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Opinion: Say no to noon kickoffs

Clemson V Furman

Two words that college students absolutely hate to hear: noon kickoff. Twelve o’clock games, more often than not, consist of the same three things: the blazing sun, drunk students calling it a day at 12:30 p.m. and too many people lingering in Tiger Town Tavern. Personally, I advocate for the extinction of noon kickoffs.
The worst part about these games, especially in the beginning of the semester, has to be the heat. Upon hearing that the next home game will begin around noon, most students automatically check the weather to see how miserable they will be. Up until mid-October, you can guarantee that an early afternoon game will be accompanied by humidity and a climbing temperature. It is difficult to cheer on our lovely Tigers while constantly aware of the line of sweat dripping down your neck, back, legs and face. Dancing also becomes difficult due to the heat, since it is harder to get down to Tiger Rag while drenched in sweat. On a positive note, you know that the other fans in Death Valley are having the same experience. That being said, there’s no need to be embarrassed about the sweat stains on that jersey you purchased an hour beforehand, or the orange dress that the sweat has now glued to your legs.
An early afternoon game means starting the day at 8 a.m. for dedicated tailgaters. Setting up a tailgate, driving to campus early enough to avoid traffic and having time to see your friends and family before you must trek to your respective section can result in an undesirable wake up call. After a long week of work, I would love nothing more than to wake up around 2 p.m. and eat some good grub at a tailgate before a game. With a noon kickoff, you have to be awake before the rooster in order to find an open spot to tailgate. Although the campus may seem quite large, the influx of fans, family and alumni can fill the tailgating spots pretty quickly. If you want to find a parking spot that is relatively close to the stadium without sitting in traffic for a better part of the morning, you should be ready to set your alarm in the single digits. Game day traffic is no joke, and noon kickoffs confirm that a punchline won’t be delivered. In addition, if you happen to be a fan of pregaming, noon kickoffs are not your friend. For most people, drinking at 8 a.m. does not provide the best results. By the time you get to the game, you are either too drunk for your own good or mostly sober. Evidence of the tragic combination of day drinking and extreme heat can be found in multiple people throughout the student section. The student that was recently jamming to “The Song that Shakes the Southland” is now sitting bent over on the benches with elbows on their thighs and their head in their hands, staring at the ground. Thirty minutes into the game this student will get up and leave, but the chances of them coming back are very slim. If the kickoff was later in the day, said student would have a higher chance of cheering on their beloved team for more than half an hour.
Although some students are wiped out by the end of a noon game, campus and the surrounding areas are still overpopulated for the rest of the day. Opposed to a night game, where downtown pops for the rest of the night and Tiger Boulevard is fairly clear for that late night McDonald’s run, noon games result in long lines for the rest of the day. You are tired and sweaty, but a Dr. Pepper and three piece meal from Canes sounds heavenly. However, the entirety of Death Valley wants to execute the same idea at the exact same time. For the rest of the day, Clemson and Central are run amok with people trying to get to the same restaurant, tailgate, party or to their own house. Although this still occurs after a evening game, it dies down as the night creeps further. With a noon kickoff, we have the rest of the day to sit in traffic, stand in line and feel the repercussions of not wearing sunscreen.
Unless you happen to enjoy waking up at 8 a.m. to be with 81,500 of your closest friends in the blistering heat for an entire day, I am sure you agree that noon kickoffs should be a thing of the past.
I hope you enjoyed this oped. If you agree or disagree with me on this topic and would like to contact me to share your own opinion, or if you would like to request any future topics for me to write about, please do so at [email protected].

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