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The Most Exciting 25 Seconds in College Football: An Open Letter to the Hill

Ashley Stout, Contributor

Clemson students who sit on the hill get a great seat to witness the team running onto the field. 

It’s love or hate. It’s the best and the worst. 

It’s an experience, some say. 

It’s the hill that commences the best entrance in college football history. We all know why it’s “the most exciting 25 seconds in college football,” as Brent Musburger put it so eloquently in 1985. But why do I have a notion that “The Hill” might not be what it’s cracked up to be? 

The Hill at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina is the famous hill where our Clemson football athletes run down to begin every home game. Memorial Stadium seats just about 80,000 and is a beauty

of architecture. There are seats encompassing the stadium until you come to the section where Howard’s Rock stands. It’s what makes Death Valley, Death Valley! Meet, “The Hill.” 

Many students have a love-hate relationship with the hill. The tickets have been dubbed the name “hill tickets.” When you go on the Clemson athletics website to reserve student tickets, there is a specific ticket you can reserve to stand on the hill, to watch the game. Having only been a student here for about two weeks, 

I’ve learned that when you’re on the hill, you stand the entire game, and you are positioned on an incline. You are also right beside the band and are very close to the action of the game. It seems like the best place to be, right? Some agree, some don’t. These hill tickets are either the place to be or the place you’re trying to avoid on game day.

 If you’re a freshman, like myself, you might not know much about the infamous hill tickets at Clemson. 

This week I talked to a variety of students with many different perspectives and opinions about watching a game from the hill at Memorial Stadium. I went around campus to ask a series of questions like “What is a hill ticket? “Or ‘What kind of experience do you get when you sit on the hill?” Or “Do you enjoy the hill ticket?” I received a number of responses.

Whether you’re a freshman, sophomore, junior, or even a graduate student; you know all about the infamous hill. That wasn’t up in the air. The question really is, “How is an experience on the hill at Death Valley?” 

One response was: “There’s nothing like it,” junior Jansen Raymond said. He also went on to say it was “the best place to be on a Saturday in Death Valley!” 

Many students agreed with Jansen. “You’re so close to everyone in the student body and everybody’s getting hyped!” junior Henry Varn said about his hill experience. He also talked about how close you get to the action,

how it’s the best seat in Memorial Stadium. 

Garrett Von Meden said “if you can get close to where they (the players) run down the hill, it’s the best experience.”

 Everyone keeps bringing up the keyword: experience. Everyone says it’s truly an experience like no other to watch a game from the hill. Sophomore Hunter Worthington said “It’s pumped and it makes the game more enjoyable.” He enjoys the closeness and how everyone is energized for the game. 

Most students love the hill, but there are some that aren’t in love with the notion of watching a game without sitting down at all.

Emily Majarski said that her first Clemson game was on the hill. She then went on to say it wasn’t the best the entire time. “It was uncomfortable on the angle, but it is something you have to experience as a Clemson student.” It might have been uncomfortable standing on an angle for three hours but Emily went on to say, “It was a lot fun!” For Emily, it was the experience of the hill. It was her first time at a Clemson football game and she had a great time despite the uncomforting feeling. 

Others sadly, don’t always get to have a great time on the hill. For senior Sarah Knowles, while she said her first game was amazing, she also mentioned the less than enjoyable moments. “If the team is not playing in the way they want them to play, then the people around you start to get angry. Sadly, sometimes this does happen and I couldn’t be more upset than when the Tigers are losing.” Knowles said. According to her, she’s had good and bad experiences, but she wouldn’t trade her experiences on the hill for anything. 

So does the play on the field change your experience on the Hill? If the Tigers aren’t playing well, then most of the stadium isn’t happy. If they are playing well, the energy is out of this world. Your hill experience could be affected by whether or not the Tigers win that day. If the Tigers go undefeated at home again this year, I believe everyone will have an amazing experience on the Hill. 

So, it’s a slope. No, it’s more than a slope. It’s a hill. Nope, it’s The Hill. It’s a community. It’s where all of you and your closest friends go to, to sing, dance and most importantly to root on the Tigers. Whether you’ve had a great time,

win or lose, we can all agree the Hill is an experience. It must be taken in by everyone. If you’re student at Clemson University, you have to experience the Hill at least one time. It’s our God-given rights as Tigers. Go Tigers!

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    Matthew HarrisJan 17, 2024 at 2:28 pm

    I graduated from Clemson in 1995. In my 4 years, I attended nearly every Clemson home game against a legitimate opponent in person. All of those tickets were on the Hill.

    I loved the Hill. It is very exciting to be so close to the action. When a team possesses the ball near that end zone, you have a fantastic view of the action. But when the action is on the other side of the field, you don’t have a great view of it. Nonetheless, it’s a very exciting place from which to watch the game.