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The allure of Clemson Football culture

The culture of game day is a prevalent part of the Clemson Experience, but it extends beyond just the student body by drawing in alumni, locals and a national audience with its spirit and energy. 

As a student here at Clemson, it is impossible to miss the waves of purple and orange that fill the campus on Saturdays throughout the football season. Each corner turned reveals yet another group of friends and family grilling out, playing games and laughing with one another. Not to mention, Death Valley is packed with roaring fans awaiting kickoff and an inevitable home-game win. So, what makes Clemson Football so alluring?

Many skepticize that the draw to Clemson’s football team is their winning streak, and it is hard to ignore that Clemson is consistently nationally ranked. This season Clemson has gone 10-1 and has the longest home winning streak in college football with 40 consecutive victories. 

This winning streak allows fans to feel the adrenaline of watching their favorite team win, and they, in turn, wish to indulge in this experience time and time again. However, Clemson’s fan base far predates their winning streak, meaning something else in these hills leaves fans wanting more. 

The culture of Clemson Football does not exactly rest on the football team itself but on the environment surrounding it. Clemson Football fans agree that the unity that comes from cheering for the same team makes Saturdays in Death Valley worthwhile. The “pageantry, the school spirit, the feeling of friendliness” and the “intoxicating environment” are all aspects of Clemson Football culture that fans pointed to as the true allure of the game. 

Kent Oliver, Clemson University Alumnus, responds to the question ‘What’s the allure of Clemson Football?’ by stating, “The fans. It’s not the game; it’s the fans.” As a fan of 42 years and father of Clemson Alumnus Huntley Oliver, who “grew up a tiger fan,” it’s safe to say that the love for the culture of Clemson runs in the blood.

This family connection is a common phenomenon around campus on gameday. Alumni, parents, students and children are all seen enjoying the festivities that surround the initial kickoff. Multi-generational fans are a sincere sight as alums bring their families together to enjoy the spirit they previously enjoyed. 

Derek Harvey, class of 2003, claims that “the passion, especially from the fans,” creates an environment that he shares with his son, who “has been wanting to come for a while” and finally attended his first game.

This game-day excitement is seen in both returning fans and first-time viewers, showing the “intoxicating” aspects of the environment and spirit. 

Alexa Farnsworth, junior packaging science major, attended her first Clemson Football game this past Saturday and noted that “the school spirit is super alive… it’s always entertaining.” 

As one fan explains, the true spirit of Clemson is “the family… the atmosphere, the togetherness, (the way that) everybody just seems to gel and to be about Clemson.” 

And the most exciting part, as ten-year-old Hayden Thompson points out, “the Clemson Tiger mascot!”

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Kylie Tutterrow
Kylie Tutterrow, Opinion Editor
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