Serious question: is there a stronger entity in the sports world than Clemson Football right now?
Seriously, what’s stronger?
Okay… maybe strong is the wrong way to phrase what I mean here. Don’t get me wrong… strong still applies. The strength of the Clemson program both now and well into the future is pretty evident. I spent way longer than I should have comparing the strength of other entities — the Warriors, the Banana Boat Crew, the Patriots, the Golf Vacation Boys, the Yankees, the Cubs, the Penguins, Kentucky Basketball, Alabama Football — in regards to recent success, current standing, foundation, influence in their sport, relevance, star power, reliance on star power, front office/ownership competence, future indicators of success, etc, etc. It’s something I may really break down one day soon that would just take too long here. The main question there is “who’s the safest bet to sustain success going forward?” and Clemson is unequivocally my answer. I think the structure of college football (recruiting, roster security, predictability, structure) tilts the scales heavily in Clemson’s favor – which is part of why Alabama was the clear answer over the last decade. But anyway this is a different discussion for another day.
What I really meant to say here is: is any single entity riding higher than Clemson Football right now? Because I can’t think of one.
They’re the defending champs and current best team in the country. With a quarterback who has effortlessly filled the shoes of a school icon, a generational defensive line, a stable of talent so deep their second team would crack the top ten, and a team from coaches to players that is so fucking nails in big games that I’m genuinely more scared of a slip up against Wake Forest than I would be to play any non-Alabama school in the country.
Deshaun Watson through three NFL starts has:
1) Won in his first career start on three days rest on the road, and did so by bouncing up from a brutal hit to run for a season-altering touchdown.
2) Came within a miraculous final drive of beating Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in Gillette
3) Posted 57 points on a division rival with an NFL rookie record performance. Fifty Seven. In an NFL Game. In his third career start.
In three weeks he’s changed a downtrodden Texans team in to a very legitimate contender, despite some clear flaws, because of the leadership qualities he become so well known for at Clemson.
And now this…
Clemson sweatshirt kid putting an absolute beatdown on Marlins Man without even trying. Why wear a Clemson sweatshirt to a Yankees game? Because that brings successful mojo. That brings a winning attitude and a thriving culture of success into the stadium. Clemson went down 14-0 to Alabama last January. The Yankees went down 3-0 in the first inning yesterday. You think that resilient attitude didn’t wear off on them? You think those guys didn’t look across and see that Tiger orange and say “we got this”? You think Didi Gregorius, who filled the shoes of a Yankee icon, didn’t think of fellow icon-shoe-filler Kelly Bryant before smashing that ball into the right field bleachers? You’re so into the first responders, Marlins Man? How about the first response brought on by my guy Clemson Sweatshirt kid perfectly positioned for the Yankees dugout to see and not behind the plate for the cameras? HUH?
I know that you can’t stay at the top forever.
I know that at some point things will turn. At some point Clemson will lose a game. At some point we won’t have a defensive line that makes grown men cry. At some point we’ll stop producing game-breaking receivers. At some point we won’t have the best quarterback in the country. At some point we won’t be inexplicably doubted anymore. At some point we’ll stop winning EVERY. SINGLE. BIG. GAME. At some point all that will happen. Not now. And not in the foreseeable future. But hey, even the mighty Crimson Tide’s reign at the top ended, right? (It was last year, to Clemson, who is still better than Alabama, with a far superior resume, but is still behind Alabama, because people are stupid.)
At some point this high will end.
But that point ain’t coming any time soon folks.
God damn it’s good to be a Clemson Tiger.
P.S. This popped up while I was writing. Clemson football… literally saving lives now. Unreal.