Long time Strom Thurmond fan enters 46th year on the Rebel chain - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Long time Strom Thurmond fan enters 46th year on the Rebel chain crew.

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Edgefield, SC -

EDGEFIELD, SC (WJBF) -

For many of us, it's hard to imagine doing a job for 45 years - much less a thankless one that doesn't offer much in the way of compensation. But for 80 year old Strom Thurmond fan Rock Bledsoe, that's exactly how he chooses to spend his Friday nights.

Rock is entering his 46th year on the Rebel chain crew placing the clips on first down. Rock began in 1967 when his son was the quarterback of the Rebels' first ever state championship.

"I wanted to be on the field so I could coach him a little bit," Rock said. "But then I just never stopped."

The chain crew is a volunteer position so the only compensation he receives is a free hat each year.

"This is all I get," Rock said while stroking the bill. He jokes, "When these stop coming so do I."

Bledsoe says Friday nights on the sidelines are beginning to take a toll on his body.

"When you're 80 years old you start to feel the aches and pains," Rock said. "But I wouldn't have ever done it for 45 years if I didn't like it. I guess I'll stop if they run me off."

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