Some Must Do's For August 30th

With the 2003 football season just days away, it is time to check your list and make sure you have an organized plan for August 30th. To make things a little bit easier for you, I've listed a must do list below that should have you completely prepared for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Start It Up On Friday
I realize that the Central Spirit First Friday parade is a bit of a stretch for those of you that don't live close to Clemson. However, with the Georgia game being a 12:00 kickoff on Saturday, it would be worth your while to come to the Upstate on Friday night, catch the First Friday Parade, and then get a good nights sleep in the Upstate so you will be ready to roll early Saturday morning.

The Central Spirit First Friday Parade is always worth the trip to Clemson. There are plenty of sights and sounds during the parade that will absolutely get you pumped up for the start of the season. After the parade, there will be a pep rally at Riggs Field preceding the 7:30 start of the Clemson/South Carolina women's soccer match. It will also give you the chance to drive around the campus and facilities to get a good look at the changes since you were last in Clemson without having to fight game day traffic.

Make Sure You Have Orange
The Clemson Athletic Department is sponsoring the Solid Orange weekend for the first home game. The purpose of everybody wearing orange is to promote unity, spirit, and oneness with the Clemson family. The goal is to build strong relationships throughout the state and assist Clemson in becoming a top 20 institution.

But an equally important reason to wear orange for the Georgia game is to simply make Death Valley look awesome. A "Sea of Orange" will be inspiring to your fellow fans as well as the team as they gather at the top of the hill to enter Death Valley. And besides, no real Clemson fan wants to be wearing white or purple when 75,000 other Tiger fans are in their orange!

Stop By The Tiger Pre Game Show With Roy And I
A new integral part of your game day experience should be stopping by the Tiger Pre Game Show brought to you by Cutigers.com with Roy Philpott and myself. The show will air 5 hours prior to kickoff up until 3 hours prior to kickoff on WCCP 104.9 FM. The show will be broadcast on the lawn at Littlejohn on a stage located directly beside the Tiger Tailgate Show that has traditionally aired on game days.

Starting at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning, we will extensively break down the Clemson/Georgia game including player interviews and in depth analysis. Dean Legge form DawgPost.com will be stopping by to help break down the Bulldogs. In addition, we will have audio clips from past Clemson/Georgia games to set the mood for the 12:00 kickoff. We will also be giving away Cutigers.com magazines and you can register to win a year subscription to the premium areas of CUTigers.com.

Follow The Band From Johnstone
Starting around 10:50 a.m. on Saturday, Tiger Band will gather around the Johnstone dorms and makes it way down and around the stadium before entering in the West end zone. This is a great opportunity to hear Tiger Rag played about 5 times and to catch your first glimpse of the new cheerleaders. Tiger Rag is never really far from your memory during the off-season, but there is something simply magic about hearing it by the band for the first time of the football season. Hundreds of fans will gather for the walk, and if you are not fired up about opening day before this walk, you will be after you finish it. Following the band from campus to the stadium is one of those unique traditions that you should not miss on opening day.

Watch The Warm Ups
One of my favorite opening game traditions is arriving in the stadium early enough to watch the warm ups. If you follow the band into the stadium as I said above, you will be right on time to see the players go through their pre-game drills. Watching the warm ups may seem a little kooky to some of you, but it really is a must do during the first ball game. You will be one of the first to see what uniform the Tigers will be wearing for the game (assuming they don't do the switch-a-roo). You will also be one of the first to see the newly painted field, and one of the first to see the splendid facelift Death Valley received over the summer.

It is also a great opportunity to chit-chat with those "friends" that sit near you that you only see during home football games. You can catch up on how their off season was without missing any action from the game. Another benefit of being in the stadium early is that you know you wont miss the Tigers running down the hill for the first time in the 2003 year.

Gathering At The Paw
This new post game celebration will take place immediately following the conclusion of the game. Clemson fans can either come onto the field and gather at the paw, or watch the festivities from their seat. Tiger Band will play the Clemson Alma Mater and Tiger Rag to give Clemson fans one last memory to the game.

While this gathering is new to most Clemson fans and will take some getting used to, it seems to me like a great tradition to start. Everybody loves hearing the Alma Mater before the game, and now the game can be wrapped up with another rendition of the beloved song.

Rub Howard's Rock
At the conclusion of the Gathering At The Paw, you should take the time to rub Howards Rock. As you make your way to The Hill, take a look around you and take in the visual that these players see as they are playing the game. Once at The Hill, walk up to Howards Rock and give it a good "rubbing". Wish for a good year for the Tigers, a good year at work for you and your family, and safety in going home. But, whatever you do, don't put your filthy hands on that rock unless you are going to give 110%! Because no matter what the outcome of the Georgia game, we are going to need Coach Howard working some of that magic for the remainder of the season.

And if you go down onto the field, don't be ashamed, however old you are, to run the last 10 or 15 yards into the end zone while pretending you are scoring the winning touchdown to beat the Gamecocks! I know I've done it, and I bet most that have been down on the field have also done it if you were man enough to admit it.

Man, it is good to know football season is here!

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