Faithful Gamecocks fans wouldn't miss title game

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Chris Fulmer has attended more than 300 consecutive University of South Carolina football games.

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University of South Carolina fan Chris Fulmer, of Aiken, placed magnets on his SUV on Thursday before driving to Atlanta for the Southeastern Conference championship game. "It will probably go down as our greatest sports year ever," Fulmer said.   Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
University of South Carolina fan Chris Fulmer, of Aiken, placed magnets on his SUV on Thursday before driving to Atlanta for the Southeastern Conference championship game. "It will probably go down as our greatest sports year ever," Fulmer said.

Come back at 4 p.m. for Chris Gay's live blog from the SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. Follow updates from Scott Michaux on Twitter @scomic1.

He has seen some of the Gamecocks' biggest victories, including the 1984 win over Florida State, and he was there for the 21-game losing streak that stretched across the 1998-1999 seasons.

Now, with the Gamecocks playing in their first Southeastern Conference championship game today in Atlanta, there is no way Fulmer will miss it.

"I'm still riding high," said Fulmer, who lives in Aiken. "Looking back through the season, I'm amazed at some of the accomplishments."

The accomplishments include beating No. 1 Alabama, winning at Florida for the first time and claiming the SEC Eastern Division for the school's first football title since 1969.

Fulmer and a group of more than 30 fanatics who call themselves the Ultimate Tailgaters are making the trek to Atlanta, where the Gamecocks play Auburn at 4 p.m.

The last game Fulmer, 49, missed was in 1984, when the Gamecocks beat Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. His patience and faith have been rewarded with this year's season.

"I'm just glad I'm getting to see some Gamecock firsts," he said.

It has been a banner year for all sports, he said. The basketball team knocked off No. 1 Kentucky early in the year, and the baseball team won the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., this summer.

"The total year, Gamecock-wise, it will probably go down as our greatest sports year ever," Fulmer said.

Jason Newsome, of North Augusta, does not have as long of a history with the Gamecocks, but he is excited to make today's trip. For the second week in a row, the 29-year-old Newsome has changed his Facebook name to reflect South Carolina's opponent. This week, his middle name is "BeatAuburn."

"It was a good-luck charm, and hopefully it will pay off again," he said with a laugh.

Newsome, who witnessed South Carolina's back-to-back Outback Bowl wins over Ohio State after the 2000 and 2001 seasons, plans on getting to Atlanta early today to take it all in.

"It's been crazy. It's not something, honestly, that as a Gamecock fan since I was 2 years old, that I thought I'd ever see," he said. "I had to find a way to get myself there and be a part of it."

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NAAustin
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NAAustin 12/04/10 - 03:03 am
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It's on! GO GAMECOCKS!

It's on! GO GAMECOCKS!

KSL
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KSL 12/04/10 - 04:10 am
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Hey Chris, enjoy.

Hey Chris, enjoy.

wildman
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wildman 12/04/10 - 05:37 am
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Good Luck from a faithful

Good Luck from a faithful Bulldawg fan! Beat the Thugs from Auburn.

BLACKOUTDAWG1
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BLACKOUTDAWG1 12/04/10 - 05:57 am
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There will be some sad faces

There will be some sad faces coming back east on I-20 late tonight from Atlanta. The Cocks will not be able to finish the DRILL against an Explosive 2nd Half Tigers. The Cocks will have to score at least 40 points to beat them and they had better get them in the first half.I hope the Cocks GOOD LUCK just for the player's Sakes.

etlinks
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etlinks 12/04/10 - 08:11 am
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It has always been hard being

It has always been hard being a Gamecock fan but we never ever jump ship. We bleed garnet through and through. And we are extremely proud of our Gamecocks. GO GAMECOCKS!!!!!!!

BLACKOUTDAWG1
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BLACKOUTDAWG1 12/04/10 - 09:27 am
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Good Reason to be

Good Reason to be Proud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 12/04/10 - 11:11 am
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I mean, most of the season,

I mean, most of the season, us Dawg fans "hate" the Gamecocks, BUT how can we hate them on a day like this? This is a FIRST for them, so you almost have to be happy...almost...for them. I really wish them all the luck in the world. Not taking anything away from them, but they had better be ready for Auburn. Auburn is definitely a second half team and they have the ability to come back, even after being down 3 TDs!! By the time any team is up 3 TDs, they think there's no way Auburn can come back. Then they do. I'll be watching.

AugustaVoter
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AugustaVoter 12/04/10 - 04:07 pm
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I drove out to the Dome to

I drove out to the Dome to work at 9am this morning. Got there before 12. All Dome lots were already full! I drove around the area of the Dome for 1 1/2 hours and still didn't find a place. What a waste of 6 hours of my time, 300 miles on my car and who knows how much money in gas... Poor planning by the administration of the Georgia Dome for not having enough parking for CSC employees to park. And they preach customer service. How about taking care of those who take care of the customer?

AugustaVoter
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AugustaVoter 12/04/10 - 04:07 pm
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Go South Carolina! Beat SCAM

Go South Carolina! Beat SCAM Newton! Break his freaking leg or give him a concussion in the first quarter. Helmet to helmet hit would be worth the 15 yard penalty.

wildman
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wildman 12/04/10 - 05:30 pm
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Scam shouldn't be allowed to

Scam shouldn't be allowed to play. The NCAA implemented a new rule this week just for him. A.J. suspended for four games for selling a jersey and Scam get's off, I will never believe he had no idea of what was going on. That's B.S.! The NCAA is a joke!!!!!

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