Confidence or the lack thereof, defines every aspect of our lives.
Fans expect Dabo Swinney’s Tigers to enter every season and every game, with a boundless supply of confidence. It’s the standard set, it’s necessary and after a season marred by hesitantancy, it’s much needed. The Clemson fan base believes they deserve no less than supreme confidence from their team and any lack of it is easily noticed. However, confidence is reciprocal, it travels both ways.
Coming into the 2022 season, the Tigers need a show of confidence from their fans. Not wavering, not wishy-washy, but steadfast. Because, for the first time in a while, the team needs it. The relationship between team and fans is symbiotic. One where both feed off the other to make the whole greater than the sum of its two parts.
Past success, past championships, and past glories are just that, in the past. This Clemson team has to walk into Death Valley or any other venue and know they can win. Every game. Fans, at least some, would do well to remember a lack of confidence is toxic and these young men feel and absorb that toxicity.
Using last year as a prime example, toxicity serves no one. I believe, it is a factor in the lingering perceptions regarding last year’s team.
This isn’t to imply that all fans added to the problem but it only takes a few drops of any poison to have devastating consequences. Again, 2021 is a perfect example. These young men deserve better than what they received last season. I will also say, the fans, at least the silent, respectful majority deserve better from this team. I’m confident both sides of this relationship will prosper in 2022.
Walking in lockstep isn’t a requirement. Wearing orange-colored glasses isn’t either but what is required is a constant belief in this team. Even in the roughest of times, these young men need to feel fans have their backs just as fans need to know this team has theirs.
It’s called belief in that which has yet to be seen. However, in Clemson, all one needs to do is remember they’ve already seen such success and they will see it again, you can take that to the bank.
I don’t believe this is an exercise in futility but rather an exercise in belief and like confidence, it works much better when it travels both ways.
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