For a South Carolina alum like Lawrence Brown, there are some things he will not do.
Buy and wear a Tiger paw hat - as his buddy and Clemson fan Stewart Good tried to get him to do Friday - or put on orange clothes.
Not ever - and certainly not for the annual Carolina-Clemson football game, at Clemson tonight.
Not even when there were more than 30 Clemson hats to choose from - plaid to white, camouflage to purple.
"I went to Rock Hill High; I wore garnet and black there. I wore it at South Carolina That is all I ever will wear," Brown told Good and the clerk Friday at Hibbett Sports at the Rock Hill Galleria.
"I can't do it, not even for a joke."
That's what this in-state rivalry game is about - a time for rabid fans and even casual observers to put on their colors and root for one team or the other.
Yet, there are few casual observers for this game. It is one or the other.
This is South Carolina, where football ranks somewhere just below God, but maybe just barely, and above politics and just about everything else.
If Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks beat Clemson tonight - they are favored - and win the SEC championship next week, the state could cancel all elections.
Spurrier would not just be elected governor - he would be crowned king.
Carolina-Clemson does not draw tepid fans like the NFL's Carolina Panthers - where fans tailgate with wine and cheese, then leave early to beat the traffic while listening to public radio in the Mercedes.
Carolina-Clemson is trucks and RVs, beer and meat. Scraped knuckles and bruised feelings.
At Clemson this weekend, superfan Watts Huckabee of Rock Hill, a huge booster, said the tailgate barbecue started Friday and will run through kickoff tonight and involve hundreds.
If Clemson wins, the party just might last until Sunday afternoon - ending only when the food runs out.
And that is just a group of people who know each other.
The same thing will happen all over the stadium parking lots and here in York County at homes and businesses today and tonight.
Butch Bailey, Rock Hill superfan for Carolina and a big Gamecock Club officer, will host a viewing party at his nightclub, Scandals.
"We allow Clemson fans - but they have to stand on one side, and talk real quiet," joked Bailey.
And it is not just male football fans ready to stop all other activities for the 3 1/2 hours that will give one side bragging rights for the coming year.
Kelly Mixon and Jane Stephens of Chester bought Clemson gear at Hibbett's during the Black Friday crush.
Mixon bought a Clemson jersey to wear during tonight's game - No. 23 - Andre Ellington's number. Stephenson bought a Clemson thermal with a huge Tiger paw that covered the whole front.
"We allow Carolina fans to watch - they just can't be loud," Mixon said. "But both sides look forward to this the whole year."
The same happens at Carolina homes, too.
Charles and Kim Faile bought their 10-year-old son, Cameron, a black "Gamecock Tough" long-sleeved T-shirt with a muscle-bound chicken on the back.
Excuse me - muscle-bound Gamecock.
"We allow Clemson fans when we watch the game," Charles Faile said. "We allow them to watch somewhere else."
The Carolina-Clemson craze so often does not require fans to have attended either school.
Just growing up in the state means you root for one or the other - but never both.
Some families do have opposing rooters in the same house.
Jesse Doster Sr. wore a Carolina shirt Friday - while buying a Clemson shirt for his grandson.
"I love Clemson, but in my house, I am the only one," said Brittany Williams of Great Falls, who wore her Clemson gear Friday to get ready for the game.
"It gets kind of lonely sometimes."
But loneliness is worth it in any family, if - for 364 days - you get to razz the loser.