What Color is Your Gameday Shirt?

I had no idea there were so many Gamecock fans masquerading as Tigers until Saturday. What? You say you are a true Clemson fan? Ask yourself this question, did you boo anybody other than the referees during the Wofford game? Even once? If the answer to this question is yes, you are no Clemson fan.

I had a hard time growing up as a Clemson fan. My father was one of those "beat the traffic" kind of people. We went to games like Appalachian State, Citadel, Furman, UNLV, and occasionally Wake. You see, Dad counted on his business associates giving him tickets, rather than ordering them for himself. When we went to games, I felt the urge to yell. Spelling "CLEMSON" to the tune of Tiger Rag was one of the greatest feelings I had known, and it was about the only thing Mr. "don't call attention to yourself" allowed me to do while in his presence at games. Somewhere around '87, I vowed to myself that when I bought my own tickets, I would be a FAN. Likewise, I would watch the entire game, regardless of the outcome.

Now that you have the background of what makes me a fan, it's time to take a few wannabe Tiger fans to the cleaners.

Many people have taken to the Woody bashing bandwagon, starting last year. I was on this bandwagon. Here's the difference. I only discuss the merits of Woody versus Willie on internet message boards such as this one. This is the place to air your frustrations with the football team, the coaches, the administration, the fans, and so on. Players and coaches only have to be subjected to this kind of counter-productive negativity if they desire to, by logging on.

What you people did at that Wofford game is beyond poor taste. You know who you are, even if you won't admit it publicly. These players give more of their lives to participate in athletic activities than the majority of us will ever understand. The sickening displays of booing your own team has far more implications than you narrow minded, "what have you done for me lately" wannabe fans. First of all, is the affect it had on our Coach.

Tommy Bowden was the number one candidate for the job at Alabama. He turned it down, saying that he was very happy with the situation he has here at Clemson. (He had not been booed at this point) Later, there was speculation in the media that he was a candidate for the Miami job. While he did place a call to Miami, the content of that call was not officially announced.(again, he hadn't been booed at this point) Tommy has said that he sees great things for this program in the future. I believe I see them too. You can justify what you did Saturday in no way whatsoever. The fact is that Tommy Bowden is the place where the buck stops, and he knows it. You will claim that you were only booing Woody, not the Coach. Shame on you. Everything that happens on that field is the final responsibility of Tommy Bowden, and as such, you were booing him, not just Woody.

It strikes me as an absolute lack of taste and decency to berate a player on the field when easily 99.5% of those in the stands have never played football at this level. You wear orange for a reason, or at least I thought you did.

We take a lot of heat from South Carolina fans about our inability to fill Death Valley for home games. To tell you the truth, I don't care to have a full stadium if it means that self-righteous people such as yourselves are in the seats. I'd rather have 40,000 TRUE Clemson fans in the seats than 80,000 people who will only support the team as long as they are punishing their competition. Booing the team and Tommy Bowden will ensure that the next time a big name school has a coaching vacancy, Tommy will take a much harder look at the offer. Hats off to you "tiger fans" that don't appreciate effort and determination. If you don't feel thoroughly ashamed of yourself at this point for booing, please don't come back to the Valley. Nobody needs your kind of "support".

Questions, Comments? E-mail Mike at mketorr@earthlink.com.

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