P.O. Box 668
Saluda, SC 29138
Phone 864 445-2527
Fax 864 445-8679
BY RALPH SHEALY
I put on Facebook that Saturday was the best college football television day ever.
During the course of the afternoon, one could flip between the channels and see Duke-UNC, Ohio State-Michigan, Baylor-TCU, Vanderbilt-Wake Forest, Penn State-Wisconsin, and Georgia-Georgia Tech. Each one of those games was a down to the last second, nail-biter.
Those games would qualify Saturday as the greatest by pure excitement, but throw in the most amazing ending in college football history at the Auburn-Alabama game, and there is no doubt.
Probably, none of us will ever again see one team win in such dramatic fashion in back to back games like Auburn did against Georgia and Alabama. The Tigers are a team of destiny.
I was a nervous wreck by the time the Carolina-Clemson game began. Thank goodness I couldn’t watch.
I selected “We’re The Millers” as my viewing option. It was pretty gross, but I laughed a lot.
I guess Clemson fans would say the six turnovers in the game were pretty gross, and they didn’t laugh a lot.
I heard on the radio a pretty amazing stat. During the Carolina, five game winning streak, the Gamecocks have committed three turnovers. Saturday, Clemson committed four turnovers in the fourth quarter.
Boyd threw more interceptions in the last four minutes of the game, two, than Connor Shaw has thrown all year, one.
Carolina had dominated the previous four games offensively, but not Saturday.
I thought Clemson’s defense played great. They were determined to shut down Mike Davis, and they did - better than any team Carolina has played this year.
Tajh and Sammy had their moments, but not enough. I like Boyd, but he’s had two bad games this year, and Clemson lost both of them. His four-year record against Carolina is awful.
The Tigers could get a great consolation prize, however. Despite losing pro, they may get an invite to the Orange Bowl.
Carolina only has four scholarship seniors, pretty small amount for a 10-2 team. Juniors Clowney, Quarles and Hampton have announced they are probably going, so that means Carolina will have 15 starters returning next year, including nine on offense.
The one starter who will be missed the most is not Clowney, but Connor Shaw.
My four favorite Gamecock quarterbacks are Dan Reeves, Tommy Suggs, Jeff Grantz and Shaw. All four are out the same mould, good passers, who could break open a game by running.
None of them had outstanding stats, but were fun to watch.
Shaw’s greatest statistics are not in passing or rushing yardage, but the fact he was 26-5 record as a starter, and an unbelievable 17-0 at home. That, folks, is what you call a winner.
I was disappointed Carolina did not make the SEC title game. For the third straight year Carolina has beaten the SEC East champion, but found a way to blow one game they should have won each season.
The Missouri-Auburn game should be great, and it will be played before a packed house.
The same cannot be said for the ACC championship game. I’m afraid this is going to be one of those photo-ops for empty seats. Not many Florida State fans will make the trip to Charlotte, opting to save their money for the National Championship game, I’d guess.
Duke is one college football’s greatest stories this year, and even though the Blue Devils are from North Carolina, they only average 25,000 for home games.
Also, most people are like me in thinking this game is going to be over by the end of the first quarter, even though Duke is 10-2. I’ll be surprised if the Seminoles score under 50.
I was saddened by the death of Bill Amick last week.
Bill had cancer, but I figured he would beat it, because he had been a success in everything else he had attempted.
My association with Bill goes back to riding the school bus. He was eight years my senior, a big kid and a football star, but when I started school in 1957, he was one of the teenagers on the bus who looked out for the little kids. I never forgot that.
Living on the Batesburg Hwy. all my life, I’ve witnessed the growth of Amick Farms. Today, the plant is fully staffed with highly trained mechanics and technicians.
Before it got so big, Bill would get local people to come in and do needed work. My daddy, Shake, was a pretty good welder, and often Bill would call on him to do work at the plant.
One day, Daddy had to climb a tall ladder to weld a pipe near the ceiling. He wrapped his arm around other pipes to keep from falling. Daddy began welding, and soon he began to smell smoke.
He decided to quit welding to find out what was on fire. He lifted the welding mask, and found out what was on fire was him! Daddy had set his glove on fire.
So, there he was, 15-ft. in the air, trying to do his best Three Stooges impression to remove the burning glove, and all his could hear below was not concern , but boisterous, uncontrollable laughter.
Bill had lost it! Daddy was fine. He managed to get the burning glove off, and had a few choice words for the chuckling Bill!
Bill and Daddy never stopped laughing about that day.
Bill got his sense of humor honestly
I’ve written before the story about Bill’s grandfather Jonas Amick.
In his 80s, Mr. Jonas was not the best driver around.
One day, he pulled his pickup right into the path of loaded sand truck. The truck struck Mr. Jonas’ vehicle squarely in the driver’s door.
The pick-up was demolished, but miraculously Mr. Jonas was not injured.
He was stove up, however, so he was in bed when his preacher came to see him.
“Mr. Jonas,” the preacher said, “the Lord was riding with you today.”
“Yes, he was,” said Mr. Jonas, “but I bet he’ll think twice before he rides with me again!”
It is ironic Bill, a longtime member of the Clemson Board of Trustees, died the day before the Carolina-Clemson game. I understand a moment of his silence was held in his memory at Williams-Brice before 84,000, his name was put on the Jumbotron, and Dabo Swinney mentioned Bill before he began his postgame press conference.
Bill Amick meant a great deal to this state, as evidenced by what happened at the game, but he meant even more to the people of Saluda County.
We’ll never know how much he gave to organizations, churches and schools, but it was a lot.
He loved this county and her people.
We will surely miss him.
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