I had forgotten how much I love Clemson football. It’s good from the couch, but nothing compares to actually sitting in that vast sea of orange. Of course, today was hellishly hot, so the sea of orange was also a sea of sweat. But it was fabulous… so, so much fun.
There’s one particular tradition with Clemson football that always gives me goosebumps… it was described by ABC’s Brent Musburger as “the most exciting 25 seconds in college football.” For those of you who aren’t Clemson folk, I’m referring to the team’s entrance into the stadium. The players pile off a bus, rub the rock, the cannon goes off, the crowd goes crazy, and the players run down the hill. Got it on camera today… it’s not great quality because off all the ruckus around me, but I was quite proud of myself :)
And a little background/historical info…
“Running Down the Hill”
Probably the most highly publicized tradition of the Clemson Tigers football team is the entrance, referred to as “The Most Exciting 25 Seconds in College Football.” The players load into two buses which, escorted by a policeman on a motorcycle, makes their way around the stadium to the east side where The Hill is located. This scene is shown on the JumboTron inside the stadium. When the buses arrive at the east side, the players get out and gather at the top of the hill, rubbing Howard’s Rock. A cannon sounds, the band begins to play Tiger Rag, and the players race down the hill. The spelling of C-L-E-M-S-O-N during this event is one of, if not the, loudest times it will spelled out during the game.
And you may ask… what exactly is Howard’s Rock?
Named for legendary Coach Frank Howard, Howard’s Rock was brought to Clemson’s Death Valley from Death Valley, Calif. by 1919 alumnus S.C. Jones. The rock was first placed on a pedestal at the top of “The Hill” in September 1966. Before a game against Wake Forest, Howard told his players, “Give me 110% or keep your filthy hands off my rock.” The players rubbed the rock and won that game. Today, the white flint rock still sits at the top of “The Hill,” and Tiger football players rub it for good luck before each home game.