When South Carolina plays football at Williams-Brice Stadium, the distance between Charlotte and Columbia usually is the longest 90 miles in the Southeast. We left downtown – never uptown – Charlotte for Columbia At 3 p.m. and worried we left too late. At 4:32, we pulled off the freeway onto Bluff Road. We could see the stadium. We couldn’t believe it! We knew, however, that the last mile was going to take at least two hours because this was Columbia.
Yet we cruised right in. We never had to wait for more than three minutes. We found our parking place right away. We walked past George Rogers, the South Carolina running back who won the Heisman Trophy in 1980.
He was selling autographs from the back of his black Lincoln Navigator. The back gate was down. For a $5 donation to the George Rogers Foundation, you could pose with the Heisman Trophy. The SUV was parked very close to George Rogers Boulevard.
There are three possibilities for the ease with which we drove in:
A. Traffic control has come to Columbia.
B. Fans are so excited about the beginning of football season that the traffic jams came three hours earlier.
C. Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier fixed the traffic.