This past week's Steve Spurrier Coach's Show has created national headlines with the unusual way Spurrier presented himself on TV. Was he drunk or was he just tired from a brutal game in humid Orlando, Florida? None of us know and we will likely never know. I'm not going to offer any guesses, but what I will offer are the best and most memorable moments in South Carolina Coach's Show History.
Coaches shows aren't like they once were. Before the internet, 24 hour sports radio, and cable TV televising all games, the head coach's TV show gave you access to the program that you couldn't get elsewhere. Game highlight and hearing the coach speak were rare in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and much of the 90s.
As a Gamecock fan you wanted to see that 100+ kickoff return by Sterling Sharpe against Duke in 85, but if you didn't watch the Joe Morrison Show you had no way of seeing it unless you were in person. You wanted to know what Sparky Woods had to say after a big win against Clemson in 1992. Coach's shows were the few ways to access a coach.
With that said, here are the most memorable things about The Gamecock Coach's Show.
Heinz Ketchup is Powerful Stuff- Most Gamecock Fans would like to forget that Brad Scott was ever a coach at South Carolina, but most will admit they have a "Together We Did" Carquest Bowl shirt that celebrated the Gamecocks first bowl win. When Brad Scott was coach of the Gamecocks he ran a series of commercials for Heinz Ketchup. The commercial claimed he had "battled bulldogs, skinned wildcats, and wrestled Razorbacks. He also claimed the ketchup could tame Tigers. Unfortunately, Brad's record against teams with those nicknames was only 12-17-1.
The Sparky Rock- Sparky Woods was named the head coach of South Carolina following the tragic death of Joe Morrison early in 1989. Little was known about Woods other than he came from Appalachian State and he was one of the youngest 1-A football coaches in CFB History when he took the job.
Following back to back wins over Georgia Tech and Georgia in 89 a song debuted on the Sparky Woods Show. The song claimed "We knew he could" and has since vanished from the Earth. Sparky entered USC with back to back winning seasons, but would leave in 1993 a year after a players' revolt. Hey, he did give Gamecock Fans Steve Taneyhill
South Carolina State Bulldogs Lead In- Prior to cable TV taking over the USC Coach's Show it was shown on WIS TV in Columbia at 11:30 each Sunday. Before the show was the SC State Bulldogs Coach's Show. Most Gamecock Fans probably would have never followed SC State Football, but thanks to WIS we all got a weekly look at Willie Jeffries' program. Later Coach Buddy Pugh would take over the program. To this day I can't get the SC State Fight Song out of my head and I swear Marvin Marshall played QB at SC State for 15 years.
Joe Morrison was a Boy Scout- If you remember watching the Joe Morrison show you remember that the "Man in Black" was a Boy Scout. Who can forget Morrison dressed in all black talking about his experiences as a Scout?
Duquesne Gas "Grill of the Week"- During the Wally Burnham days when Gamecock Defenses were giving up 50+ points to teams like East Carolina and allowing Tee Martin to complete 23 consecutive passes, there was a weekly award given to a player called the Duquesne Gas "Grill of the Week". Considering how awful the Gamecock defenses were in the mid 90s, this had to be a tough award to pick each week. There weren't many great defensive moments for USC under Burnham, but we were all on the edge of our seats to see who would win this award each week
Lou Holtz making you believe every opponent is great- No one did a better job of making Eastern Michigan sound like the 1985 Chicago Bears. At the end of every show Holtz would preview the next week's opponent. The Gamecocks were a top 20 team in 2001, but you better believe that when USC played Wofford that they were about to be beat by 30.
Carolina Pride- It doesn't matter if you watched the Joe Morrison Show or the Lou Holtz Show. The Carolina Pride Commercial with "Michael" building the birdhouse was shown. By the time that spot was pulled that child actor was probably graduating college. Still, it was a great spot and we are fortunate to still have that video on the internet. Unfortunately, it is no longer part of the USC Coach's Show.