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Family, Friends and Football: Family Weekend Reunites Generations of Clemson Football Fans

Emily Lady, staff

If you’re new to Clemson University, you may not know much about the rich history of Clemson football. From the great coach Walter Riggs all the way to Danny Ford, Hoomer Jordan, Brian Dawkins, Levon Kirkland, C.J Spiller, Trevor Pyrce, the list goes on and on. Memorial Stadium, home to the Tigers, opened up on September 19, 1942 and has hosted thousands of Clemson students, family, and fans over the years.

Generations have watched Clemson football together. There is no other time when this is more clearly demonstrated than during family weekend. Many students that attend our institution have parents or family members who also attended. You truly see how generations of families are a part of the Clemson family. 

The day of the game began at Hendrix Student Center, where students were being reunited with their families.

 “This is our first Clemson football game we’re coming to,” said Craig Wilson, the father of Jordan Wilson, a freshman Biochemistry student. “I hope they destroy whoever they’re playing,” Wilson said. He may not know who they are playing, but he is confident and hopeful the Tigers will pull out a victory.

Clemson alumni and former NCAA golf champion Greg Jones was also there visiting relatives. “It’s the tradition. I grew up coming to football games as a kid,” Jones said. “My dad went here and would bring me to the games,” he said. Jones also loves the atmosphere Death Valley provides. “This is my four-year old son’s first game tomorrow. Starting him young!” 

Another parent, Jeff Boyd, said “I’m glad my daughter’s going here and it’s a great school, but hopefully the Tigers will play a little bit better this week.” 

Lastly I chatted with Ray Anderson, the 2016-2017 Chair of the Board of Visitors for Clemson University. “Football to me is about getting together with family and friends to come out and watch the Tigers play. The game day experience at Clemson is second to none. You get chills and goosebumps when you see the players get ready to run down the hill,” he said. “Whether it’s ninety-five degrees, sunny, rainy; I’ve even sat through snow here at Clemson!” 

When we root for the Tigers every Saturday we always want our student-athletes to win, but it is more than winning or losing. It is the experiences we have with our family and friends. It’s the tailgate that we prepare for, it’s the relatives we get to invite to games, it’s the new friends we meet at Memorial Stadium. More than anything, it is Clemson football. And what better to spend family weekend than with 80,000 of your Clemson family screaming the

players on? 

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