As a fairly reactionary person, I will not dare point the finger at a single other soul. I’m just taking stock of how I’m going to approach and behave as a fan for the rest of this season.
This isn’t to say anything about anyone’s love and devotion for the Tigers. I don’t stand in judgement of any fellow fan. While I will not concede anything, I believe the sky was and still is the limit for the Clemson Tigers.
I’m going to do something extremely difficult, I’m resigning my position, effective immediately, as a citizen coach. It’s time to reap the rewards of retirement and just enjoy being a fan.
I’ve lamented at length that our conference doesn’t offer much competition for the Tigers. I used to go into each game looking for a blowout, a sure thing, a point bonanza but little excitement. To think, now, as I watch each game, I will have a sense of excitement, of urgency by the outcome not a forgone conclusion. I will take nothing for granted, have reasonable expectations and a real sense of joy when we win.
To be able to really feel those butterflies in the gut, to celebrate every point and acknowledge every improvement, large or small, like a reasonable fan.
I know, the fun is in the winning but the real fun is in the believing. Belief in the coaches, the players and the culture they’re a part of…trust is a big thing. One attribute I have little of.
Being a fan is a great gig. We sit in relative comfort, feel the pride of each victory as if we were actually on the field battling. These uniformed heroes, their victories are euphoric and their losses hit us hard. I ask myself…”what about the team?” “What are they feeling?” The most likely answer is, they move onto correct that which is correctable, to always focus forward, not back. Living and practicing to fight another day.
As a fan, I’m ashamed to admit, I’m at a place in my fandom, where the relief of not losing is greater than the joy of actually winning. I need to do better, the Tigers deserve better and it’s the least I can do as a fan. It’s those that love something so much that are the most distraught in defeat. I’m that type of fan.
Today, I am at a point where I will pay little attention to point spreads, predictions or previous expectations. I will view each week as a new season, a building block for the future. These coaches and players that have given me so much and in return, they deserve the best I can give.
I’m not preaching nor pontificating here, I’m simply saying I plan on enjoying each moment of each game. We get so few, why not? Will I be disappointed if we lose, sure. However, could I possibly be more disappointed as those that actually gave their all?
Not to get too historical but I think Theodore Roosevelt said it best.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
I’m really looking forward to Saturday’s game. I plan on soaking up every minuscule improvement acknowledged and every point celebrated. Yes, that is how I plan on viewing the rest of this season. The new season, for me, begins on Saturday, in God’s Country, in those hills, in the Valley and I can’t wait…
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