Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"


by - Senior Writer -
Swinney speaks to the media in the Superdome (Photo: Kirby Lee / USATODAY)
Swinney speaks to the media in the Superdome (Photo: Kirby Lee / USATODAY)

Deep underneath the Louisiana Superdome early Tuesday morning, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney sat on a podium and answered questions about his team’s loss to LSU in the National Championship. Yes, the loss bothered him. Yes, he was disappointed for the fans, for his coaches, and his players.

But he was whittling away, waiting for the dawn of another day.

Allow me to explain.

In early April of 1862, Ulysses S. Grant and the Union Army were surprised by a strong Confederate attack at a place called Pittsburg Landing. In what would become known as the bloody battle of Shiloh, the Confederate Army wrecked more than one Union Division, pushing the entire army to the river, and its destruction seemed to only await the dawn.

The cabin Grant was using as his headquarters was being used as a makeshift hospital, and after a series of thunderstorms rolled through the area, drenching the wounded, the dead, and the living, Grant found a tree stump and began to whittle on a stick. And think.

Union General William T. Sherman approached Grant and sat down and waited for his commander to speak.

Grant whittled.

Sherman was fully expecting the Army to retreat, to find a safer space. To lick its wounds and regroup.

Grant whittled.

Finally, Sherman spoke up, “Well, Grant, we’ve had the devil’s own day, haven’t we?”

A determined Grant, his mind already made up, responded, “Yes, lick ’em to-morrow, though.”

Grant then surprised Sherman and the rest of the generals when he announced that not only were they not going to retreat, they would attack at daylight.

That’s what winners do. You get knocked down, you get back up and resume the attack.

Towards the end of his press conference, Swinney let the disappointment slip away and the competitive fire returned. Swinney hates to lose as much – or maybe more – as he loves to win. He congratulated LSU and instead of complaining about officials or blaming players or the TV networks, he gave the credit where credit was due.

“They made some plays tonight that you just got to tip your hat to them because the ball was in the only place that their guy could catch it. I mean, we had great coverage, and that was championship football, and that's why they're the champions because they made those types of plays, and that's what you've got to do,” Swinney said. “But it was great. I mean, it was very competitive. Our guys competed their tails off, and this will be a painful tape to watch, but one that will help us. It'll help us get back to work and build next year's team.

“You know, I've been on both sides of it. But we have, we've played so many great teams. That Alabama team last year was a great team, but we were a great team, and we were a better team that night. But this team, what they accomplished is really special. Beat a great Ohio State team a couple of weeks ago that I thought was really, really good. But tonight this was LSU's night. I'm happy for their fans. This is a unique situation, to be -- to play a National Championship game basically in your backyard. What a unique opportunity for them, and I thought the environment was amazing. It was a great environment, great crowd, great energy all night from both fan bases.

"Just, again, they earned it and did what they needed to do to win.”

Spring practice starts six weeks from today, and Swinney was ready to get started before he walked off the podium.

“We'll get back to work. We start spring ball six weeks from Wednesday, and excited about next year's team and the challenge of going back to work and putting another team together,” he said. “We'll celebrate this group. We're going to have our banquet next weekend. We'll celebrate this wonderful group of seniors the right way, and then we'll get back to work and see if we can get back here.”

Swinney pulled a Grant. He whittled and he thought, he gave credit where it was due, and then announced plans to resume the attack. Again, that’s what winners do.

And then, a final few words.

“We will respond.”

The attack won’t come at dawn. It starts six weeks from now, and Swinney will do a little more whittling and a little more thinking, and those 80 freshmen and sophomores and the rest of the team, the bitter taste of defeat still in their mouths, will go on the offensive.

After all, they don’t put championship rings on smooth hands.

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TigerNet News
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coachmurphy
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ddclemson
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allinallorangeallthetime52®
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SmithLaw
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
MaukaTiger®
spacer FYI - Objective #5 = "Win the closer" (or last game)
Kilroy_Was_Here
spacer Re: FYI - Objective #5 = "Win the closer" (or last game)
MaukaTiger®
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
kkillin
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
kkillin
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
kkillin
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
kkillin
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
kkillin
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
kkillin
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
kkillin
spacer We heard you the 1st 6 times.
wilbur82®
spacer Last goal
TigerTilDeath®
spacer So what equates to Johnston's death in this analogy?
Completely Solid Orange®
spacer Re: So what equates to Johnston's death in this analogy?
melamb13
spacer Re: So what equates to Johnston's death in this analogy?
TwoNats®
spacer Re: So what equates to Johnston's death in this analogy?
Noodle
spacer I did NOT know that. Point for you.***
Completely Solid Orange®
spacer Nick Saban retirement?***
tigerdave2®
spacer He bled to death because he sent his surgeon to help a Yank
BengalBilly
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
67Tiger67
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
Noodle
spacer probably the most misplaced anecdote in writing history***
TigerCook®
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7173TIGER®
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WNCU73®
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greene®
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66grad
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Acalhoun
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
westerntigerfan
spacer Still no need to portray the butcher Sherman in a good light***
longtallsam®
spacer Sorry for the accidental up vote. Intended to hit "reply" instead!!
longtallsam®
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
westerntigerfan
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NH Tiger
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des40
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ginger06
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rhettfla
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greene®
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
ChestyPuller0311®
spacer Great analogy! Next Year, burn everyone and everything
STERLING®
spacer Re: TNET: Swinney whittles, then announces his plan of attack: "We will respond"
vlastimil_hort
spacer For the most part I enjoy your reads. Also I love..........
celtic_tiger®
spacer Really looking forward to the next article in this series:
Obed
spacer I would like to see a homily likening Dabo's "All In"
ryanadidas
spacer SOME MEMBERS ON HERE
bigb71089
spacer Thanks for the lecture... but back to the subject at hand...
SOLOS®
spacer Re: Thanks for the lecture... but back to the subject at hand...
bigb71089
spacer WHOAH, Easy with that summary sentence.
Obed
spacer I don't seem to recall mentioning anything about race? ******
celtic_tiger®
spacer Re: I don't seem to recall mentioning anything about race? ******
bigb71089
spacer The SOUTH will RISE AGAIN!?!***
tigerdrummer®
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Gridfan
spacer God has a.....
dmmcknight
spacer Hey Hood!
ryanadidas
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orangecrush10
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mirbird55
spacer *whistles* 7 years between posts.Impressive.
feraltyger
spacer Re: *whistles* 7 years between posts.Impressive.
mirbird55
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