Dabo Swinney: Eternal Sunshine Of The Thoughtless Mind

Dabo Swinney, Funny, Clemson

It’s a slow sports day, why not throw a jab at the eternal, thoughtless optimist that roams the sidelines in the upstate of South Carolina. His Dabo-ism’s normally take a few minutes to digest and understand, but boy are they great material for South Carolina fans. Remember kids, “It’s only unthinkable if you don’t think it.” Thank you, Dabo Swinney.


Stephen Garcia Checks-In On The Clay Travis Podcast

Stephen Garcia, Clay TravisIt’s been a while, but friend of The Meat Locker, Stephen Garcia made a rare appearance on the Clay Travis Podcast “Outkick The Podcast.” Garcia provides updates as to where he is currently in his life, where he plans to go and what all he learned during his up-and-down career with the Gamecocks. Give it a listen and catch up with No. 5.

Click Here To Listen To The Podcast

Outkick The Podcast, Stephen Garcia, Clay Travis


Why Sitting Out 2013 Will Only Benefit Marcus Lattimore

CREDIT: Steve Boyle

Photo Credit: Steve Boyle

It was reported today by ESPN insider Adam Schefter that former Gamecocks standout Marcus Lattimore is not expected to see the field this season for the San Fransisco 49ers. Lattimore is still rehabbing from the gruesome knee injury seen around the world suffered against Tennessee last season. For the last two seasons, we’ve seen this promising young back on the road recovery more so than the actual playing field. It’s time to put your admiration for Lattimore aside for a moment and realize why not seeing him in on the field 2013 will only extend the longevity of his career and benefit him in the long run.

The San Francisco 49ers are entering this season with a solid group of running backs, all ranging with different skill sets. The backfield is anchored by perennial pro bowler Frank Gore. Second on the depth chart is former Oregon star and promising second year man LaMichael James, while former Oklahoma State Cowboy Kendall Hunter is the likely third running back.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the current Niners rushing attack.

In this trio, eighth year man Frank Gore plays the role as the feature back while James and Hunter are complimentary backs. Gore is coming off of a strong 1,200 yard, 8 TD season in 2012, but at the same time he’s entering a critical point in his career. While the average  career of an NFL running back lasts 3-5 years, Gore is theoretically entering the twilight of his career. Gore is only second to Falcons running Steven Jackson as the longest tenured running back in the NFL.

LaMichael James is entering his second year with the 49ers. He was not active for a majority of his rookie season as head coach Jim Harbaugh has always shown hesitation of incorporating offensive rookies into key positions. James carried the ball a total of 27 times for only 125 yards on the season. He’s expected to play a bigger role in 2013, but must prove that he can carry the ball with confidence and strong hands as fumbling was a point of weakness in 2012. His speed will provide many opportunities for touches offense as well as special teams.

Kendall Hunter, enters his third year with higher expectations after two sub-par seasons. In 2011 he appeared in all 16 regular season games tallying 473 yards on the ground with 2 TD’s. In 2012 Hunter’s season was hampered by injury after appearing in 11 games and running for only 371 yards and 2 TD’s. Hunter was originally drafted to help take some pressure off of Frank Gore. He has yet to prove that he is capable of embracing that role and becoming a consistent threat on the ground as a part of Jim Harbaugh’s offense.

While we now understand the state of the running backs for the 49ers, we can examine the role of Marcus Lattimore and why 2014 is better suited for his long-term success in the NFL.

After tearing his LCL, PCL, ACL and dislocating his knee just 10 months ago, one would assume that his playing status would already be in jeopardy as it is. However, Lattimore has proven to hold the unique ability in returning from catastrophic injury. Renowned surgeon James Andrews even described his recovery at one point as “superhuman.” Since Lattimore began his rehab, he’s consistently vowed to the media that he fully intended on being ready for the start of the ’13 season. While he may be mentally prepared, he’s fortunate to be in a situation where he is physically not needed. At least not quite yet.

Sitting out this season will only allow Lattimore to continue his rehab and to continue to strengthen his legs. The injuries that he suffered in the 2011 and 2012 season were to opposite knees. This extended rehab time will allow him to build up full strength in both knees and continue to work with the Niners training staff.

Had Lattimore actually been thrown into the mix this season, would it really have been worth it? Lattimore would have likely only seen very limited action on what could be considered “trash carries.”  Trash carries meaning fourth quarter carries when the game was already out of reach or in situations where his carries aren’t considered meaningful. What if his surgically repaired knee wasn’t ready for action and his legs were once again put in jeopardy, all for a meaningless carry?

When Lattimore returns in 2014, because of his body of work at South Carolina, (2,677 career yards on the ground and 38 career TD’s) a healthy Marcus Lattimore could conceivably vie for the starting running back job in San Francisco. In a win now, at any cost league, we could easily see Frank Gore in a different uniform next season, should he not produce at the level he has in years past. This season is just as big of a test for LaMichael James and Kendall Hunter in the hopes of fortifying their roles within the offense. They need to be prepared to look over their shoulders after this season as a former Heisman Trophy candidate is going to be gunning for their carries.

When Marcus Lattimore returns for his third act in 2014, we can all thank the 49ers organization and head coach Jim Harbaugh for realizing that they protected a valuable asset and didn’t force him into action when it wasn’t necessary. We can thank them for giving us the chance to see the Marcus Lattimore that was given the best  and most fair chance to succeed. By the 2014 season, Marcus Lattimore will be as healthy as he can be. Should he be able to bounce back to the once promising form we’ve all become accustomed to, the NFL and football fans are in for a treat.



New South Carolina Gamecocks Helmets Revealed?

New Gamecocks Helmets, South Carolina, Black MagicThis photo literally just popped up on the internet and it seems that the secret behind the South Carolina marketing departments “Black Magic” campaign might have been revealed. Gamecocks RB Mike Davis just posted this photo with the caption “new helmets or old helmets?” It appears that we might see the Gamecocks wearing these at some point this season. Could we be seeing a full black Gamecock uniform as well? This again is eluding to the“Black Magic” ad campaigns that have been floating around the Twitter-sphere and internet. What does everybody think?

There’s Vandalism In These Hills: A Gamecock’s View On “Howard’s Rock”

Howards Rock

Disturbing news was delivered from the hills of Tiger Town yesterday as reports surfaced of the vandalism caused to Clemson’s famous “Howard’s Rock.” Photos reveal a large chunk of rock missing from the iconic monument that stands atop of the hill that Clemson famoulsy runs down before kickoff  of every home game.

My childhood best-good friend text messaged me earlier today and assumed that I was going to address this topic on the blog. To be honest, I really gave it no thought before he suggested it. Instead, I challenged him to write a little something because for one, I was too tired to write anything thought provoking tonight. Secondly, he’s smarter than me and can probably deliver better than I could on this one. That being said, we present a Gamecock’s view on “Howard’s Rock” and welcome Cameron “Pale Face” Kelley with his first contribution to The Meat Locker. If anybody disagrees and wants to launch a verbal assault on him, I can provide his phone number, his personal address, as well as the address of his mother and father. Enjoy. 

Although, I usually revel in any insult or setback to the Clemson Tigers, I was both hurt and disappointed by the news out of the upstate this morning. Hurt because, having been to numerous games at “Death Valley”, I know what “Howard’s Rock” means to my Clemson friends. Even though I don’t completely understand it. I mean the guy that it’s named for used it as a doorstop before wanting it thrown in the trash, but then some other guy put it on a pedestal and they triumphed over a 4-6 UVA team supposedly because of it. Nevertheless, I can imagine what it would be like if one of Carolina’s traditions was similarly damaged, defiled, or destroyed.

Fortunately for Clemson, the tradition can continue; “Howard’s Rock” wasn’t destroyed and it wasn’t stolen. However, I am still disappointed (and not because it wasn’t destroyed or stolen). As a Gamecock fan and Carolina alum, I don’t want to see our rival diminished (unless it’s at the baseball regionals, for instance), much less victimized (unless we’re talking about what Swearinger did to Ellington last year). A good rivalry requires an appropriate amount of respect and contempt. Too much of the former and everyone’s a winner for trying. Too much of the latter and setting fires and overturning cop cars is expected after a loss.

Now, as of my writing this, authorities are still investigating. No suspect has been named and no motive has been given. Regardless, whoever did it was an idiot and any motive they might have had was, truly, idiotic. If it wasn’t Dabo for use in his altar to the Greats of Clemson Past, but was a Clemson “fan”, then I hope, in addition to the legal comeuppances, they get the “Death Valley” death penalty, that is, a lifetime ban. Likewise, if it turns out to be the work of some rogue with a hammer, the same penalty will suffice. However, if the perpetrator was a Carolina “fan”, which I fear he/she/they is/are, then not only should a lifetime ban at “Death Valley” be administered but also at Williams-Brice (in addition to the court ordered laser removal of any gross and conspicuous Gamecock tattoos that they probably have).

I love beating Clemson and whatever insults I might hurl at my friends I do it only because I get the same, but nothing more. I respect the Tigers and I only hope that this incident is resolved quickly and satisfactorily for Clemson, its alums, and its fans, because that’s what I would want if it happened to Carolina.

Gameday Traditions: Howard’s Rock

(A Clip From Dabo’s Uncle Rico Fantasy Camp) No. 95 Didn’t Rub It Hard Enough…

A Plea To Kenny Chesney: Please Stop Ruining Football

Kenny Chesney, Seahawks

This is a plea to country music star, Kenny Chesney. For the love of God, please stop ruining the game of football for us. It’s not enjoyable for actual football fans to troll their favorite sports blogs and highlight shows to watch you frolicking around in your “team of the month’s” uniform and pads, catching passes and running routes. It’s time to grow up Peter Pan and put your high school football days behind you.

Not only is it painful to watch you catching passes from some of the greatest quarterbacks in the league. It’s even more embarrassing for you that you have no loyalty to one particular team. One day its the New Orleans Saints, the next days it’s the Seattle Seahawks. Hey, while you’re at it throw on a Gamecocks helmet while playing in Williams Brice Stadium and do the “gator chomp” with Tim Tebow while playing in Gainesville. Let’s keep in mind that Chesney is a self-proclaimed, die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. I don’t think we’ll be seeing Darius Rucker, a loyal Gamecock fan throw on a Volunteers helmet while playing in Knoxville.

So, in closing. Kenny Chesney, you may keep your crappy song lyrics about umbrella drinks, drinking Smirnoff Ice on the beach, and island “girls” to yourself and anybody else that considers that “good music.” All I ask, on behalf of football fans everywhere, please… just let us have football back and stop ruining it for us.

Here are several examples of what I’m talking about and Kenny Chesney’s inability to stay loyal to one team.
Exhibit A: Kenny Chesney “Practicing” With The Seattle Seahawks.

Exhibit B: Kenny Chesney Wearing A Gamecocks Helmet.

Kenny Chesney, Gamecocks Helmet

Exhibit C: Kenny Chesney “Practicing” With The New Orleans Saints.

Exhibit D: Kenny Chesney Wearing A Dallas Cowboys Helmet

Kenny Chesney, Dallas Cowboys

Exhibit E: Kenny Chesney Wearing A Gator Helmet And Singing With Tim Tebow

Exhibit F: Kenny Chesney Wearing A Texas Longhorns Hat

Kenny Chesney, Texas Longhorns

Exhibit G: Kenny Chesney Providing “Insight” On Jon Gruden’s Quarterback Camp.

Exhibit H: Kenny Chesney Wearing An Eagles Helmet

Kenny Chesney, Eagles

Have I Driven Home My Point?


Bryce Harper Rocks A Gamecocks Helmet

Bryce Harper, Under Armour, Gamecocks

While touring the Under Armour campus, baseballs biggest phenom Bryce Harper showed off a Gamecocks helmet he found along the way. Harper tweeted this picture on Thursday night. Bryce’s older brother Bryan played collegiately for the Gamecocks and was a part of the back-to-back national championship teams in 2010 and 2011. Bryan is now a pitcher in the Nationals minor leage system and also happens to have a killer mustache.

Gamecock fans, could you imagine if the younger Harper was also part of the squad during the national championship run??

Bryce Harper, Gamecocks, Under Armour