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The Tiger

Opinion: Would a Tiger or Gamecock win in a fight?

Julia Persinger, Contributor

Clemson football will take on South Carolina for the 119th time in history on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. 

Clemson’s long-storied rivalry with the South Carolina Gamecocks returns to Clemson on Saturday. It will be the first time that these football teams have faced off in Death Valley since 2018. 

While Clemson leads USC in head-to-head win percentages, or national championship trophies, it’s important to realize that these metrics are fluid. An advantage in national championships could be temporary, the same could be said for graduation rates.

There’s one thing, however, that will never change in the comparison between these universities: the Clemson Tiger mascot would completely eviscerate a South Carolina Gamecock in a head-to-head fight. 

This may trigger memories of a second grade ‘my dad could beat up your dad’ spat, but some might say that mascots represent a school similar to how a mother or father represents their family.

And the Gamecock, also known as the fighting chicken, may be the weakest mascot in all of Division I. 

A USC fan may claim that their mascot was named after the South Carolinian Revolutionary War brigadier general Thomas Sumter, nicknamed the “Fighting Gamecock”. That’s pretty tough, but it unfortunately doesn’t matter. 

The chunky red bird that waddles along the Williams-Brice sidelines every Saturday well characterizes its school’s success in sports, at least in comparison to Clemson.

With the help of indisputable truths uncovered by biology and common sense, it can be proven that a team of literal Clemson Tigers would maul eleven South Carolina chickens in a game of football, or any sport for that matter.

According to National Geographic, the average Bengal Tiger spans five to six feet in length, weighing anywhere from 240 to 500 pounds. Despite their size, Tigers can reach up to 30-40 miles per hour in a full sprint. 

A full-sized male chicken stands no taller than two or three feet, weighing in at a measly 5.7 pounds on average. Additionally, the longest recorded flight by a chicken lasted just thirteen seconds, not nearly enough time to escape the pursuit of a Tiger. 

So although Gamecocks are classified as birds, they struggle to fly. And although the USC Gamecocks are classified as a football team, they struggle to win championships.

Ultimately, multiple Gamecocks would be needed to match up with a single Tiger. A Tiger’s physical advantage coupled with its predatory nature would be too much for even dozens of the angriest, strongest game-chickens.

If the Clemson Tigers align themselves with the spirit of its mascot this Saturday, they will likely add a win to their 72-42-4 all-time record over USC.  

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