Even though they live in “a house divided,” South Carolina Gamecocks fan Rob Hibbits and his wife, Teresa, a Clemson Tigers fan, have a good-natured and respectful rivalry.
“Respectful is dead silence, right?” Rob said laughing.
“Normally, I’m a quiet fan, but lately, I’ve become a little more vocal,” Teresa said. “But you have to push me before I become vocal.”
They keep the pushing and the ribbing to a minimum, they said.
“Teresa is very careful about what she says,” Rob said. “She gets really upset with some of the teasing that goes on. Some of it goes too far. That ruins everything.”
The Orangeburg residents have two televisions in their living room for their game viewing. They watch most games together.
“We have a great time,” Rob said.
But when the Carolina-Clemson game is on, they watch in separate rooms, Rob in the living room and Teresa in the bedroom.
“The Clemson-Carolina game will be another super showcase for the state of South Carolina and what college football is all about,” Rob said.
He grudgingly admits Clemson looks good this year.
“It looks like to me that again this year, Clemson will be a little stronger and with more depth that will wear the Gamecocks down for another Clemson victory and a disappointing day for me,” he said. “But don’t ask Teresa, as she is not buying any of that.”
Rob said he supports the success of any Palmetto State team, but Teresa has a harder time rooting for the Gamecocks.
“I try to be respectful of others’ allegiances,” Teresa said.
“But she is one that has a difficult time pulling for Carolina,” Rob said. “I don’t have a problem with it. What’s good for South Carolina is good for both of us.”
Teresa admitted that the Gamecocks’ five-year winning streak a few years back under Coach Steve Spurrier really got under her skin.
“That’s what pushed her over the edge,” Rob laughed. “And not to mention what will happen to you if you mention the word ‘Clowney.’”
“Clowney, oh my word!” Teresa exclaimed.
“Even when he was at Florida, I have always been a big Steve Spurrier fan, and what he did at Carolina, I never thought I would see in my lifetime,” Rob said.
In the past, they have attended the Clemson-Carolina game at Williams-Brice Stadium. They learned a valuable lesson from the experience.
“We did that a couple of times. It didn’t work too well,” Rob said. “I don’t have tickets for Clemson, so she would go to the Carolina-Clemson game with me. That’s kind of a tough atmosphere to deal with.”
There is one thing the two can agree on. When their son-in-law, John Currie, became the athletics director at Kansas State, they became big Wildcats fans.
“That’s one thing that we’ve really had a wonderful time together, pulling for the same team,” Rob said. “We have made many trips to Manhattan, Kansas, to see the Wildcats play and have been very fortunate to attend bowl games, including a BCS game, all over the country.”
Currie is now working at the University of Tennessee, and the couple recently attended the Tennessee vs. Louisiana State game.
“We were up there last weekend in the box with Peyton Manning for the game,” Rob said.
They also attended last year’s college football national championship game in Tampa together.
“Yes, I did wear orange and pulled for Clemson,” Rob said.
In general, Teresa is a big sports fan and watches all kinds of games, whether it’s college football, NFL or NBA.
“She watches every game through the whole NBA playoffs. Drives me crazy,” Rob said. “That’s why we have two (TV) sets.”
Rob is the owner of Hibbits Insurance in Orangeburg and is president of the Orangeburg Touchdown Club. Teresa works as a court reporter in Columbia. They each have two children, and they have eight grandkids between them.
“We have had a lifetime of great experiences, laughs, loads of fun and have wonderful memories, thanks to Carolina-Clemson football,” Rob said.