Dawson's diary: day nine

CLEMSON - Clemson's Dawson Zimmerman weighs in with his latest chronicles of spring practice.

Today was a peculiar practice. It began with my mini-van breaking down with smoke creeping from the sides of the hood as I drove across the street to the stadium. May the 2000 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE rest in peace.

As a result, I arrived to practice late and had to run two sets of stadium stairs before practice had even begun. With my legs crying for mercy, I punted 20 balls and then continued the rest of my punishment of bear-crawls up and down the field with Coach Powell mercilessly screaming in my ears. I felt like a small sailboat swirling in a tempest of hate and humiliation.

While in this fragile state, I was still able to observe practice. I was not the only one. Refrigerator Perry and Charlie Whitehurst both took in practice from the stands of the stadium and later remarked that it looked like we had great tempo and swagger; they called us some of the finest athletes they'd seen. I personally got a compliment from "the Fridge" when he commented "Even the punter's jacked." I cannot agree more.

As everyone knows, a team is only as good as the jersey they play in, which is why the end of practice was filled with much jubilation and hope. Coach Swinney unveiled a new look for the 2009 Clemson Tigers. The orange and purple jersey emitted an ethereal aura as he delicately lifted it from the previously sealed box. He passed several out and I caught one, lifting it to my face and allowing the smells of cardboard, detergent, and success to captivate my olfactory senses. I extended my arms and viewed this beautifully hand-woven piece of apparel in its entirety.

The biggest change is the addition of a purple stripe that cuts down the middle of the jersey and branches off into different capillaries giving a kind of lightning effect. The jerseys have a different style of number and also have purple on the fabric that covers the shoulder pads.

Also new is the helmet we will be donning for 2009. They have finally enlarged the paw and placed several smaller paws towards the back, which overall gives a more professional and more intimidating look. I'm "pawsitive" that this new look will give us greater success both on the field against our opponents and off the field with the ladies.

For now I'm going to go to sleep and mentally prepare for our extra practice tomorrow night.

Undoubtedly my head will be whirling with thoughts regarding the splendor of our new jerseys, "the Fridge" admiring my physique, and how I can redeem myself for being late to practice.

By the way, I hope everyone has had a great April Fools day.


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