"Solid Orange" done right

When Clemson first unveiled the orange pants for a home game at the end of the 1980 season, no one realized that it would be setting the stage for a national championship run the following year.

Over the last decade the orange pants have lost a bit of their significance mainly due to the amount of times they have been worn in games that you wouldn't normally consider "big" games.

In 2002 Clemson University began the "Solid Orange" campaign as a way to promote pride and tradition among Tiger fans.

It's also been used in marketing and fundraising efforts though and many have forgotten that this campaign was intended to promote school pride and unity. It too has found its way into games that weren't what some would consider, "the big game."

Looking back, when the FSU game was designated as a Solid Orange event back in March it was just another promotion on the calendar.

We didn't know in March that this weekend's game would mean so much in the race towards a division title.

We didn't know that it would be a nationally broadcast night game.

We didn't even know if it would matter.

Turns out, it does matter, it is the big game, and it is worthy of that special something.

And if ever there was a game that could benefit from the Solid Orange designation it is this one. Coach Swinney and other school officials understand this as evidenced by the friendly reminder sent out today in the form of a press release. In it, Coach Swinney reinforced the fact that it is important to have a "sea of orange when the (TV) broadcast begins."

So what does it all mean?

It means this is the weekend to start that new tradition. Just as the orange pants did back in 1980, this is the weekend to add that something special, that one thing that could spark greatness.

This is the weekend for all orange by every fan in attendance. Not orange worn under a black coat; visible orange. So much orange that a national television audience has a hard time telling where one fan stops and another begins.

So much orange that the Clemson players notice the moment they enter the stadium and rub that rock.

So much orange that every person in attendance realizes that they have a part in something special.

So much orange that opposing players are intimidated even before the game begins. We need the kind of fan unity and support that caused Memorial Stadium to be nicknamed Death Valley. Coach Swinney has made great strides in unifying the Clemson fan base and this is the weekend that he, and the rest of the program, should be able to visibly see the fruits of their labor.

Remember when you used to get excited about seeing the orange pants?

This needs to be that kind of game.

No one does orange the way Clemson does orange and it's time to remind the nation of that once again.

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