Crying Gamecocks fan uses fame for a good cause

'I like to keep a positive attitude about everything'

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A nine-second video of USC student Tripp Harmon captured what it meant to be a Gamecock Saturday following the team's 23-22 loss to The Citadel. The brief clip shows Harmon, clad in garnet and black, moved to tears by the upset, asking, "How did we lose to The Citadel?"

Since the video was posted Saturday evening, it has made the rounds online, receiving 1,570 retweets and more than 1,380 likes on Twitter. Harmon, a junior at USC and Charleston native, says the video's popularity came as a bit of a shock, but he's trying to make the best of the situation.

"At first, I was worried when I saw all these retweets just keep going up and up. I was like, 'Oh God, I don't want people to actually think I'm a wimp or anything,'" says Harmon. "Then I realized it wasn't going to stop, and I just started to go along with it. I like to keep a positive attitude about everything, so that's what I'm trying to do now."

According to Harmon, he was tailgating when his friend began filming, and the video shows his reaction just seconds after he learned of The Citadel's victory.

"I left the game early, and we were getting updates on our phones. First, I got the update that we scored, and I was just going crazy. Then they called it back, and someone looked at me and said, 'We lost.' I just started screaming and I was just in shock," says Harmon. I knew my friend was recording me, so I just kept going with it. People were having fun laughing at me, and I like making people smile, so I was just trying to raise people's spirits. I didn't actually think it would ever blow up like this."

The video has drawn mixed reactions online, but Harmon has managed to ignore the negative comments and focus on those who support his commitment to the Gamecocks.

"Of course, you're going to have some of those people saying, 'What a shame to be this guy's father' and calling me names and things like that. It's whatever. I don't really care what people say, honestly. I don't know them. If it makes them feel better about themselves, that's totally OK with me," he says. The other half of the people have been like, 'I really respect you for just rolling with the punches and being a good sport about it."

In hopes of using his newfound notoriety for something worthwhile, Harmon has tried to raise donations for the family of local resident Shawn Vowels, who passed away Sunday as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. A YouCaring page was set up to raise funds to help Vowels' family with medical expenses.

"People can still donate now. He may be gone, but his medical expenses aren't, plus his funeral costs," says Harmon. "I just wanted to get the word out about Shawn's situation, his family's situation. I couldn't think of any other better way than taking advantage of my 15 minutes of fame."

As for the Gamecocks, Harmon will be praying for a miracle this Saturday as USC goes up against Clemson.

"If we beat Clemson, I'll be crying tears of joy," he says.

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