A six year tradition will come to a sad end tonight.
The tradition, started in 2015 and unfortunately ended in 2020. Clemson’s inclusion in the College Football Playoff ranking show. It was always an exciting night, spent eating dinner off TV trays, excitedly anticipating the weekly reveal. Thinking back, those were indeed the good ole days.
It was a good run while it lasted but as in life, all good things must come to an end. Tonight, so it is with the Tigers not hearing their name called this or any other Tuesday night in 2021. Sure, no one should be too heartbroken, Dabo Swinney assures anyone that will listen, this won’t be the new normal for his Tigers. He is firm in his assertion and belief, Clemson shall return and who dare doubt a man that has fulfilled most, if not all of Clemson’s football dreams?
There are many reasons the Tigers won’t hear their name called tonight but let’s just say, they are in complete reset mode and the task at hand for this team is to finish strong. That might seem an easy task but it won’t be. Nothing has come easy for this team this season. This scrappy, imperfect, but proud group of young men have faced adversity on many levels. Unfathomable injuries, an unusual number of in-season transfers and the hesitance and mistakes of youthful inexperience. These are not excuses but rather realities.
Sure, each week we hope someone will find that magic switch to immediately return this team to the greatness of recent years but in the real world, there is no such magic switch. The answer lies in acceptance. As a team, as fans we must be patient for even the best of things and like Swinney always says, “The best is yet to come,” and I believe. I have little reason to doubt his claim.
Tonight, there will be no TV trays, there will be no excited anticipation and the Clemson Tigers will not hear their name called. However, it really doesn’t matter because Tigers everywhere will hear something even greater than the mere calling of their name. They’ll hear the sounds of construction, the sounds of determination in building for next year. It’s not out of anguish or frustration or even resignation I say these things.
Those sounds heard will be the building upon the great foundations of this still great program. If allowed, the “house that Dabo built” will be stronger after the hard lessons learned this season.
Plus, the most likely reason for this construction? To add more space for more trophies and that’s far better than hearing your name called on any fall, Tuesday evening. Just imagine how sweet it will be when once again the Tigers will rise and take their rightful place in one of those precious four spots of the College Football Playoffs. I for one can hardly wait.
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