UNION — Who rules? The Tigers of Clemson University or the Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina?
Of the divisions that exist in South Carolina, none is more enduring with more passionate partisans on each side of the divide than the rivalry between Clemson and Carolina, between Tigers and Gamecocks.
Ground zero for this rivalry is the football field where the Clemson Tigers and the Carolina Gamecocks have repeatedly sqaured off over the course of generations with fans of both teams filling the stands and, for those who can’t physically be there, crowding around radios, televisions, and computer screens to cheer their favorite team on.
There are times of course, that the rivals come together for the common good, to support a very worthy cause, and at times like those it certainly is heartwarming to see the Clemson Tiger and the Carolina Gamecock standing side by side, setting aside their rivalry to do good.
Lets face it though, as nice as it is to see Tigers and Gamecocks rally together for a good cause, the real fun is when they are on opposite sides, each bound and determined to emerge victorious over the other. It is a rivalry — and a great and enduring one — after all.
It is that rivalry that the Union Medical Center, Union Medical Center Volunteers, and the Union County Healthcare Foundation are hoping to use for a good cause with the upcoming “Donation Duel.”
A flier announcing the event points out that the “big game in November” between the two rivals “is probably the biggest game day in our state. But did you know that every day someone is participating in the ‘most important day of their life?’”
The flier points out that there are approximately 900 people in South Carolina and 123,000 people nationwide “waiting on a lifesaving organ through the gift of donation.”
It further points out that “if you filled up Death Valley (approximately 80,301 seats) and William Brice Stadium (approximately 80,250 seats) for a total of 160,551 people that would meet the current waiting list” of persons needing organ donations. However, the flier points out that “every 10 minutes someone is added to the list” of those needing organ doantions and “every day 22 people die waiting” for the donated organ or organs that could have saved their life.
To help address this situation, on Friday, Jan. 20 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., the Union Medical Center, Union Medical Center Volunteers, and Union County Healthcare Foundation will host a “Donation Duel” between Clemson fans and Carolina fans.
Two tables will be set up in the Main Lobby of the Union Medical Center, with each table designated for either Clemson or Carolina and decorated accordingly, and the lobby itself will be similarly decked out as well. Each table will have donor registry information and will provide Tigers and Gamecocks, respectively, with the opportunity to register as an organ donor.
Refreshments for each team will also be served.
At the end of the day the team with the most donors added to the registry will be proclaimed the “Team of the Year!”
The flier announcing the Dontation Duel concludes with the following challenge:
“LET’S DECIDE THIS NOW….WHO RULES?????”
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.