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Tom Herman brings his chart to Boca.

Syndication: Palm Beach Post Jeff Romance / USA TODAY NETWORK

Welp, this hasn’t been a pleasant start to the season for everyone’s favorite hater. Needless to say, my Duke article was quite popular with the mouth breathing masses. I’d like to personally thank Freezing Cold Takes for the uptick in views. After losing a football game to Duke, some might walk away from the hate game. Dishing out hate is fun, but most people don’t have the stomach to take it. Luckily for y’all, I’m not “most people.”As the kids say these days, “I’m built different.”

I hate to start off like this, but the Owl is a bad ass mascot. Our resident backyard owl murders more chipmunks and rabbits than I care to imagine (seriously, I don’t want to imagine a giant pile of rodent corpses). In the spring he likes to catch young rabbits and eviscerate them in the tree next to my bedroom window. If you’re not aware, a rabbit’s scream sounds like someone being tortured (in this case, the screams are justified I suppose). Waking up to the sound of tortured screaming outside the bedroom window at 3 AM is jarring, even if it’s the third time you’ve heard it in a week. Even more unsettling are victory hoots the owl unleashes after the screaming stops. It’s one thing to kill for food, but this owl kills for pleasure. I don’t mess with owls.

Anyway, back to the task at hand, I can’t make fun of their mascot because I don’t want to upset backyard owl. Plus I enjoy Tootsie Pops. The thing is, after the Duke Hate article, I want to be careful about making grand pronouncements about Clemson football. I think we’re better than FAU, but it’s possible we turn 6 redzone trips into 3 points, have 2 blocked field goals returned for touchdowns, and lose the game 32-31 after fumbling the victory formation snap into the end zone for a safety. If you’re looking for a quote on my true feelings about FAU please use this one.

“I think Florida Atlantic is a fine institution and their football team is extremely adequate.”

I may be “built different” but I’m not “built stupid”, a man can only make Freezing Cold Takes so many times before he learns his lesson.

I do feel fortunate. Despite our players being possessed by the spirit of the 2004 Tommy Bowden Clemson team, the football Gods have blessed me with Tom Herman this week. Before I get started, yes, I know this could be construed as hypocritical. More and more, Dabo looks like he smells strongly of Brut aftershave and shakes your hand a little too hard, but at least he’s not Tom Herman.

Quick, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Tom Herman?

You thought about the pee chart, didn’t you?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a moment to be acquainted with one of the highlights of Tom Herman’s time at Texas.

You’ve got to have the smallest shred of sympathy for Tom. At one point the dude was wildly successful in his profession. He took Houston to a 13-1 record in 2015. That’s an incredible achievement. According to his Wikipedia page, he’s a member of Mensa! This guy is smart, successful, and obscenely wealthy, but the only image his name conjures in my brain is a chart assessing the color of his players urine.

That’s got to be tough to live down.

It’s hard to feel too bad for Tom. He received 15 million dollars from the University of Texas to stop coaching their football team. When your job security is in the hands of people with unlimited money because their great-great grandfather happened to own a few acres of scrub brush that ended up being worth a billion dollars, things can turn quickly. One season your star quarterback is holding the Sugar Bowl trophy and declaring Texas “back”, and two short seasons later you walk out onto your porch one morning and find the contents of your office, 15 millions dollars in a brief case and a request to return your parking pass within 10 business days. When you coach Texas, you’re always one booster temper tantrum away from the unemployment line (Don’t get too comfortable Sark.).

Boca is the perfect landing spot for Coach Herman. If nothing else, it’s a great place to rest, get your affairs in order and wait for the inevitable. After his experience with the Longhorns, I’m sure Tom, like most Boca residents, will enjoy the coaching time he has left while basking in the warm Florida sun. Look at the man he’s replacing. Willie Taggart came to Boca after the Florida State job aged his coaching career several decades in a few short seasons. He spent four years in Boca enjoying the shuffleboard and bingo and now he’s passed on from the head coaching world. I understand the Baltimore Ravens were waiting at the end of Coach Taggart’s college football tunnel, welcoming him to the head coaching afterlife with a job as their running back coach.

He enjoyed his retirement, and in the end, left nothing but 3 copies of a 4 page playbook, a first edition copy of “Leadership for Dummies” (never opened), and a participation ribbon from the 2020 Montgomery Bowl to memorialize his time at FAU. Like so many Boca dwellings, the Goodwill stopped by to pick up everything left in Willie’s office after the estate sale and finished up right before the cleaning crew came in to replace the carpets, open the windows to air out the smell, and prepare for the arrival of Coach Herman. In another four years, they’ll repeat the same process for the next coach looking to peacefully drift into head coaching oblivion.

I would normally wrap this up with some inspiring smack talk about Florida Atlantic. I’d talk about how they’re not good enough to be on the same field as Clemson. Maybe say something about how they’re going to take their beating, grab their paycheck, and be back in Boca for brunch bingo at the senior center on Sunday (it’s the social event of the week folks. If you’re not there, people talk about you). The thing is, if you can lose to Duke in football, you can lose to anyone in football. It’s one thing to drop a game to Notre Dame or Tennessee, but losing to Duke has shaken my confidence to the core. Like I said above, Clemson should win this game. In fact, Clemson should end this game before half time, but will they?

No clue. I don’t wish venture a guess on what horrors await us on Saturday night.

Let’s hope for the best, otherwise Dabo might open the desk drawer of his new office a few years down the road and find a chart notating an athletes level of hydration based on the color of their urine, and how that correlates with the respect they have their teammates, friends, and family. If that happens, it’s best that Dabo heed the advice handed out to most Boca residents when they move into town.

Don’t think too hard about why the apartment is open and not to worry, the smell will clear out in a few weeks.

See y’all next week.