Many road games are not worth the cost or effort. The view is better on TV, the food is cheaper and you don’t have to go anywhere. Clemson was well worth the trip -- easily my favorite road experience.
We left Atlanta about 8 AM and were parked and tailgating by 10:15. The only slow point of the drive was the final crawl to parking, but it I didn’t find it as slow as some SEC gamedays.
The weather was warm when we left Atlanta and was slowly getting hotter as we parked in South Carolina. The walk from our parking spot (note to BC fans: free parking) took us across the campus. This is where the hospitality showed. We were wearing BC paraphernalia and no one had even a gentle taunt. In fact, it seemed just the opposite. One group even insisted that my father in-law take a beer with him to the stadium. In the stadium the people next to us introduced themselves and wished us good luck. It was quite a different experience from West Virginia or UConn.
The heat inside was intense -- much hotter than the listed 85 degrees. We weren’t even in the seats two minutes before I saw a BC oldtimer pass out coming down the steps (of course he was quickly surrounded and helped by a dozen Clemson fans and a Clemson EMT).
I am somewhat used to the heat from living in Atlanta, but you could tell it was bad when fans from both teams were huddling in the shade of the tunnels, drinking water every chance they got and basking under mist fans. I am not sure how the players kept going.
The rock was a bit of a letdown as it is not much bigger than a toaster. The entrance was very cool. They drive the team around the stadium, put the buses on the videoboard and then shoot off a canon as the Tigers come down the field.
As you can see on TV, everyone is in Orange. You find a mix of people wearing t-shirts, to orange overalls and the frat guys dressed up in the school colors.
The noise was intense when BC was on offense. The guy next to me said it was much louder during the Miami game. His explanation: “we’re spent and it is too darn hot.” When Clemson had the ball, it sounded like someone lining up for a putt in a golf tournament.
After the game, people were very congratulatory and very complimentary of our team. I wish Clemson fans nothing but the best. And I wish a few blowouts come their way. These close games must be taking years off their lives.
My pictures from the day are below.
Ryan gets in for the first score.
Ryan was the last one to leave the field.
Teams after the game.
The first TD.
Touching the Rock.
Notice even the BC coaches are taking pictures.