Once again, God has smiled upon us, and we are on the cusp of another Clemson Tigers football season. The mighty Tigers are looking for a bounce back season after winning a National Championship, but losing to Pittsburgh and probably not being any better than Louisville, because we all know that yard marker was moved improperly placed.
While last year left a bitter taste in the mouths of all true Clemson fans, this year starts off with promise. Gone is Deshaun Watson, who really wasn’t that good if you look at the advanced, advanced, secret metrics tabulated by a secret NASA program. Keep in mind folks, winning football games is one of the least important metrics you can look at when determining the value of a football player. If he’s below 60% on 2nd and 8 out routes when throwing to his 3rd receiver, he’s trash, regardless of what the record says. Without the weight of Watson holding down the Tigers, the sky's the limit, the ceiling is the floor, and the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire for the Tigers in the 2017-18 season.
The road to redemption starts this Saturday as the mighty Kent St. (google searches for the mascot) Golden Flashes roll into Death Valley looking to upset a Clemson team that will never be as good as the lucky, garbage team that backed into the National Championship last year. So, without further ceremony, let’s hate on Kent St.
Kent State is located in Ohio:
For those of you who haven’t bothered to figure out where Kent St. is located...look at the above bolded heading. The best I can tell, Kent, Ohio is located between Akron and Cleveland...that has to be one of the most depressing sentences ever typed.
If you spend any time in South Carolina, you learn to loathe the pale, blubbery midwesterners that litter our pristine beaches like pods of beached manatees. I covered my feelings regarding these interlopers in my Ohio Hate article last season (https://www.shakinthesouthland.com/2016/12/26/14083272/o-h-i-o-h-a-t-e) and Kent Staters, or Flashers, or whatever moniker they choose to adopt, are of the same ilk.
If you look towards the corner of the west end zone, you’ll find a small group (google searches again) of blue and gold adorned “people” with a sickly pallor, sweating through their tank tops and cargo shorts, and swallowing handfuls of Skoal Bandits in an attempt to fight off nicotine withdrawal long enough to make it to the parking lot to take down 2 packs of Eagle 120’s at halftime.
I’m not a cruel man. I understand that these geographically disadvantaged creatures simply yearn to breathe air that doesn’t burn the lungs and see the sun for more than 4 months out of the year. That’s why I am personally handing pamphlets on the wonders of the North Carolina coast to every Flasher I see on Saturday (ok, I won’t be at the game, but someone really needs to handle this job). I understand The Outer Banks are far superior to run down places like Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, and especially the boring old Upstate.
Kent State fans are Ohio State fans:
If you’re from Ohio, you get a Buckeye tattooed on your right shoulder by a guy with a nervous tick and a two cigarettes hanging out of his mouth at 16 (this applies to both males and females). Some of these “lucky” Ohioans (too lazy and indifferent to look up what they’re really called or how to spell it) end up at Ohio State. Some unfortunate souls don’t make the cut, and end up at Ohio State outposts like Kent St. These people are still Ohio State fans, and should be treated as such.
We all witnessed the Fiesta Bowl Massacre that sent Urban’s G.E.R.D. to post Tebow Florida levels, and so did the Flasher fans. If you bring it up, they’ll be quick to mention, that while Clemson is undefeated vs Ohio State, the Buckeyes were dominant in the pre WWI era, and in the long run, that’s what really counts today.
You see, Ohio State...I mean Kent St….fans know that Clemson is currently the superior team, so they look to the distant past for reassurance. It’s really all they have. Clemson ended the Woody Hayes era, turned Braxton Miller into a decent wide receiver, and pitched a perfect game against the Buckeyes in the National Semi-Final. In the three meetings between to the schools, dominance, both historical and recent, has been established, and yet, O.$.U. fans still like to get mouthy on twitter and talk about, well, it’s hard to discern what they are talking about, but they still think they’re better than Clemson.
Just remember, not all Ohio State fans are Kent State fans, but all Kent State fans are Ohio State fans. So, while the Tigers drag the Flashers all over the field, the Kent State fans will still sit smugly in their chairs, confident in the knowledge that the 0-3 Buckeyes are the far superior to Clemson.
This is tangential to the Kent State game, but I feel it needs to be addressed nonetheless. If Clemson doesn’t wipe the field with Kent State, it will be held over our heads for the rest of the season. Clemson’s “close call” against Troy last year is still mentioned, even after we won the National Championship. “Y’all ‘most lost ta Troy, y’all just lucky” has been slobbered out of the tooth devoid maws of every trailer park South Carolina fan in Columbia.
I fully expect Clemson to end this game by half-time, but in the odd case that Clemson is up by 28 and Kent St. scores two garbage time touchdowns in the 4th quarter, I will lose my composure, because I know the fans from the hemorrhoid of the state, will talk about “Clempson ‘most loosing ta Kent St.,” for the rest of their pitiable lives.
Keep one thing in mind though. South Carolina and Kent St. have the same number of conference championships, and South Carolina has been playing football for 54 more years.
This is usually the section where I hate on the oppositions coach. Coach Haynes is sick and will not be travelling to Clemson. I wish him a speedy recovery from whatever difficulties he is currently experiencing.
I would also like to mention Tyler Heintz in this section. Tyler, an incoming freshman offensive lineman at Kent St., tragically passed away after a workout this offseason. The Clemson family would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Kent St. family. We sincerely wish Tyler had the opportunity to make this trip.