Will's Last Word: To Quote Arnold, "Stop Whining!"

Will Palaszczuk
October 21, 2019 - 2:19 pm

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

It shouldn't be surprising to you that my favorite movie featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't from the "Terminator" series. Rather, my favorite "Ahhh-nuld" movie instead is the cult classic (classic?) Kindergarten Cop. "It's nahhht a tooo-muhhh", was a common refrain of my childhood, but I also feel like he stepped out of his comfort zone more than usual to deliver a compelling performance in this role.

One of the key moments in the movie happens when the children he's "teaching" while undercover looking for a fugitive begin to break him. He decides to use his skills as a cop to instill discipline in the kindergartners in a scene that has become meme and gif-worthy.

The quote from the scene: 

"Come on! Stop whining! You kids are soft. You lack discipline. Well, I've got news for you. You are mine now! You belong to me! You're not gonna have your mommies from behind you anymore to wipe your little tushies! Oh no, it's time now to turn this mush into muscles. No more complaining. No more "Mr. Kimble, I have to go to the bathroom". Nothing! There is no bathroom!!!"

I feel the "Stop whining" part of the quote ringing true when I hear the incessant babble coming from both the South Carolina and Clemson fanbases after this weekend's action.

I purposely didn't go to either game, because I had radio commitments to fulfill in Atlanta, and the only way I could see both games was to watch them side-by-side simultaneously. While admittedly it's not the best way to analyze a game, I came away with two very obvious conclusions.

South Carolina created their own wrongdoing, and Clemson continues to defy the numbers with another ho-hum performance over a bottom feeder.

Gamecocks fans will tell you the referees determined the outcome on Saturday at a soggy Williams-Brice Stadium. The Florida Wide Receiver's do-si-do with Israel Mukuamu and the Hunter Renfrow-esque pick play went a long way to securing victory for the visitors. The angst from the student section funneled its way to Gamecocks Head Coach Will Muschamp, who was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct foul on the sideline.

In reality, Matt Loeffler's crew, normally one of the best in the SEC had a bad day. There were calls and non-calls on both sides that left plenty to be desired, but nothing that you would say was "game-defining".

The one-dimensional nature of South Carolina's offense ruined any opportunity they had to keep the game close. Even without Rico Dowdle, who came up injured after the first play from scrimmage, the Gamecocks offense seemed to run the ball consistently, with Tavien Feaster surpassing the century mark in yardage for the second time in three games. Ryan Hilinski's inability to find open receivers in a non-existent passing game have led many to question whether it's another case of the "freshman blues" or whether he continues to lack the health needed to perform at a high level.

The officials didn't lose the game for South Carolina, but their self-inflicted wounds and lack of execution did.

As for Clemson, a first half riddled with mistakes for Trevor Lawrence and the Tigers left Louisville within only one score near the vicinity of halftime. It took one of the NFL-ready type throws from Lawrence, rarely seen in the 2019 vintage of the signal-caller, to give Clemson a two-touchdown cushion at the break.

That lack of crispness and the exemplary play of others led AP Voters to slip Clemson in the polls for a third consecutive week, coming in ranked number four. While Dabo spent his Sunday teleconference telling reporters about the "Point-seven" differential between their margins of victory between this year and last, the eye test tells a different story.

Not only have the Tigers been anything but crisp, but the teams they've played in and out of their conference have crumbled around them. North Carolina lost in six overtimes to Virginia Tech, Texas A&M looks beyond mediocre, and Syracuse, thought by many to challenge Clemson in the ACC Atlantic, has yet to win a conference game. 

There's no two ways about it, the slate is poor, and the Tigers have rarely looked as if they've mastered it. And in a game where how you look means just as much as winning, Clemson has done little to influence a change in the rhetoric surrounding its team and the ACC.

South Carolina can't do anything about the officials, other than press on and try and get winnable victories against Tennessee and Vanderbilt to set up a game against ranked Appalachian State for bowl eligibility. Long thought to be a punchline, a bowl berth for this team would be an extraordinary accomplishment given the adversity they've faced this year.

Clemson also can't do much to change the mind of the AP voters, but they don't need to. With projected wins over Boston College and Wofford, the Tigers will still be in one of the playoff positions when the first CFP Rankings (the only ones that really matter) come out in two weeks. LSU and Alabama will cancel each other out, and Clemson will continue to control its own destiny to return to the Playoff for a fifth consecutive season.

A former NFL player whose company I enjoyed this weekend said to me, "Will, these are grown men, they can't allow people who aren't them to determine the outcome of these games. If they don't want the refs or outside influences to determine their future, they need to take matters into their own hands." 

In that vein, I have only one thing left to say to Clemson and South Carolina:

"Stop Whining!"

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