Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"I hate losing, more than I like winning."-CP3

Good Show
If you are sitting around on a Tuesday evening looking for something other than the NBA to watch, I would suggest ESPN's E:60. It is one of the few things that our friends at ESPN do really well. The show depicts various stories of athletes, with a more in depth twist than your typical sports show.

Rant Time

I got my title for today's rant from a quote I heard on E:60 from Chris Paul. "I hate losing, more than I like winning." It is one of those quotes that hits your intuitive parts like David Dunham did Matt Ryan back in 2005. Matty Ice

For any passionate athlete or fan, I think this quote epitomizes the thoughts and feelings of most human beings.

I was reminded of this feeling last weekend as Clemson returned to the field of play after one of the more tumultuous weeks in recent Clemson football history. We are all aware of what transpired but not many people know the job Interim Coach Dabo Swinney did to unite not only the team but the Clemson Family after a traumatic turn of events. While I am not going to attempt to rehash my feelings on Coach Bowden, his departure and Coach Swinney's arrival as the face of Clemson football, prompted tremendous rejuvenation surrounding Clemson fans. Going into last week's game there was a sense of excitement that had not been on campus since early on in the Bowden regime. It began Saturday with the Tiger Walk, while not an original idea, I think it is one of the great traditions at the schools who do hold such pregame events throughout the country. To have 5,000 to 6,000 fans waiting at 9:45 in the morning to greet their football team was exciting to see. Then to watch Coach Swinney enter the top of the hill, exuding passion and excitement, sent chills through my spine, sending me back to the night when I stood atop of that very hill for my first and only trip down the hill. To see a full stadium and to feel the energy in a stadium that makes college football special was fun to be apart of.

That all being said, when the dust had cleared the scoreboard said Georgia Tech 21 Clemson 17. They made the play we could not make and won the game. Whether or not I think they are better is irrelevant, they lined up and got it done on Saturday. I think I may hate losing to Georgia Tech more than I do South Carolina, while a lot of that has to do with the fact that I grew up in Atlanta a lot of that has to do with the fact that they just don't care. Football is just something to go to because everybody else is doing it, it is a break from studying but it is a fan base that lacks passion, commitment and desire. I am sorry Baltes to paint with such a broad brush but it is true. It flat infuriates me when Clemson loses to teams that quite frankly don't give a flying fan dingo about their team. They will talk crap to you because all they know is that their team happened to win on Saturday.

This whole idea of "I hate losing, more than I like winning" was brought to the forefront this morning when I was paruzing and I came across the following article.

As of this morning there are 11,000 tickets still remaining for the Georgia Tech-UVA game. You have Paul Johnson pleading with fans to come out and support this team in their 55,000 seat stadium. Their team is 6-1 with a great chance to end up in Tampa and they can't find 55,000 people to come out to support this team?!?!?!? While my team is 3-4 destined to find themselves not bowl eligible for the first time in 10 years will have great followings for road games at BC, FSU, and UVA and their two remaining home games. I know games are won and lost on the field but it frustrates me as a fan and on the behalf my respective school's fan base when we lose to schools who quite frankly don't give a rip. There is no way on God's Green earth would Clemson be pleading with fans to come support a 7-1 football team.

As you can tell I am frustrated because at Clemson we have the fan base that is ready to explode, we have the facilities, we allegedly have the talent but not the leadership to take us over the top even in a situation where the ACC is the laughing stock of college football. So in the meantime, schools like Wake, BC, and GT all have legitimate shots to represent the ACC in the BCS. It pains me because once again, I will find myself on Championship Saturday watching a half filled Raymond James Stadium or freezing my butt off in Philadelphia watching Army take another one for the home team, thinking what might have been.

I do not like UGA but it has been fun to watch BullDawg Nation come back in the last few years, they are energized and have a fan following as good as any school in the nation. Alabama is back on track under Saban's watch. Lest we forget that LSU was not good prior to Coach Saban's arrival in Baton Rouge. I heard a "Georgia Fan" call into WCCP the other day and say that Clemson will never win the Championships Georgia has. I wanted to ask him what up until 2001 Clemson had won an Conference Championship more recently than UGA. It can happen at Clemson and hopefully I will be around to be able to enjoy one trip to a BCS bowl game.


Friday, July 18, 2008

The Economics of College Football

Please forgive me for being a copy cat but I saw something on another blog, commenting on the economic down turn and the impact it is having on some school's tickets sales. The two Florida state schools are hurting, according to the blog. I find it surprising that UF would be having a hard time selling tickets when they are legitimate National Championship contenders. We have all read about the the FSU-TCC debacle, I think that FSU's ticket woes can be linked to the fact, they SUCK!!!

I want to get to the real point of the matter. I am well aware of the economic times facing our nation. Things are not great, I am not going to get into the politics of the economy but there are a lot of people facing tough choices.

I am going to sound elitist but from a Clemson perspective this could be the best Clemson team we have seen since I moved back to Atlanta in 1992. This is the best chance Clemson has a chance to make it to the BCS since its inception and if you think I am going to let gas prices allow me to miss being apart of this season, you are stupid. In an age where politicians are raising $52 million dollars in a month, people are standing in line for a new $200 dollar phone, and stood in another line at starbucks prior to the phone line where they paid $8 for a coffee, I am sorry friends somewhere along the way you can scratch up the money to make it to attend college football games.

I am no economist but there is a concept I remember from my one college econ class called opportunity cost, dealing with what you give up in return for something else. We make decisions on daily basis based on perceived return on investment. I am not going to risk having a situation where 5 years from now we are having a conversation and being yeah, gas prices kept me from going to any of the games, when I could have brought my lunch for a week and bought an extra tank of gas. I understand that some of you who are reading this do indeed have families or a wife which forces you to make different decisions but for me, durn that I live for Saturdays in the fall and if that means I have to hangout in DC and not do as much during the rest of the year because I want the opportunity to be in the stands as much as possible to possibly witness history, so be it.

Friday, February 29, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!

Well maybe not but that is what came to mind as I have been laying in bed listening to CCP this morning as I listen to Mickey Plyler talk about the Clemson-South Carolina baseball games coming up this weekend. There is something that gets me excited when I think about Clemson and South Carolina meeting on the diamond. The comment was made that the baseball rivalry between the two schools is bigger than the basketball rivalry, which I do not disagree with. What you will see this weekend is essentially two solid AA baseball teams getting after it.

That leads me into another point of why I enjoy college baseball so much. When you watch a college baseball game, especially one with Clemson and South Carolina, you are going to see guys play with tremendous effort and passion for the game. Unlike their major league counterparts, you will see guys slide hard into 2nd trying to break up double plays, you will see emotion, you will see guys run out grounders, you will have a packed house with fans engaged from start to finish. Give me a choice between Omaha and a World Series experience, I am heading to OMAHA!!! A Clemson-South Carolina baseball game is not just something to do, there is pride on the line and it is a great experience if you ever get a chance to take in a college baseball game.

I do not know what to say about the basketball game Wednesday night. While I got the margin of victory correct, I walked away from my computer not knowing whether or not to be happy or pissed off. I know, I know, I should be happy any time we win. I was just incensed at the fact that we were up 17 at halftime and at one point were down 1 in the 2nd half. I know, they fought back and ended up wining and that is all that is important. We are 8-5 with a trip to Maryland on Sunday where I will be posted behind the bench so you all look out for your boy on the television Sunday night.

Some interesting news came out this week as Clemson goes through Mat Drills leading up to Spring Practice. It was announced that Rendrick Taylor would move from WR to SLB. I was pretty shocked with the move, especially moving a senior to a position he has never played. There was talk at different points of moving him to the other side of the ball early on in his career but he always managed to stay at WR. This is not a knock on him but it seems like he has managed to stay injured most of his career, it always seems like it is one thing or another with him on the injury front. I just hope he can stay healthy all year regardless of what side of the ball he is playing. In another move Jock McKissick will move from DT to OL, another senior changing positions in his last year. Again, I am not sure what to make of this, J-50 was one of our better DTs especially as a freshman and sophomore, but seemed to have gotten in the doghouse during the later half of last season. The Taylor move to LB is the one to watch, we are thin at LB so it will be interesting to see how he takes to his new position.

On this Leap Day 2008, we are 6 months away from College Football!!! Less than that for my friends at the Trade School and at The U. All the best to everyone in their baseball matchups this weekend. I know Miami and Florida will tango this weekend and The Trade Schoolers will take on the University of New Jersey. GO TIGERS BEAT CAROLINA BEAT MARYLAND!!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pretenders or Contenders

Tonight I will be placed in front of my computer listening to the Miami-Clemson basketball game. Thanks to the great foresight of TV producers and the fine leaders of the ACC, will be my only option for coverage of tonight's contest.

Once again, Clemson finds itself behind the 8-ball. All season I have heard how this is the best Clemson team in history, this team is special, blah, blah, blah and the proceed to turn in an effort like they did against FSU 8 days ago. With all due respect to my good friend from Miami, but there is no reason why we should not win this game. I don't give a rip about Jack McClinton. I do not give a rip about Duke and then their follow up win against Maryland. That being said, you have to respect Miami because they did something that our friends on Rocky Top could not do after defeating Memphis this past weekend.

Call me cocky, call me misinformed, call me whatever you may but I just feel like if we play our game, can get into our press, which means we are scoring, that we can beat Miami tonight by 10 points. I know Jack McClinton is HOT. I really do not give a freak, play DEFENSE, get after him, deny him, make someone else beat you. I know Miami presents a challenge down low on the blocks, hell James Mays was considering leaving school for the NBA last year if he cannot handle a guy from Miami on the blocks then he needs to reevaluate his career goals. Travis Booker has to do his part.

The key to tonight's game is going to be guard play. Clemson's guard play has been suspect to say the least. Maybe inconsistent is the better word. Nah, our guard play has just sucked. White Chocolate is going to have to stop pulling up from Greenville and jacking 3's. This is not AND1!!!! Stitt has to force tempo, get the ball down low and score off of dribble penetration. I would like to see Hammond and Rivers hit some shots and make good decision on offense. Will we hit free throws tonight? The more I read what I have written, the more concerned I get about the game tonight.

Maybe it is just Clemson Disease. I feel like I am back in the fall all over again. Here we are with our destiny in our own hands. You win, you're in, you lose you are playing on Thursday and are not guaranteed a trip to The Dance. What more can this team want? Playing at home for a chance to take one step closer to locking up a #3 seed in the ACC Tournament, in front of a Sold Out crowd, with a chance to do something that has not been done in 10 years, I would be excited to play in that type of atmosphere but I still hold my breath.

Which Clemson team shows up tonight? I guess if I could answer that question I would be a wealthy man and not wasting the taxpayers money while writing my rants about Clemson basketball and listening to Clemson baseball.

Enough with the crap!! Clemson 75 Miami 65 in a seesaw game where Clemson hits shots down the stretch to win comfortably. GO TIGERS BEAT MIAMI!!!!