Saturday, November 26, 2011

Where I Discuss the Clemson/ Carolina Game...

The Clemson/ Carolina Game... quite possibly the biggest game of the year in South Carolina. But Why??

When I was in high school I couldn't have cared less about the Clemson/ Carolina game. No one in my immediate family had strong ties to either school, and we spent most of our fall weekends on band trips, not watching football games. 

To be honest, I really wanted to go to UGA. They have a beautiful campus and a wonderful music school. During my senior year, I applied and was accepted, but I also was accepted to USC (by the way, USC's school of music is pretty awesome, too). Over the next few months it began to be obvious that attending UGA would cost me a lot of money, while attending USC would be free (actually I made money) because of the in-state scholarships and tuition costs. That's the story of how I became a Gamecock. 

I remember my very first Clemson/ Carolina game. It was in Clemson. The band kids were out of control! They took everything so personal... I could NOT believe it. We lost that game. Yeah, I wanted to win... but I figured, hey... we'll win one sometime. 

The next year was the year of 63-17. Carolina was demoralized in their own stadium. By the end of the game the only people left in the stands were Clemson fans and the Carolina band... and I was part of the Carolina band. It was yucky and I despised coming back to my dorm room and reading everyone's "Yay, Clemson!" posts on AIM (remember that?!?). 

My third Clemson/ Carolina game was at Clemson. It was the year of the big fight. Before that game, our team was already bowl eligible and I was excited to get to go to a bowl game for the first time in my college years. We lost the game, and the fight caused us to forfeit our bowl game. 

My final Clemson/ Carolina game as an undergraduate was at Carolina. It was Spurrier's first year as HBC. I just *knew* it was the year. Mark and I hosted a big party at our house the night before and served our homemade "Tiger Blood" concoction and played college ping pong on Mark's ping pong table that was decorated as if it were Williams-Brice field. We lost that game and I was devastated. Truly, truly devastated. 

For me, the Clemson/ Carolina game has been a lot about remembering my college experience. Remembering those long, cold, rainy walks to class where I (and lots of other people) occasionally tripped on the bricks on the Horseshoe... remembering all the wonderful friends I made while at school... remembering all the growing up I did... and remembering that no one, not even Clemson, can take those memories from me. 

So, today's game should be a celebration of the pride that comes from the alumni, students and fans of these two wonderful universities. I can't effect the outcome of today's game- but I also know this... the outcome of today's game won't affect anyone's love for their school. Happy Clemson/ Carolina Day!! 


Erin said...

Wonderfully stated. It was a nice trip down memory lane, too. :) Happy Holidays!!

TigerLady said...

Well said!! I love my Clemson memories from being a kid growing up there to being a student.

Kami said...

My mom also talks about how she wanted to go to UGA when she was in high school, but had an almost full scholarship to Furman so she went there.