The Fighting Gamecocks Lead the Way – [ listen ]
"Hey, let's give a cheer, Carolina is here,
The Fighting Gamecocks lead the way.
Who gives a care, if the going gets tough,
And when it is rough, that's when the Cocks get going.
Hail to our colors of garnet and black,
In Carolina pride have we.
So, GO Gamecocks GO – FIGHT!
Drive for the goal – FIGHT!
USC will win today – GO COCKS!
So, let's give a cheer, Carolina is here.
The Fighting Gamecocks All The Way!"
Listen to Carolina's marching band, "The Mighty Sound of the Southeast," play USC's fight song.
Cheers & Customs
- Alma Mater: When We Hail Thee Carolina is sung, students and alumni should raise their hands with fingers cupped at the phrase "Here's A Health, Carolina," as if offering a toast. (Listen to USC's alma mater.)
– Gamecock fan Gloria says, "My favorite tradition is the singing of the USC Alma Mater before each home game. Though I graduated in the 70s, it never ceases to be a source of pride and honor to salute my university."
- The Tiger Burn: As Charlestonian and avid Gamecock fan Ann explains, "The celebration before the Carolina-Clemson game in November is by far the best college football tradition. During a school-wide pep rally the night before the game, a 20-foot tall tiger is set ablaze and students and alumni sing school cheers led by the school band. The Tiger Burn tradition started when Carolina beat Clemson in 1902. Carolina students paraded around campus with a banner that had a controversial picture of a gamecock and a tiger on it. Clemson students were enraged and a riot broke out on campus. The Tiger Burn was a school tradition from then on."
- GO COCKS!: The Gamecock has been associated with USC since 1902 but when did fans begin cheering Go Cocks? Ben Peeler of Charlotte was there and shares the episode. "I was present at a game in 1969. I believe we were playing NC State or North Carolina. We were winning quite handily so the crowd was somewhat quiet. An obviously inebriated young man mounted the stage where the cheerleaders were and began exhorting the student section with GoooOOOOOOO Cocks! After that the cheer was added just before the fight song plays, C-A-R-O-L-I-N-A Fight, Fight, GoooOOOOOOO Cocks!
- Black Magic: In 1984, Black Magic fever ran rampant at Carolina. The tradition started with Coach Joe Morrison, who was famous for wearing all black to every game, even in the sweltering Columbia heat. The Gamecocks set the school record that year for most wins in a single season, and Joe Morrison, in his all black garb, was revered by all. The Black Magic team of 1984 finished 10-2 and was ranked 11th in the nation. Often called the greatest Gamecock football team, the Black Magic squad's legacy lives on. Many fans wear all black to games in hopes of recapturing some of the magic from that 1984 season.
- A House Divided: "Every year, when the Gamecocks play Clemson, my mother and I sit down to watch the MOST anticipated game of the season," says Gamecock fan Charles Sweigert of Pennslyvania. His mom is a Clemson fan, so they are what is known as a House Divided! Charles says that before he moved out of his mother's house, they watched the Carolina-Clemson game together. Now, they watch the game and text back and forth, rubbing each other's nose in a touch down, a field goal or an awesome play!
- 2001 – A Space Odyssey: Rated college football's most exciting pre-game entry by The Sporting News, the entry of Carolina's football team into Williams-Brice Stadium throws fans into a frenzy before every home football game. Fans pack into the stadium, waiting with feverish anticipation as game time draws near. Then, the first notes of Carolina's theme song – 2001 – A Space Odyssey – blare over the stadium sound system. As the crowd of more than 82,000 begins to roar with excitement, in perfect coordination with the music, the Gamecocks run onto the field and the crowd goes wild.
– Watch this video of Carolina's pre-game entry, shot in 2001 when ESPN's College GameDay broadcasted from Williams-Brice Stadium. The fans had a 'blackout' and wore all black, in hopes of recapturing the Black Magic.
- Obvious Omission: If you notice something is missing from this page, we're leaving it out on purpose! It's bad luck. In fact, you shouldn't even be THINKING about it. So stop! ;)
Submit your favorite Gamecock cheers, customs, superstitions, and tailgating traditions.