it became was of the catalyst behind the Tigers’ current three-game winning streak in the series. Third-ranked Clemson will try to make it four straight wins over the No. 24 Gamecocks this Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia when the game kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
“You have a head coach that is taking time out of his day to take pictures with the fans so to disrespect him like that … I highly doubt that Clemson fans would do the same to the head coach over there so I did not think it was too funny,” Joseph said.
So far the results on the field have proven the Tigers were not laughing. Clemson has outscored the Gamecocks 128-56 in the last three meetings, including last year’s 56-7 victory in Death Valley.
Swinney said he had no idea at first what was going on. He was just being nice and was taking a picture. However, he tries not to let stuff like that bother him because after all he is Clemson’s head coach and Gamecock fans hate Clemson.
That’s just part of being a head coach in a rivalry like Clemson-South Carolina.
“I take pictures with people all the time. It’s just different people,” Swinney said. “I don’t have Facebook, social media or any of that stuff so I guess people take pictures and they put it all over the world or something.
“I would have random people show me something I would be like, ‘Son of a gun!’ I was just taking a picture with somebody at a McDonalds or something. I had no idea, but that is just part of the rivalry. It is a rivalry. Those people don’t know me. They don’t like me because I work at Clemson. I don’t take that personal. They don’t know me. They just know I am the coach (at Clemson) so if I am the coach, I am a bad guy. Just pull against him. That’s just how it goes in this state.”