|Monday, January 16, 2017, 9:16 AM- -|
In my head, I had tried to picture what this day would look like. I dreamed of this day. I could see Dabo Swinney riding downtown in a convertible in Clemson with fans lining the streets. I could envision a packed Death Valley with a trophy celebration.
What I couldn't see were the specific details and the little things made Saturday's national championship celebration even more special.
I thought it was typical Dabo to invite all former players to participate. It made the day even more special to see all of those former Tiger players taking so much pride in the program.
We talk about family all of the time and four players made us feel great about how they feel about the family. Ben Boulware told us he was one of us. He said he was from Anderson and grew up a fan just like we did. He said that is why this thing is so special to him.
Jadar Johnson thanked his dad. He made sure his dad's sacrifice didn't go unnoticed. He also referenced Dabo as a father figure when he convinced Johnson to stay instead of transferring out. He said Dabo gave him the confidence he needed.
Who could forget Christian Wilkins' belly dancing down the hill?
Dabo's speech was once again typical Dabo. It was filled with heartfelt gratitude. He thanked people like his college position coach and now Clemson associate athletic director Woody McCorvey, saying few understand his significance in this program.
He also said every one of his previous players he has had here at Clemson has a piece of this title as well.
There are so many pictures I have in my head from Saturday and so many wonderful memories, but I have two lasting memories from the day. First is the Clemson people. ESPN said it was close to 70,000 people that came to town for the celebration. Clemson people never cease to amaze me. But the finest moment was Dabo's closing remarks when he always reminds us, "The best is yet to come."
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