The Internet is a funny thing. It allows people like me -- who have the luxury of assuming an alias -- to write pretty much anything I want without fear of real repercussions or retribution. I can be a comedian, a provocateur, a jackass and risk very little when doing so.
The ubiquitousness of the Internet also allows our messages here at Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician to be seen by people who may not benefit from a shared perspective or shared sense of humor. It is with that as a backdrop that the communities (and contributors) of TNIAAM and Clemson's SB Nation blog Shakin The Southland mixed it up last year leading up to our annual football game and for all intents and purposes walked away not really liking each other all that much.
Such is the way of the world, and with the Internet. It adds a little spice to our budding relationship, but my general hope is that the relationship one day becomes more about the competitiveness of our football teams than our respective senses of humor. With that said, there is more that unites us than divides us, so if you will forgive me for a moment, I'd like to put my alias and anonymity aside for a moment and simply speak from the heart to SU and Clemson fans alike:
Hi, my name is Marc, and I am a college football fan.
(everyone: Hi Marc!)
I, like many of you think that there may be nothing greater about being an American than college football Saturdays when groups of fans get together to celebrate the greatest sport of all and the schools that we love so dear. For me, what sets college football apart from all others is that it is a truly localized celebration of our sporting history, traditions, and community. Gone for just a moment are the never-ending narratives usually shining a spotlight on teams or athletes from New York, Boston, or LA. Narratives that seek not to expand your view, but consolidate them in an attempt to draw the maximum amount of attention (and advertising revenue) around the minimum number of things that are actually interesting.
Fall Saturdays give us all a fleeting glimpse into places that are too small to be part of the mass media narrative, but are in and of themselves filled with as much character, history, tradition, and general awesomeness as anything a big city could produce. They offer so much more to the tapestry that is the sport of football than anything that can be mass produced by a big city market. They are places that take some effort to get to, but once you arrive, you become so happy that you did! They are places like Oxford, MS, Madison, WI, Baton Rouge, LA,...and Clemson, SC.
Yes, Clemson. There are many great places to experience college football, with Syracuse honestly being one of them. Yet there are a few special places like Clemson where there is such a unique culture, rhythm, and "feel", it has to be experienced at some point in ones lifetime - PARTICULARLY if you have lived as far afield as the Northeast. If you asked me what I love the most about being in the ACC as a Syracuse fan, it is the fact that our conference offers so much diversity of game day experience. We know all about Northern football and the experience of a game in Pittsburgh or Chestnut Hill. Both are fun places to visit. But the ability to check out some great scenes in the mid-Atlantic, Florida and The South makes the ACC truly unique among athletic conferences...and among them all, a fall Saturday in Clemson is the best of the best...it is about as close as you will get to college football nirvana in terms of atmosphere.
Knowing how cool it is to experience a football game in Clemson, SC, I suppose I can understand that there is a sense of high pride amongst Tiger fans about the institution of Clemson football. And, if I am being really honest, I could see how a bunch of sarcastic Northerners whom they have never really met before could set them off a bit. So before I go back to being a comedian, provocateur, and jackass, let me say to our rivals that we do appreciate you more than our snarky-ness may suggest. We may not get along on "The Internets", but we know that the love for college football, respect for the past, and optimism for our programs' futures are common in our DNA. We are more alike than we know...
...now if you will excuse me, I have to get back to being a jackass mostly at Clemson's expense...
In this week's preview, we introduce you to a school who tried to give Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals the ol' "silent treatment" a few weeks back. We attempt to not insult Clemson's fan base at all costs. And we make a completely scientific and factual ruling on which school (and stadium) is the loudest in the ACC, if not the nation by comparing Clemson's loudest football moment, with Syracuse's loudest basketball moment!
Enjoy, and Go Orange!