Fan Efforts Pay Off: Clemson Going Bowling
|2001-12-04 20:31:39.0- -|
CLEMSON - During a teleconference from his office in Boise, Idaho, Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl held up a stack of papers and addressed the listening media.
"You can't see this, but in my hand is a stack of faxes," he said. "This is about half of them. All from Clemson fans. They were coming in as fast as the fax machine could run them out."
Added to the phone calls and e-mails which flooded Beck's office in the past few days, those faxes represent the fanatical tactics Clemson fans used to try and convince the bowl's selection committee to choose the Tigers for the Dec. 31 game.
The assault worked. Beck credited the fans' overwhelming response as being a factor in the decision to match Clemson with Louisiana Tech in ESPN game.
"We've been looking at everything for the past couple of days, but the fans definitely were a factor," Beck said.
So it is that at 6-5, having been beaten out of the Tangerine Bowl by an aggressive N.C. State marketing blitz and apparently left looking ahead to next August's season-opener with Georgia, the Tigers get to take the field one more time.
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Tommy Bowden couldn't be happier.
"You got snow out there," he asked Beck. "Most of our players have never seen snow. A lot of them are from South Carolina, Georgia and Florida and have never been west of the Mississippi."
Beck's forecast: Four feet of snow in the mountains, flurries in the morning Tuesday and a group of bowl committee members anxious to see if Clemson and athletic director Bobby Robinson can deliver on the prediction that the school could sell as many as 13,000 tickets.
The bowl requires the school to buy at least 8,000 tickets.
"We're not worried about losing money" on the trip," Robinson told reporters. "Even if we do, we're looking at it as an investment in the football program."
The bowl's payout is $750,000 and the Atlantic Coast Conference will supplement the school's trip up to a total of $1.1 million, meaning the Tigers can expect help to the tune of $350,000 from the conference.
Clemson also agreed to take part in a bowl sponsorship package which totals $350,000.
For his part, Bowden is looking forward to the extra game.
"We get more practice opportunities, which helps our younger players, and is a good way for the seniors to go out," he said. "So I think it's important that we go."
Tickets already are on sale, and can be purchased by calling 1-800-CLEMSON.