|Monday, March 3, 2014, 11:28 AM- -|
Today was a day I could do without. I try to keep everything in perspective when it comes to sports, especially after Ryan's accident. No sporting event is worth getting that upset about. However, I am passionate about sports and my favorites teams. My job depends on passionate sports fans. My friends are passionate about their favorites sports and teams.
But when it goes bad, it's no fun. My radio show today was one of the worst reactions I have heard from Clemson fans.
Tiger faithful are upset. They don't like losing to South Carolina. They don't like it in any sport but especially don't like it in football, baseball and basketball.
On my radio show we do not schedule any guests on Monday. I try to let the listeners' calls, texts and tweets drive the show on Mondays. This has been the case since I moved to the morning time slot. The Monday morning drive is the first chance most fans have to celebrate or vent from the weekend.
But today was brutal. Clemson fans were as upset as I have ever heard them other than after a football loss. I understand their frustration. Losing is not acceptable. Losing to the arch rival is worse. Losing 23 out of 31 to the arch rival makes many fans livid.
Some of the criticism is very fair. Clemson baseball is proud. This program has been one of the nation's best over the last 50 years. Expectations should be high.
Jack LeggettJack Leggett
Baseball Head Coach
View Full Profile knows this. Players that come to Clemson know this. Clemson should not lose 23 out of 31 to any program, but when it comes against the arch rival, coaches and players are not surprised by the outrage.
Some of the criticism is unfair. Strategy is easy to second guess after the fact. Its easy to say what we would have done after the fact. Coaches don't have the benefit of hindsight.
Also some of the criticism is a result of the fans outrage based upon the cumulative affect of the baseball and football rivalries. Clemson baseball pays a higher price because of the football series and vice versa.
The bottom line is that Clemson has not played well against the Gamecocks recently in either sport. The last two football games have seen turnovers and bad mistakes. The last ten years of baseball have been filled with errors, bad pitching and runners left on base.
So the question among many Clemson fans is how to change the rivalry back in the direction many of us were accustomed to?
I am not qualified to answer that question nor am I compensated to do so. But I do think the biggest factor has been the added pressure Clemson puts on itself. The Tigers appear to play tighter versus South Carolina.
Noted sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella has written about how important it is to relax in a sporting event so you can perform at your highest potential. Pressure is a deterrent to performance. The tighter an athlete is, the chances for mistakes increase. Athletes that play loose tend to perform better.
My suggestion is to look forward to the rivalry more and stop worrying about the outcome. Clemson coaches, players and fans need to stop adding pressure and just enjoy the process. For many, that is easier said than done.
At least this Monday we had a great double overtime win over Maryland in basketball to talk about.
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