Oct. 7, 2016
By Brad Muller | More Features
Fans make a difference, and the South Carolina Gamecocks want to stay connected to their fans. One of the ways fans can do this is by taking part in the Gamecock Walk two hours and twenty minutes before kick-off of each home game as the football team walks from Gamecock Park across Bluff Road and into Williams-Brice Stadium.
“Our fans are the 12th man for us,” said redshirt junior offensive lineman Alan Knott. “They mean a lot.”
Fans will have their next opportunity for fist bumps, high fives and encouragement on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. during the Gamecock Walk. To show their respect for the game and the fans, the Gamecocks are donning coats and ties on the Gamecock Walk this year. They’re also keeping the portable music out of their ears so they can truly interact with the fans. Coach Will Muschamp noted that it’s important for the student-athletes to take in the entire game day experience.
“I told our guys that I don’t want any headsets on during the Gamecock walk,” Muschamp said. “We need to appreciate our fans and what they do for us. That’s really important to me. Those fans spend a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lot of energy and passion to come watch us play. We need to return that respect.”
We love our fans, and we want to show them as much respect as possible.
The Gamecock student-athletes are buying-in as well.
“I really like it a lot,” said junior linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams. “It means a lot to get the full experience from the fans. I’ve done the Gamecock Walk before, but I never felt this much love and excitement as I did from the first one this year. It is very exciting to see the fans and to actually hear what they want to say to you. You get to have a little conversation with them, so you definitely have a better connection with them.”
“We love our fans, and we want to show them as much respect as possible,” Knott said.
“I liked it a lot more this way,” said senior offensive lineman Mason Zandi. “I actually always liked not wearing headphones. Those fans appreciate us enough to show up several hours before the game even starts just to see us get off the bus. It’s a tradition, so we should honor our fans the same way they honor us.”
As far as the donning a coat and tie for the Gamecock Walk into the stadium, the student-athletes don’t mind looking their best either.
“I definitely like getting dressed up,” Allen-Williams said. “It’s business attire, and we’re going in to handle our business when we walk inside the stadium. Coach Muschamp tells us it’s a business trip every time we walk into a stadium. It helps us keep that business mentality.”
“I wasn’t a fan of the coat and tie at first,” laughed fifth year senior defensive back Chris Moody. “But now I like it.”
“Yeah, I like it,” Zandi said. “Look good, feel good.”
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