Some of you have probably already geared up, ready to make your attack and tell us just how biased we are. At no other time of year, not even the political season, do we hear claims the likes of which we hear during football season. In fact, the claims about our bias make me think the crew at MSNBC, CNN, CBS and FOX have it easy.
Granted, there are quite a few folks in the office who have garnet and black running through their veins, but that stands to reason. Clemson is not known for spitting out too many journalists anymore than Carolina is known for spitting out agriculturists and engineers -- although, both probably have their fair share of students who have extensively studied one form of agriculture, cannabis. Still, the truth is the newspaper has a healthy crop of Clemson fans.
BUT WHEN IT COMES TO coverage of the state’s two biggies, we really do not have a bias. I know that statement will likely do nothing more than stir up those fanatics -- er -- fans who are absolutely prepared to go to their graves claiming otherwise, and they’ll even have the evidence in hand. We can hear the Carolina fan right now. “See this? Your reproduction of Clemson orange was brighter than the Gamecock’s garnet and black photo!” The Clemson fan, being the more mathematically skilled, will have a different take. “You ran the Carolina game photo 1-square-inch larger than Clemson’s.” Or “I counted every word in the stories, and Carolina got two -- you heard me! -- two more words than Clemson.”
I’ll readily admit that when it comes to photos you will find that size matters. There will be a difference from time to time, day to day. But (I know, I know. Deaf ears again.) I can also assure you that the size of game photos has nothing to do with a bias one way or the other. Every game is important, we know, but some games are bigger than others during the season. You might not admit that, but it’s true. So don’t be surprised when Clemson gets a bigger photo than Carolina and vice-versa.
Funny thing is that some people even swear my allegiance is to Carolina. Take el Tigre Wayne Bell, for example. At one time, perhaps when football helmets were leather, Wayne played for Clemson. Wayne is serving as this year’s president of the Rotary Club of Greenwood and rumor has it he’s trying to change the Rotary colors from blue and yellow to orange and purple. He might succeed. But he always picks on me about a supposed Gamecock allegiance, but that’s probably because of my picking on him as a player from before the day of Frank Howard.
KAY SELF AT GREENWOOD Partnership Alliance recently told me she’s going to convert me to “orange.” There’s really no conversion that will take place. Or needs to take place. I’ve been to football games at Clemson and Carolina. Revealing that publicly in this newspaper quite possibly has ended the chances of again going to a Gamecock game with Judi and Jimmy Burns. I hope not, though. I’ve never flown into Columbia for a football game, but I did fly to Death Valley with former Congressman Ed Young of Florence. On the way back to Florence, I was allowed to take control of the plane. Debate still lingers as to what that says about Young, a 1941 Clemson grad.
What is truly funny about all these exchanges is that I have no real allegiance to either school. My alma mater is but a small Methodist college that up until a few years ago only had baseball, soccer and basketball teams. Oh, and back in my day, a decent girls volleyball team. And no, I was not a member of the squad. As I said, it’s a Methodist school, which I guess somehow explains why it opted to get into the football frenzy and leave lacrosse to the Presbyterians. Our mascot? Battling Bishops. Fitting, since churches cannot get along, even amongst themselves.
But back to the main point of all this. At the Index-Journal, we do and will continue to strive to provide balanced coverage of all the teams. And yes, that includes the high school teams. In terms of coverage, we don’t, as the saying goes, have a dog in the fight. Not even a Georgia Bulldog.
Whiting is executive editor of the Index-Journal. Contact him at 864-943-2522; email firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at IJEDITOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.