This article takes a backseat to the Clemson baseball information that comes about on most Sunday afternoons, so "Sunday Thoughts" will be a Monday activity through the next couple months. I'll go ahead and praise Mr. Woods golf performance then move along as follows (as I stated weeks ago, this year's tournament in Augusta should be epic).
Yesterday I chatted with STS reader PabstTiger about many items and I want to highlight this talk today. The first and most important portion of this discussion was the selfless donation made to Locks of Love. Locks of Love is the following (per the website):
Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.
PabstTiger donated 24" of his hair to this cause and will positively impact someone's life because of this act. While we do not showcase all the great acts that we or our readers are involved with, we are cognizant of the great things that are done and encourage everyone to help others as you see fit. We know that many folks are involved with great caused an I'll encourage you to discuss these items in the comments section of this article.
The Clemson item that PabstTiger discussed involved focus. Today's Clemson improvement chat evolves into themes from Jim Collin's fantastic read Good to Great. The initial statements I hear from Clemson fan on "the street" revolve around Clemson's historical success against our in-state rival. While those victories should not be ignored, we all need to come together with a new vision and new expectations that are greater than a simple victory over South Carolina. While we should expect wins out of our team against these folks, we need to expect more.
This site was established for one reason. DR. B AND I ARE FOCUSED ON A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. This whole site is around because we think that Clemson has all base items to win the crystal football and we can do so with the resources Clemson offers. We want to present all items so that everyone has a clear (non-orange tinged sunglass look) at what is going on with our Alma Mater and how we can improve. The first step in our program's improvement is for all the Clemson fans to quit making excuses and say "Damnit, we need to win a National Championship."
Before I get too far into this discussion, I'll tell you my personal preference that resides after winning the grand prize.
(1) Beat Georgia-Beat Georgia's damn ass...if you are a Clemson fan you hate Georgia, period. We need to play them every year, end of conversation.
(2) Win the ACC-we own the trophy though there was a long stretch where we wondered if it would ever come back to Pickens County. That thing should rotate between Clemson and Tallahassee then make the occasional appearance in Blacksburg. Historically, Clemson (then FSU) was ACC football and Clemson has to make itself a perennial player to win big consistently.
(3) Beat South Carolina-I am sick and tired of hearing Cockfan talk trash to me. Yes the football team is much better than five years ago but the number of bandwagon fans and their obnoxiousness is exponentially higher than half a decade ago.
I am sick and tired of hearing (A) excuses and (B) claims to past success by our fans. The latter is always addressed by our overall series record against South Carolina. While I agree that we have been beating them routinely for years, you cannot ignore the fact that USC beat Clemson three years in a row. They didn't just beat us, they whipped our ass. Over this timeframe, Carolina went from a program that questioned how long their coach would stick around to a Top-12 football team. Yet all our folks want to talk about is Rod Gardner's catch or a field goal several years ago. Throw water in your face and realize that we have been passed. Dr. B and I had the "four year chitchat" where we used to believe that you could ask if Carolina was gonna beat Clemson and the answer was "Is it year four yet?"
Long and short, the last 20 years of Clemson football has been justified by our fanbase because we dominated South Carolina. The next 20 years need to be justified by performances inside the nation's top 10 and also need to include at least one crystal ball.
Why do we get so pissed about a poor performance at NC State? You don't win national championships losing to those folks. In fact, with the schedule we play, Clemson will not win it all unless we win every single football game we play. Hence, we are anal about them all. They are all very important and none of them can be taken for granted. We finally won the ACC, so let's do it again and again and again while focusing on the bigger prize. We need to beat South Carolina not because they are our rival but because we cannot afford a loss to an SEC school in our path to greatness.
Here is the conversation every Clemson fan needs to have daily
What is the goal? The goal is to win a National Championship. In order to win the national championship we have to win every game. In order to win every game we have to have the right people involved in the process then give them the resources to be successful.
To get to this goal, do we have the right people in place? Collins' book tells you to get the right people "on the bus" then find a position for them. If we aren't achieving our goals, we need to adjust the people "on the bus." The "bus" isn't just the football staff. The "bus" goes from the Board of Trustees all the way down to the ticket takers. Long and short...I will not attribute any shortcomings to Coach Dabo because Coach Dabo didn't hire himself, someone else did. However, if Coach Dabo wins the whole thing, you have to give props to someone outside of the football program as well. This boils down to one of our core objectives: Be honest and be fair. Give praise where deserved.
To end this conversation, I will tell you that I conversed with a North Carolina graduate last evening. After learning that I was a Clemson graduate, he quickly dismissed any of my qualifications and noted that he was a world traveler as were many of his peers. I repeatedly told this young man that I have completed various projects around the world and my passport has stamps to prove it. We discussed UNC's current football issues and I brought up Clemson's history with the ACC. This young man denied that Swofford was ever the AD at UNC and the ACC was appropriate with CU's punishment. He then said that UNC got what it deserved, period. I told him the facts and he dismissed anything I said...that is the respect Clemson gets from Tobacco Road.
I am not claiming to be the smartest person in the world. Hell, I am not the smartest person on this website (Dr. B is the smartest person I know and we are fortunate for his insight...dude is a calculus/chemistry/quantum physics/everything wiz in addition to his ability to break down an opposing defense-and is a Clemson grad). What I am saying is that Clemson gets treated like an outcast every time when the ACC is involved. I am not sure Swofford cares (as UNC obviously doesn't) about our concerns. They might not give a shit about Clemson but the least we can do is fill up their inbox.