Clemson Loses in Double OT: The Morning After From the Armchair

When I was young, I was the class clown. I was always trying to hide the obvious, I was the “fat kid.” Part of being the class clown was I loved to stand out, I tried to entertain, elicit a laugh and I was rarely disappointed. It was a quality I would carry my entire life. I loved to sing and perform and soak up the moment.

I remember in high school, I was chosen to sing the National Anthem at a basketball game. I practiced for weeks and I nailed it every time. The night came and I was ready. Walking to center court, seeing the hundreds of assembled fans, the music started and I froze. In my helplessness, the crowd realizing my embarrassment, started singing.

It was tough, it was mortifying but I survived, thanks to the loving support from my family and friends. I never offered to sing again in public. That stage was too big for me.

This story is analogous for what I believe is happening with regards to Clemson’s offensive struggles. Yes, I’m sure of it. Our offensive struggles are epic, the likes of which haven’t been seen since in a long, long time.

Maybe my suspicion is wrong but I believe our uber talented offense has frozen, standing on a stage that at this moment, is just too big. The missing piece? Confidence in the team leader, “the guy.” Even worse “the guy” lacks the confidence in his own ability to lead. That’s way worse. I hurt for him, no anger, no disdain for his skills…as a once frozen singer standing center court, I’m sympathetic.

Sure, we all pay lip service to how great this team and coaching staff are by saying things like “ we’re too talented to be playing this way.” The obvious screams out, if we dare listen, we’ll most likely hear, “maybe we’re not, this year.”

This is not last year, it’s not next year… it’s this year. This isn’t a vailed attempt on my part to cryptically suggest a total house cleaning is needed. No, not at all. We just need to understand nothing good nor bad, lasts forever.

I’m a reader and in reading some books, I get engrossed in the story so much so, I can’t wait to turn the page to the next chapter to see where this story is headed. Then, there are those highly recommended books by your favorite author that barely hold my interest and as one chapter ends, I can’t wait to turn the page to see if the next chapter meets my expectations.

Same with the story of this great run in Clemson Football history, it’s time to turn the page and start the next chapter.

Like the uninteresting, difficult to read, emotional rollercoaster ride of this book, I know, this may not have a happy ending but it does end, mercifully. Do I stop reading all books written by my favorite author, no. Based on the author’s previous blockbusters, I pick up the next book, open it up and dive in. This analogy is perfect.

This book, featuring the Clemson Tigers, has been a joyful, high flying, epic read and even though this morning I might not believe it but this story is not over. We must reasonably understand every chapter(team) is different. So it is with the 2021 version of the Clemson Tigers.

This season is most probably an anomaly. Dabo Swinney is correct, this team, this leadership, is too talented for them “not to get it” and I believe if I’m going to be there when the Tigers stand on the top of the mountain bathed in glory then I surly must stand in the muck and mire of the deep valley, in the tough times without glory. Yes, we fans criticize, argue, offer opinions and complain.

However, I’ve got to believe when this team is hurting and struggling, then I, one that basked in the sunshine of their success, their championships, owe it to then to face the storms with them.

Yesterday was difficult for everybody. There is no way this self proclaimed class clown can get a laugh, even a nod…it’s just to soon, too close and too painful. We’re not closing the book on this team and tossing it in the corner. No, like adults, most who have experienced personal failures, we just turn the page and move on to the next chapter.

It’s been a difficult read so far, for sure but I’m betting this next, hopeful chapter and subsequent chapters will have a familiar, happy ending and we’ll all live happily ever after.

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