Dark Territory is officially over and the direct focus in now squarely on the upcoming football season as the players have reported and pads have been donned. The anxious waiting that makes up the long off-season is slowly subsiding and it will not be long before our Tigers are standing at the top of the hill waiting for the cannon to sound.
Like any football season, there are a ton of questions that have to be answered. Everybody has predictions, and most will not be accurate. But this is the time to wonder aloud about what is good, what is bad, what is possible and what is unattainable.
Not everybody likes what I like and nor should they. But here are some things I like with some things I wonder about as we inch closer and closer to kickoff.
Likes and Wonders
I like the new additions to the West Endzone and all of the work that has been completed in that area since January. I wonder where the people sitting in the West Endzone will use the restrooms and buy food and drinks at this year.
I like Reggie Merriweather and his hard running style and his gutsy attitude. I wonder if the coaches will give him the ball enough times a game to take advantage of his abilities.
I like the home schedule with the possibility of some great games with massive importance. I wonder if it is possible to have too many great home game opponents in one year.
I like the idea of a higher percentage passing game with Charlie Whitehurst having the ability to audible at the line of scrimmage. I wonder if we can beat great teams by dinking and dunking the ball down field every week.
I like the way recruiting is going right now. I wonder when it is too early to accept a verbal commitment.
I like having Lake Hartwell less than 500 yards away from Death Valley. I wonder why the Athletic Department has not tried to utilize it as a resource on Saturdays.
I like Tiger Rag and spelling C-L-E-M-S-O……N at the end of it. I wonder how in the world the stupid woo hoo became a part of an otherwise great fight song.
I like C.J. Gaddis and his unbelievable athletic ability. I wonder if his attitude and consistency will improve from last year.
I like the fact that this team starts the year completely under the radar on a regional and national basis as far as expectations. I wonder how much that perception plays into the off-season workouts for this team considering the afterglow of the last off-season after “The Finish”.
I like the fact that the “Hurry up and Wait” offense has been thrown in the trash. I wonder how it survived as long as it did.
I like the Seminole mascot at Florida State and that Chief with his flaming spear. I wonder what this politically correct world is coming to that this issue of mascots even warrants any discussion at all.
I like Mike O’Cain and wish that he could have been a better offensive coordinator at Clemson. I wonder where he is right now.
I like Cory Groover and his intensity and leadership on the defensive line. I wonder why, even if it is just practice, he wears a #4 jersey that has long since been retired in honor of Steve Fuller.
I like the new jersey design. I wonder what goofy combinations of orange and purple Coach Bowden will employ this season.
I like media guides and the dearth of information that traditionally comes with it. I wonder if my printer will fall apart after having to download it from the Internet this year because of a stupid new NCAA rule.
I like the height and speed of Aaron Kelly. I wonder why he can’t put on a few pounds so he does not get blown over by the wind.
I like reading a newspaper in the morning and another newspaper at lunch. I wonder if our state newspapers will see the light before they alienate what few subscribers they still have.
I like night games in Death Valley that hold great importance. I wonder how brutal it must be to drive four or five hours home in the wee hours of the morning after a tough Tiger loss.
I like that Jeff Davis is a point man for raising money through IPTAY. I wonder why so few former Clemson football players in the NFL are giving money back to Clemson’s Athletic Department.
I like the fact that the ACC has a 12 team league and a championship game. I wonder how exciting it would be to play in the inaugural championship game.
I like the fact that we signed a great recruiting class last year that could contribute immediately to this football team. I wonder if this class is the catalyst for something special down the road.
I like playing NCAA football on a video game. I wonder why people get upset at a player’s ranking….on a silly game no less.
I like Clemsonjoe®’s weekly pictures of Clemson’s campus, Death Valley, and the West Endzone construction. I wonder why Clemson does not hire the guy since he has single handily kept the Clemson Nation up to date on the work being done.
I like the Clemson students wearing orange at every game. I wonder why other fans refuse to wear orange when it is obvious Terry Don Phillips wants you to.
I like having a rival that we dominate on the field most years. I wonder if Steve Spurrier even realizes he has a rival in this state.
And I like mid-August and all the preseason excitement that is generated by a 0-0 team with the whole world in front of it. I wonder if when we look back three months from now these wonders should have been worries.
Or will the worries turn wonder-ful?
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