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Clemson wins Blood Bowl: Tigers end USC 8 year streak

It’s rivalry week again and both Clemson and University of South Carolina students are out for blood—literally. 

Last Monday marked the beginning of the 32nd annual Clemson vs. USC Blood Bowl. The weeklong event consists of the two schools going head to head to see which university can donate the most blood. 

For the past eight years, the Gamecocks have taken the winning title, but this year the Tigers came out on top, pulling away with 3,393 donations versus the Gamecocks’ 3,035.

Senior Tyler Pagliarini said he was determined to see different results this year. 

“[Alpha Phi Omega has] been working really hard,” said Pagliarini, “And it would be really nice to put an end to the streak.”

Pagliarini is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, the service fraternity in charge of coordinating the Blood Bowl. He says that although the fraternity works in many different service areas, the Blood Bowl is the biggest event they host all year. Pagliarini’s own job was to manage social media and incentivize the donating process. 

“This is the biggest event we put on. We do a lot of things with Boy Scouts and things like that, but the Blood Bowl is the biggest,” said Pagliarini. “The co-chairs behind this, they’ve been planning this for a year. Essentially once this ends, we elect two new people and then they start planning a year in advance.”

The organization strategically placed their seven blood donation buses around campus and had nine locations in total. Students could donate between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., an hour longer than previous years. Sophomore Naztifa Islam, who was working the tables outside of Brackett Hall, said she saw students flock in before, between and after their classes. 

“I think having the tables all across campus just really shares a positive vibe. I know it gets busy with people going to class and everything,” said Islam, “but it’s always nice to see people taking time out of their day to come and donate.”

Both Islam and Pagliarini donated at the beginning of the week, and both said that the turnout looked positive. 

“Numbers are higher than they have ever been. I think our lowest day this week has been higher than any other day that we’ve had before,” said Pagliarini, “So turn out has been great.”

After donors finished giving blood, they were given a t-shirt, a sweatshirt and an orange wristband for deals at stores and restaurants in the area, depending on which associated vehicle you went to.  

One of Pagliarini’s jobs was to obtain these sponsorship from downtown restaurants. In past years, Pagliarini said that they were only able to get around 16 or 17 deals, but this year they increased that number by ten. 

But the deals, Pagliarini said, aren’t what brought all 3,393 students to the donation buses. 

“I think a lot of people are giving blood just for the sake of giving blood, and that’s always really nice to see. [We] worked hard on incentivizing the process for them but sometimes people just want to donate out of the goodness of their heart. A lot of students don’t even realize that they get free stuff at the end,” said Pagliarini, “They just walk off, happy that they saved three lives.”

Islam agreed that a lot of the donors she saw come out did so just for the sake of donating. 

“But also,” she said, “It will just be really nice to beat South Carolina.”


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