The following is reprint of an article that will appear in the Tuesday's Florence Morning News
CLEMSON - When Megan Bastian signed on as Director of Marketing for the Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl, she had no idea her job description would be little more than a glorified secretary.
Yet Monday that's exactly what she was, fielding hundreds of phone calls, voice mails and e-mails from Clemson football fans determined to help their team land a berth in the Boise, Idaho, bowl. In one seven-hour period Monday, Bastian said she personally answered more than 600 phone calls from Clemson fans. Two other office workers were flooded, as well.
Tigers' supporters didn't stop there, however. So many faxes flowed into the bowl's office that a repairman had to be called on two different occasions to fix a malfunctioned machine.
"We didn't expect what we got from Clemson," Bastian said. "We expected phone calls, but not that many. Every time I checked my voice mail, there were between 26 and 30 messages there. (Humanitarian Bowl Executive Director Gary) Beck had 235 e-mail messages in his in-box.
"All the calls and messages were very cordial. I'd say Clemson looks very strong right now."
The assault on Boise couldn't have come at a better time. Beck said the bowl selection committee will meet Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (2:30 p.m. Eastern) to vote on which at-large team to invite - Clemson, Ole Miss or UCLA.
The team chosen will face Louisiana Tech on Dec. 31. Tech gained the automatic berth given to a Western Athletic Conference team, beating out hometown favorite Boise State.
The barrage of communication by Clemson fans was the brainchild of Tommy Crumpton, owner of www.tigernet.com. TigerNet spurred the action by simply placing the Humanitarian Bowl's phone, fax and e-mail information on the website's front page and urging fans to contact the office.
"Most Clemson fans were very interested in seeing (Clemson quarterback) Woody Dantzler and the rest of the seniors play one more time," Crumpton said. "So we decided to put TigerNet in action to get that message across to the Humanitarian Bowl."
Mission accomplished, said Beck.
"I don't think I've ever seen a group of fans show this much love for a team," he said late Monday afternoon. "But I have to tell you, it made it very difficult to get any work done around here."
Michael Holt of Hartsville chose the e-mail route to get across his message. In part, the text read:
"This is just a small sampling of the support we feel for our Tigers, and there are many of us Southern Boys who would love to hit the slopes of Idaho. You will NOT regret taking Clemson."
Columbia resident Harry Hopkins used a fax to remind the bowl of "Clemson fans' reputation for traveling to bowl games."
David Evans of Atlanta chose the e-mail route, hoping for an invitation that would allow him to pull double-duty: Evans plans on being in Montana for Christmas with his family, and wants to add Boise as his New Year's destination.
Of course, there's one stronger motive.
"I just want to see my Tigers one more time," Evans said.