Sunday Morning Armchair Perspective: A Win Is a Win for This Clemson Team

I usually write this article early Sunday Morning, while drinking coffee. Doing it then, the momentary post game frustrations have mellowed but that’s not needed for this game. There aren’t many emotions good or bad, it was just what Tiger fans have become accustomed to. Grateful win aside, it was underwhelming, familiar, expected and it’s thus far proven unfixable.

When fans get to this point in the season, in previous years, the division has been secured, plans to Charlotte have been secured and the biggest questions facing the “Tigers of Old,” who will be the Coastal Division sacrificial lamb and where do the Tigers land in the Top four for the College Football Playoff. Not this year.

This team, the hard luck bunch that they are, managed to look, except for momentary glimpses of goodness, dull, uninspired and still clumsy on offense. The special teams, the return coverage particularly, looked putrid, anemic and gave up the only points of the day.

The defense, those bunch of stalwart warriors certainly did their part and more. However, collectively, this team looks beat down, weary and ready for this 2021 nightmare to be over. So are most others, at times, this season has felt like a weekly root canal.

Not many of the Tiger faithful are giving up on this team. More importantly, this team hasn’t given up on themselves. That’s my hope, from the armchair, that this team is able to muster the strength to finish proud.

With nearly half of the team that started the season lost to injuries, transfers and more injures, it’s demoralizing, it has to be. No matter how many times they hear “next man up,” sometimes there just aren’t many, if any, next men. Yet someone will answer the call and that speaks something about this bunch,. They’re proud, they’re honorable and each possess the heart of a champion. The hearts, yes but the performance, the record? Sadly, no.

Yes, Clemson won, but in a war of attrition, where injuries are stacked like chopped wood, at what cost was that meaningless 60 minutes? I cant realistically answer that question, it’s above my pay grade.

I’m looking forward to watching these last two games. Both could as easily be defeats as they could be victories and no one has any idea which. Even in the worst case scenario, going 7-5, this team should receive an invitation to attend a mid-tier bowl game. If any team deserves to go to a fun location, relax and enjoy, without any expectations of greatness, it’s this 2021 edition of the Clemson Tigers. They deserve that much.

So, one has to hope a few of those injured, through the miracles of modern medicine, can be ready for Wake Forest. Otherwise, it might be a long, cold Saturday. Then, whatever the outcome in that one, the Tigers must end their season with a South Carolina team that looks very much like a mirror image of themselves, mediocre.

The only difference? South Carolina has six straight loses in this rivalry to fuel their desires for a win. It’s going to be a difficult two weeks but then, it’ll be over. Time to look to the future, to 2022 with a re-build of the offense an almost given. Even in the depths of darkness all one can do, is remain hopeful, look for a light and remember, a win is a win.

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