Thursday, October 15, 2015

ACC Weekly Roundup: Week 6 - The Clemsoning

Dear Dabo Swinney:

Originally this was going to be the weekly writeup of all things ACC football, but two things happened. One, when I sat down to write that the only words that would appear onscreen were "SOUTH FLORIDA ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" And two, during your press conference, you said something that overshadowed the rest of the weekend's fairly pedestrian slate of games.


Specifically, you mounted a gloriously eloquent rant as to why the term "Clemsoning" is obsolete. Your Tigers are, after all, highly ranked in the national polls. You've beaten 33 straight non-ranked opponents - a loss to one of them would be the very definition of Clemsoning, after all - and you're 7-3 in your last ten games against teams ranked in the Top 10 of at least one poll. It is an impressive body of work, and you are to be commended for turning a program best known for having one of its players get sucker punched by a 65 year old Woody Hayes into a consistent, well-prepared winner. As such, I can see where you'd get immensely tired of the constant snark about "Clemsoning", especially once the term escaped the bounds of David Glenn's radio show and snuck into the national media conversation.

But.

Coach Swinney, I grew up in Philadelphia. And one day in Philadelphia, a bunch of Eagles fans decided to throw snowballs at some poor schmuck in a Santa suit as he trundled across the field at halftime. Ever since, mention Philadelphia fans and the first thing that comes up is "Haw haw, they threw snowballs at Santa".

That happened in 1968. Frank Olivo, the guy in that Santa suit, passed away earlier this year at the age of 66. 20% of the current NFL did not exist at that point. The Internet existed for DARPA engineers to send each other dirty ASCII pictures, gasoline still had lead in it, and people thought starting shortstops who hit .186 were a good idea. It has been, by any measure a really long goddamn time.

And yet, the story endures. Thrives, even. 

So, I'm sorry, Coach Swinney. You may keep winning. I hope you do. But the legend of Clemsoning is going to live forever.
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