The Gamecock

The Gamecock

The reasons USC athletic teams originally chose their colors and the moniker "Gamecocks" are obscure.Garnet and black have always been USC's athletic colors.The "Gamecock" name appears to have taken hold in 1902.That year, USC upset Clemson, and Carolina students paraded through the streets near campus carrying a transparency that had been hanging in a local tobacco store window.The transparency had been drawn by USC mathematics Professor F. Horton Colcock.Clemson fans could not help noticing that the transparency featured the image of a gamecock standing over a fallen tiger.Violence nearly ensued before calm was restored and the crowds dispersed.Two weeks later, the State newspaper began referring to the team as the "Game Cocks."By 1904, the two words had been joined and the name had stuck.
e possible source for the first link between the University of South Carolina and the gamecock mascot lies with a nickname of one of South Carolina's storied military figures, Thomas Sumter.During the War of Independence, Sumter energized South Carolina in its fight against the British.Perhaps his nickname inspired Professor Colcock to create the transparency cited elsewhere on this page.In his preferred hat, coat, and epaulettes, Sumter donned the colors of the gamecock, and he was well-known for his fearlessness in battle.British officers commonly scorned Sumter as the "South Carolina Game Cock."But the people of South Carolina were proud of Sumter's daunting spirit.Letters and other records indicate that by the 1840s, South Carolinians were praising Sumter as the "South Carolina Game Cock."
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Tami Houmiel Headshot
Phone: 803-606-8712
Dated: October 8th 2014
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