Monday, March 28, 2005

Recruiting update: Clemson takes an early lead

From the unstoppable Phil Kornblut. Sounds like good news so far.

ATTENDANCE QUESTIONS: A writer at Tigernet attempts to debunk the perception that the crowds at Clemson football games were bigger in the 1980s than they are now.

I'm not too convinced by this. First of all, we have to consider how attendance is being determined. Is Clemson counting tickets sold to games as opposed to the actual number of tickets torn at the gates? Because I seem to recall that season-ticket sales have remained strong through the years. However, having attended games at Clemson since 1976, I tend to agree with those who say that attendance is down compared with the 1980s. Yes, roughly the same number of people have purchased tickets, but to my eye it seems that a slightly smaller percentage seem to be going through the turnstiles.

And then there's this bit:

Tommy West, widely regarded as one of the more popular coaches in Clemson football�s recent history, saw an average of only 69,120 fans per game in Death Valley.

Forget the dubious point about Tommy West's popularity (he certainly wasn't very popular with many fans I know), and whatever criteria the author is using to determine Clemson's "recent football history." Twenty years? Thirty?

The 1998 season under West, when Clemson went 3-8, is an example of what I was talking about earlier. I went to several home games that season, and even on days with perfect weather, it certainly looked like there were around 50,000-55,000 people in the stands. Heck, I remember going to a game that season and some old alum JUST HANDED ME two tickets on the 50-yard line in the North stands right before I went in. He couldn't use them, and wanted somebody to have them.

So I entered the stadium with three unused tickets in my pocket. (I'd been using the two season tickets my dad had, and then this guy gave me two more, and I used one of his.) Did that represent four people at that game for attendance purposes, even though only one ticket was torn? Or just one?

I don't know. Can anybody clarify?

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