Late August to early September is most people’s favorite time of year if they are a college student. It’s not only the start of school again, so you get to be back with your friends, but more importantly: the start of college football. Every school has their traditions and their own chants that amount to the energy that keeps packed stadiums alive.
If you’re a Clemson student reading this, you already know that Clemson is no exception to the traditions, chants, and excitement. I [along with anyone that is a Tiger fan] believe that Clemson is all that and more. Death Valley is electric for every single game, regardless who we’re playing, and the amount of alumni that still attend every home game is astonishing.
Being a Clemson student at the football games is truly incredible. There are very few other times that I have as much energy as when I am watching the Tigers play. Even before the game starts, we are given the blessing of watching the “most exciting 25 seconds in college football.” Many of my sorority sisters are cheerleaders or RallyCats [our dance team], and one of them is even the feature twirler for the school. Cheering on the Tigers is even better when you can cheer on your sisters as well. The noise in the stadium is incredible – it can be heard all across campus, downtown, and even further when a game is going on. Not to mention that numerous sources have pointed out that Death Valley is one of the most difficult stadiums for an away team to play at because of that noise level. Everyone sporting a Tiger paw, orange, or purple is instantly united and you make friends both during the game, and rushing the field to sing the Alma Mater arm in arm. Which, by the way, Clemson is one of the only schools that still lets students rush the field still.
Besides the game, the entire campus is a sea of orange and purple with tailgates every half a step, in every corner of campus. If a game starts at noon, everyone has their tents set up no later than 7 AM; a 7 PM game and people are out and about before 10 AM. Families are so inviting, and will invite you into their tailgate if you walk by – each of which is elaborately set up with stuffed tigers, tons of the best food, and plenty of drinks to go around. Some college town tailgates are not very family/child friendly, but I haven’t seen that to be the case with Clemson in my years attending as a student, as well as when I came as a kid with a best friend. It has been said that Clemson sports the best tailgating in the nation, and I can’t say I disagree [although I may be a little biased].
Aside from the personal experience of the game, Coach Dabo Sweeny is someone to be admired. His values and method of coaching produces a champion team [5-0 this season, GO TIGERS!] because he constantly reminds the players to play from the heart, and to play honest, Clemson Football. He is also known for the motto “BYOG”, or “Bring Your Own Guts.” This motto reminds not only the players to put forth every effort, but for the fans to bring their A game to cheer on our Tigers.
Even though this is my last football season as a student, I will be coming back with season tickets when I am older. Clemson football is something truly uniting when it comes to the Clemson Family, and I can’t wait to have tailgate spots next to my best friends. This post is a little shorter than I wanted it to be, because it is truly difficult to put into words the electricity that surrounds the entire weekend with a Clemson game. If you ever have the chance to go to a Clemson game, I highly recommend it. I can’t wait for the next home game – it’s like Christmas every time.
As always, GO TIGERS!
January 2017 Update!
In case you haven’t heard Clemson won the 2016 National Championship with a score of 35-31 over The Alabama Crimson Tide! Go Tigers!!!!