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The infinite Syracuse football road trip diary: Clemson

Hoya Suxa's seventh diary entry in his endless Syracuse football road trip.

Hoya Suxa is aiming to attend 10 of Syracuse's 12 regular season football games this year. He'll be filing short travelogues from his journeys.


I make no apology for this. In fact, this is your fault. If anyone is responsible for making me drink $60 of liquid anger it's you, the reader of this internet-based toilet roll. A reasonably intelligent man does not wander around an airport that looks like a child modeled it with Legos and threw it against the wall in a fit of rage and decide to get tuned up in an hour-and-a-half for some kind of personal quest to attain a form of trash enlightenment. No, this is because of you and your thirst for me to find new and awful ways to suspend my dignity. I hope that you're proud of this.

DRINK I: 3:32 -- Something that is definitely red but may also be rotten fruit punch Little Hug

That is a glass of pinot noir, ostensibly from somewhere other than a Staten Island dump but definitely the reason to question the accuracy of a drink menu. I wouldn't say that this wine was bad as much as it was the full realization of someone's desire to efficiently and effectively ferment poison. I drank it in four or five quick gulps, wondering whether I could buy a drinking analogue to airline travel insurance should my stomach suffer a delay from a malfunction associated with trying to hightail it out of my butthole.

DRINK II: 3:57 -- I didn't know that you could filter a Tom Collins through a soiled pillow case

I don't even know how this happens and, if we're being honest, I don't want to know why it happened.

This is a Tom Collins. It is, impressively, brown. This photo is not some weird camera trick where I'm trying to make a Tom Collins look like it found its genesis in the toilet before rapidly returning home. No, this is an actual Tom Collins, presumably mixed with the classic Tom Collins secret ingredient -- blackened toast. This was beyond miserable, a short journey with a long psychological impact. This shouldn't even be tested on terrorists.

DRINK III: 4:13 -- I'm Charles Bronson and I'm drinking something that only people who know who Charles Bronson is would drink

This is a 7&7 and not an echo chamber of the World's Toilet-iest Tom CollinsTM. The only people I know that drink 7&7's on the regular sit around the bar at the VFW and tell lies. The 7&7 is the most popular drink of every uncle you know at your sister's wedding but the least popular drink at any place that has a television in the building that doesn't have a knob on it. The 7&7 met its expiration date when your father shaved his mustache. I don't know why I ordered this but it was the only drink that didn't seem like it was cobbled together in an evil cocktail laboratory.

DRINK IV: 4:33 -- I'm pretty sure the drink is there specifically to try and keep the mint alive

All this had to be was bourbon, a little bit of syrup, mint, and ice. Instead, I received what I can only assume was a Kentucky Mojito. You know that old standard cocktail, right? Created in Cuba by a guy that has a picture of Adolph Rupp above his bed, the Kentucky Mojito is known around the world as the go-to drink for a horsie race while listening to Tito Puente plays his classic rendition of My Old Kentucky Home on the timbales. The United States has just opened up travel to Kentucky again, and I, for one, cannot wait to sip one of these while traveling to see Fidel Castro's compound in Bowling Green.


Bolting down the hill at Death Valley is a pretty entrenched tradition at Clemson. The band roars with Tiger Rag, balloons are released in an effort to distribute trash throughout the Southeast, and people lose their mind as gravity operates in its most basic form.

And, of course, an Orange cheerleader disrespects the whole cot dang thang by waving a giant Syracuse flag during the run, spitting on decades of Clemson culture by not expressing the appropriate degree of deference to a college football institution. Troll hard, Syracuse flag; the block "S" represents nothing more yankee "scorn."


When your arrival to Atlanta is delayed over three hours and you still have a two-hour ride ahead of you, your brain starts to bleed out of your ears. When your driver's arrival is delayed as well and has his baggage lost in E.M. Escher's Relativity, decision making starts to bend directly toward whatever. That's how you end up renting a pony car to haul ass up I-85 to try and cover 120 miles in a lightning strike, missing only a CB radio to try and dodge smokies along the route.

The pony car is arguably the most American vehicle ever designed, manufactured, and put into the stream of commerce -- they're loud, powerful, awful on gas, and likely to murder you because of its inability to handle in even the most prosperous of conditions. Yet, the pony car -- even this Challenger, a mountain of a machine compared to its Mustang and Camaro peers -- is bad ass 50 years after its launch, a ride that doesn't quite have a parallel in domestic motoring. It is, and was, a perfect instrument to traverse a very specific moment in time and space.


Games Attended: 7
Syracuse's Record in Games Attended: 4-3 
Miles Driven: ~2,650
Miles Flown: ~1,525
Next Syracuse Game: North Carolina State
Next Syracuse Game I'm Attending: North Carolina State
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