Sunday, October 31, 2004

Clemson 26, N.C. State 20: Hey, we're getting better!

Now that was a satisfying win. Combined with UNC's upset of No. 3 Miami (next week's opponent) and Maryland shocking Florida State, I have a lot more hope for the season now. I think we'll definitely get to a bowl game, and we could even end up in a decent one.

GAME STORIES: "Tigers send 'em Packing," says the Greenville News; "Last-gasp stand boosts bowl hopes," says The State; "Tigers' defense earning stripes," says the Augusta Chronicle.

THE STATS: Here's a complete statistical summary of the game.

OTHER STORIES: All hail the defense. Justin Miller can do it all. Kicker Jad Dean is automatic (he hasn't missed a kick all year). Bart Wright notes Clemson's improved play, and Bob Gillespie thinks the Tigers have finally shaken off that disastrous loss to Georgia Tech in September.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

N.C. State has a tough defense

This will be the second week in a row that the Tigers will be facing a highly ranked defensive unit.

STUDENT TROUBLES: Here's a story about the age-old campus conflict between athletes and non-athletes. When I was in school, we always cheered like hell for the players on the field and tried to not to get our asses kicked by them off the field. A lot of them were nice guys, but a lot of them were Class A jerks, too.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

LATE-BREAKING RED SOX UPDATE: I almost forgot. On Wednesday night, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. It's the team's first world title since 1918, and has effectively closed the books on a rather large cottage industry of writers, whiners and hangers-on who, for some perverse reason, enjoy being associated with these "beautiful losers" and their beautiful ballpark.

OK, in all seriousness, I'm glad the Sox won. It really is a great story. But the main reason for this update is to share a semi-Sox-related complaint I sent off to 7-Eleven, a trusted name in the convenience-store business. Here goes (my fiancee thinks this is best read in the voice of Ron White):

To: Whom it may concern

Re: Ridiculous denial of beer sale
I left my job in Tysons Corner (approximately 2 miles from the 7-Eleven in question) at about 11:45 and pulled into the store at 11:56 (that was according to the store's clock). I wanted to buy some beer so I could celebrate the Red Sox's historic victory in the World Series.
I was the only customer in the store at the time, and I stepped up to the counter to pay for the beer just as the clock rolled over to 11:58. However, the clerk informed me that I had to have the beer "off the premises" by midnight, and he refused to sell it to me.

I guess he thought he was quoting Virginia state law or something, but according to the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control's "Retail Licensee Guide," which can be viewed online at (note the section that begins on page 16, and especially the beer-sale-at-11:58 question on page 17), my transaction NEEDED TO BE COMPLETED by midnight. There is no language AT ALL about beer being "off the premises" by midnight. Unless this guy is unable to count change like a normal person (and I kind of doubt that, because he definitely had two eyes and two hands), I should have been out the door and in my car by 11:59. Easily.

Anyway, back to my story. After the clerk told me I had to have the beer "off the premises" by midnight, I showed him the $10 bill I was holding in my hand, noted that the clock read 11:58, and politely informed him that that would not be a problem. However, this genius had it in his head that it WOULD be a problem, refused to sell me the beer and yanked the six-pack off the counter. I asked if he was kidding. He said he wasn't. I wanted to make sure, so I once again asked if he was kidding. He again assured me he wasn't. (I'll give him a tiny bit of credit; he was polite and said he was sorry he was unable to sell me the beer.)

I left the store at 11:59, beerless, pissed off and with decidedly less goodwill toward 7-Eleven, Inc. It's not like he checked the register and saw that its internal clock would show a beer sale after midnight. (I've seen cash registers that won't allow alcohol to be sold at times that are illegal -- a little beeper goes off or something when you hit the beer/wine key at 12:01. Surely 7-Eleven, Inc., has such devices.) He just flat-out denied me a beer sale because he apparently didn't know the damn law.
Look, I'm a fairly easy-going guy. In most situations, I probably wouldn't have minded too much, but, Jesus, THE RED SOX HAD JUST WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!
The purpose of a convenience store is to be convenient, right? People pay $8.29 for a six-pack they can get for $5.89 at the grocery store because, oh, let's see: IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO GET TO THE GROCERY STORE AND GO THROUGH THE CHECK-OUT LINE BEFORE MIDNIGHT!!
I'm not really looking for any restitution for this or anything. I just want to bring this troubling situation to your attention. Please let the people buy beer at 11:58 p.m. It's a win-win situation for everybody.

Thank you.

I haven't heard anything yet from 7-Eleven, but I'll let you know if they write back.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

It's another season on the brink for Clemson

This article looks at Tommy Bowden's trend of scrambling to qualify for a bowl game. I don't know about you, but that's not a very promising trend.

OFFENSIVE CURE NEEDED: Hopefully, Clemson will find one. (More here.)

2005 SCHEDULE RELEASED: Clemson will play Miami, Florida State and Boston College at home next season, along with Georgia Tech. We'll also host Texas A&M and Temple. That's right, Diva: Temple! (Maybe that'll give you a reason to bring some Philly-area friends to Tigertown.)

A SUBTLE PATTERN EMERGES: And for Clemson's season, that bodes well, if you believe these kinds of things.

COACHING AND THE BIG BUCKS: A perspective from The State.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Defense could push Tigers to postseason

If they keep playing well, that is. And here's a story about Reggie Herring, Clemson's former defensive coordinator who now does the same job at N.C. State, the Tigers' opponent this week.
But wait! There's more! Here's a comparison of Clemson's defensive record under Herring and under current defensive czar John Lovett.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here, here and here.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Clemson 10, Maryland 7: A snoozer until the end, but a win's a win

Dad and I had a good time tailgating, and we had some pretty good seats, but this was a really boring game. Don't get me wrong; the defense was good again, and we definitely needed a win, but I'd traveled a long way and hoped to see something more exciting. If you haven't read about the game, read about it here.

Anyway, sorry for the lack of posts since Friday. I've been traveling again.

CONSERVATIVE PLAY AHEAD? Clemson's offensive woes may force the Tigers to play more conservatively.

Yeah, so I guess we can expect to see more of those crappy draw plays that fool nobody.

Boise, here we come.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Special teams have been special for Clemson this year

They're responsible for a lot of our scoring, which I think says a lot about how our team has done this season. (More here.)

STATHAM TO START: Maryland quarterback Joel Statham will "definitely" start Saturday against Clemson.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Whitehurst frustrated by his poor start

The Heisman Trophy is gone, but there's still a lot of football left to play, and quarterback Charlie Whitehurst can still turn it around.

MARYLAND GAME LOOMS LARGE: The Tigers' turnaround can begin in earnest this week. (More here.)

COLLINS, STRAIGHT UP, IS GOOD: Clemson receiver Michael Collins stepped in last week and played well.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Hey, we've got a real shot in the next game!

Yes, Maryland looks quite beatable. However, Clemson coach Tommy Bowden hasn't done too well against Maryland coach Ralph "We must protect this pizza" Friedgen. (More here.)

WE'RE IN THE ATLANTIC: The ACC has unveiled its division name and assignments for the expanded league. (More here.) It looks like Fanblogs' Kevin Donahue was right; the divisions will be called the Atlantic and the Coastal. Here's how the divisions break down:

Atlantic: Clemson, Maryland, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Boston College, Florida State.

Coastal: Virginia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia Tech, Miami.

There's a new logo, too. It looks a lot like the old one.

PREGAME NOTES: Here are the voluminous pregame notes from the SID's office for the Maryland game.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Defensive hustle impresses Bowden (and the fans, too)

Clemson's excellent defensive performance in Saturday's 35-6 victory over Utah State is the talk of the moment (more here).

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Clemson 35, Utah State 6: Thank god, we finally won!!

Whew. Well, that's out of the way. Now we can win the rest of our games and go to the Tire Bowl.

Next week, we play Maryland, a team that looks very beatable. So, let's go beat them.

GAME STORIES: "Tigers rip Utah State," says The Greenville News; "Great finish ends slide," says The State; "Clemson cruises to home victory," says the Augusta Chronicle; "Clemson pours it on during big 2nd half," says the Salt Lake Tribune.

THE STATS: Here's a complete statistical summary of the game.

OTHER STORIES: Well, Bart Wright seems a little less grumpy. We had a lot of sacks on Saturday. The game was therapeutic, too.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Clemson vs. Utah State: We'd better win this one

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, and thank you to my loyal readers who continue to stop by even though I'm a slacker. My slackitude has been caused by a confluence of a) a whacked-out work schedule, b) a wrecked car I had to replace (bought a silver 2004 Toyota Corolla on Friday, and it's one sweet ride) and c) the fact that my Tigers kind of suck. Hopefully that suckitude will be abated somewhat today against the Aggies, who don't sound like they're very good.

Gametime is 1 p.m. It's not on television.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Big plays just aren't happening for the Tigers

Here's a good story on our offensive woes this season, with the biggest woe being the extreme lack of big-gaining plays.

WHERE ARE THE ANSWERS: Clemson's Tommy Bowden keeps looking for them, even though he says he's not going to do anything drastic. The Greenville News' Bart Wright examines Bowden's shifting rationales for the team's crappy start here.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Tigers desperately need a win this week

Clemson's confidence is at a low point, but a win over Utah State would help a great deal.

MIDSEASON REPORT: The State evaluates Clemson (and USC) halfway through the season, and it ain't pretty. Download the PDF here. And Jeff Quinton of Fanblogs examines the rest of Clemson's schedule here.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Virginia 30, Clemson 10: An all-around painful trip

Here's how my day went Thursday: I wrecked my car on the way down to Charlottesville (it was still driveable, but I did about $2000 of damage to it) then watched Virginia dominate Clemson 30-10.

There were some good parts of the trip, though. I got to see my dad, which was great, and we ate a really good dinner at this place called the Aberdeen Barn. It's billed as "Virginia's finest steak house," and I believe it.

Also, it was an absolutely beautiful evening for football.

You guys know all the details by now. I'm just going to link to a couple of columns here and here.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Clemson vs. Virginia: We need this one really badly

I guess that goes without saying. I'll be there tonight rooting on the Tigers.

Gametime is 7:30 p.m. It's on ESPN.

GAME PREVIEWS: I'm really pushed for time this morning, so just go here and here.

You can also read USA Today's preview, though if your staying in a hotel, you probably have already.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Meet Tommy 'What, Me Worry' Bowden

Clemson's coach once again says he's not concerned by the Tigers' horrible 1-3 start. Insert your own snarky comment.

VIRGINIA A FRESH START? That's how Clemson views it. I'll be there Thursday night, and I certainly hope they're right.

ANOTHER ELUSIVE QUARTERBACK: That's what Clemson will face Thursday in Virginia's Marques Hagans. And we've done so well against this type of signal-caller this season, too.

WHITEHURST'S STRUGGLES: Yet another article on Clemson's thus-far-disappointing quarterback. This one is from the Washington Post.

MORE ON THE GAME: Just read this.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here, here and here.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Bowden's 'philosophy' will remain intact, despite setbacks

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden says he's not changing a thing about how he approaches football. Interesting read.

WE SUCK ON THURSDAYS, PART II: Here's an article from The State on our feebleness under the Thursday spotlight.

ONE'S UP, ONE'S DOWN: Here's a column from the Charlottesville paper about how Clemson and Virginia's seasons have gone so far.

TDP SPEAKS: Athletic director Terry Don Phillips shares his thoughts on the state of the athletic department. This will be a weekly feature.

THE NOTEBOOK: Right here.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Coleman may be just the thing to get our motor runnin'

Clemson running back Duane Coleman will be full strength for the Virginia game after nursing a broken foot for several weeks.

FIFTH YEAR COMING? A fifth year of eligibility for football players is being discussed by the NCAA.

WE SUCK ON THURSDAYS Fanblogs' Jeff Quinton reveals the awful truth.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

It's been a painful fall in Tigertown

The State examines where Clemson has fallen down en route to an uninspiring 1-3 start and a rapid departure from the Top 25. And here's a story about our line woes.

THE CAVALIERS ARE NEXT: Here's a quick look-ahead to Virginia, our opponent on Thursday night.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Tigers push it hard in practice this week

Clemson went to full-contact drills and scrimmages twice this week. (More here.) The Tigers are off until Thursday, when they travel to play Virginia.

'I'M PLAYING FOR ME AND DAVID': The State has a nice story on linebacker Nick Watkins, who will be starting just a week after his brother died.

CATCHING ON: Clemson is working on making sure its receivers hold on to the ball.