An overwhelming majority of the Clemson faithful will have not be privy to observe any of spring practice.
Fans must rely on the words of their favorite, most trusted local media outlets for information, words, interviews and observations, etc. The reshaping, regrouping and retooling of the 2022 version of this Clemson team is about to kick into high gear.
As a fan, there is much to be excited about and there are also many questions to be answered surrounding this team. Wednesday is the beginning of something very different and very interesting. Lots of new faces with new roles, but the same leader in head coach Dabo Swinney.
After the difficulties, struggles and then a very strong finish by the 2021 team, the possibilities for this program are still endless. Most pundits are projecting Clemson as the ACC Champion and as one of the four teams that will make the College Football Playoff.
However, there are those misguided disbelievers. Just take ESPN’s Heather Dinnich, she is convinced Clemson isn’t even the best team in the ACC Atlantic.
Her money is on Dave Doeren and the Wolfpack to be the standard bearer for the ACC. Yes, that team that struggled to a narrow, double overtime victory at home against an obviously dysfunctional, subpar Clemson team.
No, this isn’t sour grapes. She’s just wrong and I suspect for the Tigers, the revenge will be as sweet as the defeat was bitter. While everyone is welcomed to their opinion, on this particular one, I couldn’t disagree with her more. That’s just a single snapshot of what’s been swirling around the Clemson program heading into Spring. It’s all just waiting to burst.
There is one irrefutable fact. This Clemson team, like every other team in the country, is undefeated. The coaches and players must use every single practice to learn from and correct the painful lessons of 2021 to remain so.
Of equal importance, this team must take time to remember, with pride, how they fought on every play, in every game, ending strong at 10-3. While not up to program standards, I suspect last season will be viewed, in the future, as one of the most important seasons of Swinney’s coaching career.
As a fledgling writer, I’m learning the power of, not only words, but of how their arrangement and their timing can illicit the desired reaction. In some ways, words can frame a seemingly similar opinion but when articulated, it sounds completely different. So it is with all these swirling words and opinions surrounding the start of spring practice.
Yes, the average fan won’t see any of the practices, but they will be showered with all the words that come with still being one of the few elite football programs in America.
I’m not one for the technical aspects, or as some might say, the X’s and O’s of sports. I’m most comfortable in the “rah-rah” section. Where excitement and hope springs eternal.
I will take my slant on this year’s spring practice and use my words simply and consistently in giving you, the reader, the view from that “rah-rah” section. Where words and opinions really don’t matter much, but where it’s always about the Clemson Tigers.
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