Topic: Redemption: Then and Now
Replies: 13   Last Post: Dec 30, 2014 1:39 PM by: Rudlinda
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Replies: 13  

Redemption: Then and Now

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Posted: Dec 30, 2014 9:29 AM

If you were a Tiger fan at Williams-Brice Stadium that frosty night in 1987, you will recall not much of it being enjoyable. The Gamecocks beat a pretty good Clemson team fairly handily, and the cries of "Roddddddd neeeeeeeey" from the delirious home crowd, as our quarterback struggled mightily, felt like so many gut punches.

It was a low point for Rodney Williams, for sure, and not much seemed salvageable from this slow-footed, broken-down option quarterback, a three-year "system" guy in Danny Ford's increasingly anachronistic offense. Many would give up on him, wish him well (or not) and hope his backup would outperform him next year.

Rodney disappointed many people by not giving up on Clemson, by shaking off that miserable loss, by leading the Tigers to a dominating Citrus Bowl win over Penn State, by keeping his job through the spring and summer, by again keeping a steady hand on the wheel as his team rolled to another 10-win season.

The ninth win, I would suggest, was the sweetest, the season-ending beatdown of the Gamecocks in which he was outstanding. As the final minutes ticked down in that game, the same cries of "Roddddddd neeeeeeeey" returned, not as taunts from the opposition but as cheers from his supporters who remembered all too well the misery he endured 12 months earlier. It was a journey completed, a full-circle redemption, and one of my favorite memories in all of my years of watching Clemson football.

Few things make me swell with pride more than when character prevails over circumstance. It is a beautiful thing to see on the fields of play, just as it is in real life. Rodney Williams gifted us Tiger fans with an excellent example of just that, and I will always be grateful.

Cole Stoudt's story is a different one, but I firmly believe that time will kindly season his legacy at Clemson. When asked after the game, he refused to call it redemption. Saying otherwise would have suggested he was in a position from he he required redemption, and that would have been a (perhaps well-deserved) slight to those misguided Tiger fans who had given up on him, and that would have been out of character for a guy who has shown nothing but class and courage through a challenging senior year.

Thank you, Cole, for the example you set, the attitude you maintained, and the graceful, gritty performance you delivered for your team and for your University. You will not be forgotten.

Excellent post ...***

Posted: Dec 30, 2014 9:31 AM

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Re: Redemption: Then and Now

Posted: Dec 30, 2014 9:34 AM

Fantastic,moving and emotional post! Thanks for your most thoughtful words! Go Tigers!

very well said***

Posted: Dec 30, 2014 9:35 AM

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Excellent post. Class, class, class is what you think of

Posted: Dec 30, 2014 9:37 AM

with Cole.


Re: Redemption: Then and Now

Posted: Dec 30, 2014 9:39 AM

HOF type post right there.

Outstanding post! Thanks!************

Posted: Dec 30, 2014 9:53 AM

Thanks for this. I hope Cole can see it.***

Posted: Dec 30, 2014 10:03 AM


Message was edited by: mikeyT®

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Re: Redemption: Then and Now

Posted: Dec 30, 2014 10:26 AM

Nice article but was it necessary to take a dig at Danny Ford. Some people just can never let go, Danny did much to put our Tigers on the map and I for one will be forever grateful. And just for the record the first Clemson game I remember attending was in 1948.


Dig at Ford not intended

Posted: Dec 30, 2014 11:52 AM

I meant no disrespect to Danny. I just remember those Clemson teams being strong on defense but a bit unimaginative offensively.

Re: Dig at Ford not intended

Posted: Dec 30, 2014 12:28 PM

lol..."unimaginative" is a compliment! That offense was at times, boring, frustrating and unproductive...and sometimes, all three at once! Loved me some Danny Ford but not for his "imaginative" offense.

Agree! His imagination was imaging plowing over the

Posted: Dec 30, 2014 1:20 PM

Other team's line! ??

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imagining - not imaging***

Posted: Dec 30, 2014 1:20 PM

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Re: Redemption: Then and Now

Posted: Dec 30, 2014 1:39 PM

Awesome post and so very proud of Cole!

Replies: 13  


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