There are many different ways to write about this rivalry. I could write about the history. I could write about the coaches.The Communities themselves could be brought into the equation. I could write about the Victory Bell, the Hail Mary passes or the blood, sweat and tears that have been left from Snyder Field to John L. Martin Stadium. The wins and losses that fall between Gibbs Stadium and Cavalier Stadium. So with so many places to start..where do I begin?
I’M A FIRM BELIEVER THAT ALL GOOD THINGS START WITH A FRIEND…
I met Jed Blackwell over the telephone,through the fantastic show THE PIEDMONT PICK’UM SHOW that aired for about twenty years in our area until this year. Jed Blackwell, Travis Jenkins and the Late Tommy Sims were my Saturday Morning Ritual.
Times change. There is plenty I could write about local sports radio.I could write about how angry I am about certain things and certain people, but to be quite honest. It is not worth the time or effort…and most of all it more than likely would just make heads and egos swell.
I guess my point is Jed Blackwell is the real deal. A true Journalist with a knowledge and love of High School Sports that I one day hope to have. I would love to call him my boss. So I had absolutely no question as to who to ask for an “outside” point of view about Spartanburg vs. Dorman.
(PLUS HE HAS THAT “fancy college book learning”)
“I had someone tell me one time that if Dorman and Spartanburg were playing tiddlywinks, it would draw a crowd.” That was Jed’s first words to me when I asked Him about this rivalry. “That’s true. In 1996 I was working at a paper in Horry County. I was riding back through the woods from Hemingway one night with my boss, we caught WSPA on the AM dial and I got him to turn it up. “Big game at home?”,his bossed asked. Jed replied,”Yeah, you could call it that.” Jed’s companion continued, “How many people you reckon they got?, a couple thousand?” Blackwell went on to fill him in,” Yessir. If by a “couple”, you mean 12,000.”
Jed went on to put it in perspective for the man, “He didn’t believe me. Nobody ever did. It’s something that you don’t understand unless you’re part of it. My mom started her teaching career at Dorman. My stepdad went to Spartanburg. They speak to each other on game week, but barely. It’s Clemson-Carolina and Duke-UNC and Oklahoma-Texas and Bama-Tennessee all at once. Farmers vs. Preppies. Eastside vs. Westside. It’s hard to put into words, so I don’t ever try. I say “Dorman-Spartanburg”, and that’s explanation enough.”
Jed is 100% correct. Dorman-Spartanburg says it all. He did offer one more comparison
“CORN DOG 7 vs. HOLMES HOTDOGS”
For those who are much too young to know what Corn Dog 7 is..There used to be a Hillcrest Mall where Taco Dog, Publix, and everything around that area now stands. Inside of that Mall was Corn Dog 7. Simple Menu for those days.Fresh Lemonade,Cheese Fries and homemade Corn Dogs. You could grab a Corn Dog after a round of Spy Hunter in Diamond Johns Arcade. Sam Wyche had a Sports World. (you see Sam Wyche was a great football coach and he opened this chain of sports stores..ahh..nevermind) I know the idea of a Hillcrest Mall falls short on most kids on the Eastside of Spartanburg, but it’s true..It once stood there and we were proud to claim it. Back Then you even got a 30 day guarantee with your cassette from Sound Shop or Record Bar. Those were places that you actually walked inside to buy your music.(YOU SEE MUSIC WAS SOMETHING YOU ACTUALLY USED TO PAY FOR) I didn’t need a 6 dollar coffee with my book from Waldenbooks, I just needed the wooden squares surrounded by gardens to sit and read that were placed throughout the mall. The Huge open Sunroof in the Atrium always gave enough reading light.
When I look around the world today with so much tragedy and hate. I have to believe a Good Corn Dog would go a long way. In reality, people don’t appreciate things that they have never experienced. The same holds true for Spartanburg vs. Dorman..if you havent experienced it, you more than likely won’t get it. If only a Corn Dog could change the world..If only a Hot Dog could open someones eyes.
so in other words eat more Corn Dogs and Hot Dogs…
Go see Spartanburg Vs. Dorman.. and like Tommy Sims used to say,..
“TAKE A KID TO A BALL GAME”
Follow Jed Blackwell at GOUPSTATE