The year is 2029....
Posted: Dec 8, 2010 10:41 AM
The year is 2029....Its opening day at Death Valley, and the stadium is filled to its 126,843 capacity. All in orange. All waving orange flags. They cheer for their Tigers, celebrating the back to back national championships, and 4 out of the last 8 national championships. They are a dynasty. The media speculates "is this the greatest team ever?" Clemson, synonomous with "college football", is the envy of every other program in America.
The Four Horseman, Cherone Peak, Martravias Bryant, Mike Bellamy and of course Sammy Watkins, are in attendance. Dabo has always credited them with being the Spark that turned around Clemson’s fortune. Though Clemson never actually won a national title while they were there, the 3 ACC championships they won put Clemson squarely back in the mix for the national title hunt from their perch on top of the ACC.
Watkins, being Clemson's first Heisman Trophy winner and first #1 pick was greeted with roar, many still wearing his retired #1 jersey. Bellamy, a two-time NFL MVP and first ballot Hall of Famer raised his hand to the crowd, and nearly blinded all from the shine of his 4 super bowl rings. Peake and Bryant recently retired from the NFL as annual pro-bowlers and defining Clemson's new reputation as "Wide Reciever U".
Just beside the four horseman, are three former Tiger walk-ons: Will Swinney, Drew Swinney, and Clay Swinney. Will is now an assistant coach at Alabama. Drew, a successful attorney in Atlanta. And Clay, who defied the odds and is now a starting wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans. They stand there, in awe. Tears flowing from their face as they think back to all the practices, hours in the weight room, and tough victories over ACC foes. They are all champions. It has all come to this. This one moment. They know this is what they worked for. They know what it feels like to achieve your dream.
Then...an announcement is made, and a banner is dropped...
The West Zone will be renamed...the Dabo Swinney Zone. Suddenly, 126,843 chant "Dabo! Dabo!" at the top of their lungs, and thank God that they were patient with Dabo. He asked for patience. He delivered.