No doubt you’ve seen it. Its been making the rounds via email forwards and social media shares: an article entitled “The Difference between Clemson and South Carolina.” Since its hate week, and the Orange clad yokels are all out in force, we found the article particularly galling. Accordingly, we decided to respond. Here is the offending document (in bold italics) in its entirety and unedited, along with our comments:
We are the Clemson Family. You are the Gamecock Nation
TRC Responds: Yeah, we are a nation. A nation is a good name for a group of unrelated people who unite around a common cause. And y’all probably are a family – almost all Clemson fans sure look like they’re related.
Our Stadium is named after the Clemson Students who gave their lives in the service of our country. Your stadium is named after a female booster.
TRC Responds: Oh, a school founded as a military institution (Clemson A&M College) named their stadium after something to do with the military? Wow, congratulations, bet that was a tough decision. Riddle me this, if you’re so stinking proud of that fact, why do you insist on calling your stadium “Death Valley”. Why is it emblazoned on the interior facade “WELCOME TO DEATH VALLEY”? Aren’t you proud of the people who gave their lives in service of this country? Apparently not.
And why point out that our stadium is named after a “female” booster? Is there a problem with that? That’s a bit sexist, no? We take it as a point of pride that we are one of only two FBS schools that named its stadium after a woman (the woman in question was the widow of a Carolina football player, but we won’t burden you with the details).
It is 5 football fields from Tillman Hall to the 50 Yard Line of Frank Howard Field. It is one and a half miles from the Horseshoe to the 50 yard line at Williams-Brice.
TRC Responds: Your stadium is on campus, we get that. And ours was constructed as a part of the state fairgrounds, and so is a short distance away from the main campus. Both situations have their pros and cons, but don’t ask about that when we’re trying to find a parking place in Clemson on a game day. Oh, and speaking of game days, Chris Fowler from ESPN College GameDay (heard of it?) called this year’s GameDay on the Horseshoe the best atmosphere he has EVER seen. What did he say when GameDay came to Clemson? Ohhhhhh, riiiight, my bad. Eh, what does Chris Fowler know about game day atmosphere anyway.
To get to our Stadium, you walk through a park dedicated to all the Clemson Students who gave their lives in the Armed Forces. To get to your stadium, you pass an empty fairground, railroad tracks, warehouses, liquor stores and parking lots.
TRC Responds: 1998 called, they want their narrative back. Visit the areas around Williams Brice (named after a woman, gasp!) today and let us know if you still feel the same way. How ‘bout this, Tiger Fans: spend twenty minutes getting your 2003 Gateway computer booted up, navigate through all the pop-up porn viruses you’ve downloaded, and google “Carolina farmers market renovations.” I guarantee you that nothing in and around Memorial Stadium compares to the Williams Brice area now.
Our Coach embraces the history and tradition of Clemson Football. Your Coach disavows everything that came before him (East Carolina game quotes 9/8/12); after moving to #3 in the AP poll “That is a school record”- he was then informed that the 1984 SCar team rose to #2 before losing to Navy (Greenville News 10/8/2012)
TRC Responds: Disavows everything that came before him? Before Steve Spurrier there were no signs in the stadium recognizing the accomplishments of former Gamecock players. There was no “1969 ACC Championship” sign. Steve Spurrier has done more to highlight what little tradition we have than any coach before him. Meanwhile, continue to embrace your “history and tradition”, that was attained through ill-gotten means throughout the 80’s. Should we link the NCAA report here?
We lost a bowl game by 37 points and it is considered one of the lowest points in the history of our program. You lost the SEC Championship game by 39 points and that appearance is one of the highlights of your program.
TRC Responds: Good point…oh, look, West Virginia just…scored…again.
Our Coach honored the scholarship of a high school student who suffered a stroke after he verbally committed to Clemson and will likely never walk again. (Jake Nicolopulos). Your Coach pulled a scholarship offer on the day before signing day to a player who had been committed for months who was an orphan and spent the majority of his childhood as a ward of the state. (Lorenzo Mauldin).
TRC Responds: Schools will, from time to time, grant medical hardship schollys to qualifying student athletes. USC has done it, Clemson has done it (you cite one example but there are others) and that’s a good thing.
But the Mauldin situation is totally different: Lorenzo Mauldin didn’t have qualifying test score. He couldn’t gain admission to USC, so we had to move on. He ended up at Louisville, we think. Are you honestly gonna say that Clemson has never turned down a football player because of his grades or test scores? ‘Cause if that’s your claim, the NCAA will want to do some investigating in Pickens County. Again.
Our Coach proposed a plan to generate revenue for schools by playing an exhibition game against regional universities that was lauded by his peers. Your coach proposed paying amateur student athletes in revenue sports only.
TRC Responds: Wow, pay kids in revenue sports a small amount of money for the millions of dollars of revenue they bring in?!? What a horrible idea!!! I guess we could do it the way y’all innovated back in the 70s and 80s, and just pay all the players under the table. Should we link the NCAA report here?
Our Coach goes on national television after a huge win and says “I can’t think of a better place …than Death Valley, South Carolina!”. Your coach, after arguably the biggest win in school history, presents himself with the gameball.
TRC Responds:Please don’t start trying to compare accomplishments of Dabo Swinney with Steve Spurrier. You are embarrassing yourself.
Our Coach uses his bonus money from winning the ACC Championship to provide additional pay for his assistant coaches. Your coach became a member of Augusta National after signing his contract.
TRC Responds: Steve Spurrier took much less money then the market would bear when he came to South Carolina. Why? SO HIS ASSISTANTS COULD GET PAID MORE. And you think Dabo would turn down an invitation to join the Augusta National? Stupid question, he’ll never have the chance.
Our program helped a scholarship athlete gain custody and care for his 11 year old little brother, then created an endowment to ensure his higher education. Your program frequently refuses to renew scholarships to players who aren’t deemed good enough to play. (Grayson Mullins, Bryce Sherman, Tramell Williams, Andrew Clifford, Seaver Brown, Kevin Young, ect…)
TRC Responds: Andrew Clifford, Seaver Brown and Kevin Young all graduated from USC, so not sure where you are headed with them. But you left out the little tidbit about Clemson kicking the Ray Ray guy off the team a year later. And since it seems to answer both issues you raised (The Ray Ray Saga, and the year-to-year nature of scholarships) we’ll provide you with a link to the Sports Illustrated story entitled “One child left behind: McElrathbeys deserved better from Bowden, Clemson” (Be warned, Clemson grads, the story is written on a sixth grade level, so it might be hard for you to follow).
Our coach leads the nation in APR (academic progress rate), your coach doesn’t even realize that 18 year-olds can vote (Greenville News 11/6/2012)
TRC Responds: We think you just made this stuff up. Here’s a link to the latest graduation figures we could find, and it looks like we both are doing ok, but have room to improve.
After the games, my four kids play football and soccer with scores of other kids while we continue to tailgate for hours. After your games, there are four armed robberies and a shooting (Clemson 2011), two mob assaults and another shooting (Mizzu 2012), felony DUI with a flipped car and 41 other arrests (Georgia 2012).
TRC Responds: Columbia, SC is a much bigger town than Clemson, so stats like this are easy to cite. But we poked around on the web and found a Clemson University campus crime report that shows 4 forcible rapes, 2 robberies, 10 assaults, 70 burglaries, 22 car thefts, 4 arsons, 341 liquor violations, 10 weapons charges, and 69 drug arrests. And these are just the recent reports from ON CAMPUS.
We suspended our best player for two games, including one of the biggest games of the season for a misdemeanor arrest for which he underwent PTI and had removed from his record. Your best player was arrested in 2/2007 for public intoxication (age 19) and again in March of that year for keying a professor’s car. In March of 2008 he was arrested for underage drinking and that same night had the police come to his dorm for pulling a fire alarm and discharging a fire extinguisher. He was suspended from practice for violating team rules during a bowl trip in December of 2010. And he was suspended again in April of 2011 for causing a disturbance at a SEC-mandated meeting, where he was reportedly intoxicated. Despite all this, he never missed a game until he was finally kicked off the team in October of 2011 for failing a substance abuse screening.
TRC Responds: Wait, I tripped over the part where you said Garcia was our best player. He was a starter, but he certainly wasn’t better than Lattimore, or Jeffrey, Ingram or Clowney, or Gilmore or – but yeah, Coach stuck by Garcia until the very end. Coach is loyal that way. I know that Jerri Spurrier, the Coach’s wife, shed many tears for Garcia as she personally tried help him with his demons. Sometimes you can only do so much, you know? But we try. We try.
Good news is, Stephen Garcia graduated. That’s right, he graduated. I’m always amazed when Clemson fans leave that part of his story out. He was kicked off the football team, but at least he has his degree to fall back on in the future.
Oh, and I must have missed it when you mentioned Clemson WR Joe Craig beating his girlfriend with an iron bar until she was bleeding. Dabo never mentioned it, and only later dismissed Craig from the team after ANOTHER incident where he beat a woman.
Oh, and I must have missed where you detailed the 2010 arrest of Clemson DE Jamie Cumbie. Cumbie was on campus when he ‘roided out and beat a fellow student, 6 inches shorter and 100 lbs smaller than him, so bad that the student had to have major reconstructive surgery on his face. I think the criminal charge was “Assault and Battery of a high and Aggravated nature” and it carries up to ten years in prison.
Speaking of Aggravated Assault, remember the name Deandre McDaniel? I can guarantee his ex girlfriend remembers him, since in 2008 he wrapped a comforter around her neck and choked her until she was unconscious. McDaniel may have been punished by Clemson, we aren’t sure, but he remained on the football team for two more seasons.
We could go on – a Clemson player has been arrested for beating on a smaller student or a female at least once a year going back as far as we can remember.
We won Southern Living’s “The South’s Best Tailgate” competition in 2012. South Carolina had a fan arrested for mooning the crowd at the LSU game in Baton Rouge 11/13/2012
TRC Responds: Hey, a good tailgate! That’s awesome! If Southern Living approved you must have had some cute napkins or coordinating picnic baskets or something. As for mooning LSU fans – if you ever played in the real Death Valley, you’d know that LSU fans appreciate a good mooning. Nudity is part of their culture. Ever heard of Bourbon Street in New Orleans?
When Marcus Lattimore was hurt, these were Coach Swinney’s comments: “It took my breath away. I was watching and it just breaks my heart. I mean, I just hurt for him and his family and his teammates. This is a guy that, to me, represents all the good things that college football should be about. He’s a guy I know personally. He’s a class young man and so is his family. I know how hard he has worked. “If there is anybody I would bet on it is Marcus Lattimore. I know it will be a long process, but I tell you what, I would put my money on Marcus Lattimore in a heartbeat. When he comes to terms with this, he will do everything he can to come back. My prayers go out to him and his family. I have been heavy-hearted for him. He is a winner in every regard. Hopefully we haven’t seen the last of him from a football standpoint. He has been a great representative for his family and his university. I will lift him up in my prayers.” Then Coach Spurrier had this to say at the celebration meant to honor Marcus Lattimore: “A lot of quotes came across the country and I read one today from the head coach at our upstate school,” Spurrier said at the rally, as if it was beneath him to mention Swinney or Clemson by name. “You know, that school that used to beat us a lot that doesn’t beat us much anymore, that one. Usually when that coach up there talks about South Carolina it’s a bunch of garbage and a bunch of BS usually.”
TRC Responds: It certainly is beneath Coach Spurrier to mention Clemson and/or Swinney by name. Well, maybe its ok if he followed the mention by saying “son” as in “Swinney, son, I done spanked you three times.” Etc.
As for the rest of this paragraph – yeah, ok, sounds good to us.
Clemson Memorial Stadium was named as the top venue in college football by Bleacher Report.com(2012), Williams-Brice Stadium was noted by the Wall Street Journal as having the shortest distance from the stadium to a Waffle House in the SEC (10/3/2012).
TRC Responds: Uh, Bleacher Report? You know that Bleacher Report is user-generated content, right? Put another way, I can upload a Bleacher Report story right now, and claim anything I want to claim. No one, and I mean NO ONE outside of the Clemson fanbase thinks Memorial Stadium is the top venue in college football. Top thirty, maybe. Top twenty? Eh, not so sure. Top Ten? No. Way.
Oh, and there is a Waffle House right down the street from the WB – is that bad?
In the end, it is probably a waste of time to respond to each of these nonsensical (and frequently unpunctuated) remarks from the anonymous, insecure, Clemsonite who originally penned this laughable missive. But if you, gentle reader, are confronted with something along these lines over the Thanksgiving break, at least you will be prepared.