Final Score: Seminoles 51 Tigers 14, 10/19/13
Weather: ’50s; Ticket Price: $200 Stub Hub, Attendance: 83,428
“I want my $2 (hundred) dollars” by Tree
Memorial Stadium is on campus in Clemson. My seat was literally one row from the top of the stadium on the 50 yard line. I never have had a seat so high but I did not think it would be bad. I was wrong. While I could see the whole field, I needed binoculars to really follow the action on the field and that includes looking at one of the three video screens. Clemson came into the game ranked #3 in the country and Florida State was #5 which is why my ticket came in at $200. Once I got to my seat I realized I should have spent another $50 to get a seat closer to the field. Knowing my seat was way up in peanut heaven, I bought my soda and pizza on the way in so I could limit how many times I would have to climb the stairs. The guy next echoed my complaints on the lung burning hike to the top. The concessions were of the standard variety.
Clemson has the tradition of the players coming down the hill to the field. Thanks to a late finish to the thrilling Tennessee game, I saw that event on a bar’s jumbo screen as I walked to the stadium. The stadium was at standing room only and it was rocking. However, a poor performance by Clemson quickly took the crowd out of the game. I was also surprised with how many Florida State fans were at the game. This was easily the largest contingent of visiting fans I had ever seen at a game. I will credit that to Seminole fans traveling well instead of Tiger fans not supporting their team. It was a cool night and I had to break out my blanket in the second half to stay warm since I was still in shorts. My intention had been to put on jeans but I ran out of time.
I drove to this game upon the completion of the SC/Tennessee game at roughly 3:30pm. A friend who lived near the stadium was kind enough to let me park at her house saving me $20. The problem was that I got there in the dark and it took me 15 minutes to find the place despite using my GPS. It was a short walk to the stadium from there. I was very impressed with the Clemson tailgaters and wished I had arrived earlier.
As mentioned, this game was a disaster for Clemson. For Florida State, Death Valley became Happy Valley very quickly. Clemson turned the ball over on the first series of the game. The Seminoles promptly scored after getting the ball. And with that, the rout was on. Tigers were simply awful. Florida State nearly doubled Clemson’s total yardage by the end of the night and were seemingly able to score at will. A classic choke job by the Clemson program.
I had extremely high hopes for this game. Given the national title implications, ESPN Game Day was broadcasting from Clemson that weekend. The game was a sellout. It should have been an exciting game that came down to the wire. Instead, I got to stand around and watch the Florida State fans taunt the Clemson fans all night. If I had only paid $40, I would not have cared. I, however, had paid $200 for my ticket. In hindsight, I should have made this game the only game on Saturday. I could have enjoyed the entire day by tailgating and getting the full Game Day experience. This way if the game was a dud, I could have at least got some of my money’s worth. Instead, all this game left me was a bad attitude.
As I mentioned, the tailgating scene looked to be very vibrant and a lot of fun. That combined with the traditions at Clemson would probably make it a good place to attend a game. However, I can’t help but feel that someone in Clemson owes me something. Unfortunately, the $200 and the three hours I lost watching the public slaughter are gone forever.
Postscript: My disappointment with Clemson is starting grow into a full blown hate. Thanks to the miserable experience I had with Clemson, I went into a college football funk. It was so bad that I decided I need to take a weekend off and cancelled my trip to see Middle Tennessee State play Marshall on Thursday night (10/24/13). Of course, it turned out that game was fantastic and it came down to a last second touchdown pass by MTSU to win the game. I would have been there had it not been for Clemson shaking my love of college football down to its foundation.
Postscript 2017: It seems a bit unfair to Clemson to continue to bash them given their play the last few years, including a couple of national championships. I am still not a “Buy” but I have upgraded them to a “Hold”. It seems like the least I can do.