For the fourth year in a row the Tigers are dancing and of course so is TheClemsonInsider.com. As we follow the Tigers we will bring you a daily blog of our trip to help give everyone a feel for TCI March Madness.
When the Tigers found out Sunday night that they would play in Dayton on Tuesday and then have to head to Tampa with a win it sent everyone scrambling to make their plans, that of course included TCI. Things got even more difficult Sunday night when the Thursday times were announced and Clemson found out they would play at 12:15 on Thursday.
For TCI there was never a question of if we would travel to Dayton to cover the Tiger’s first NCAA game, the only question were the logistics. Well Monday the decision was made to drive to Dayton on Monday/Tuesday, then to drive down Wednesday to Tampa after the Tigers win on Tuesday night.
Monday night’s departure was around 5:30 from Charlotte. Mapquest had it as a 7:30 drive, but it turned out to be less.
Of course we had to figure out how to do The Tiger Blitz radio show on Monday night. We decided I would just do the show on the road so I called in as I drove through the mountains. The good news is I only lost coverage one time so the show went on as I progressed towards Dayton.
As I was driving through the West Virginia I stopped at the first toll booth and the guy collecting my $2 told me “you won’t be getting paste the second round”. It took me a second to remember the Tigers would be playing West Virginia on Thursday if they win on Tuesday night. As I drove away from the toll booth I could hardly believe that I got harassed by the guy in the booth.
My feelings for West Virginia grew worse as I had to go through two more toll booth’s giving $2 at each. As I drove through crappy roads I wondered what they did with all of the money they collect from the tolls. They sure don’t use it to work on the roads as they were the worst I drove through on the trip and they were the only state to have tolls. The good news is I did remember the tolls so I had stopped to get some cash before heading into West Virginia. Of course I also had to pickup a Cheerwine and some Junior Mints.
My original play was to drive until 11 or 11:30 and then stop a few hours short of Dayton. As I drove up highway 35 in West Virginia and into Ohio there were no places to stop as I quickly found out. I finally stopped at the Hampton Inn in Jackson, Ohio to only find out they were sold out, probably because they were the only hotel for 100 miles.
So as I chatted with Lee on the phone I decided I might as well finish my trip. I made it to Dayton around 1:00 and drove around searching for a hotel. The good news is I found a room at the Courtyard right across the street from the University of Dayton arena. Probably should have worn my shorts and flip flops to Dayton as I froze when getting into the hotel.
Day 1 of the TCI Dancing with the Tigers was in the books and TCI world headquarters is now setup right across the street from the arena. Hopefully this trip will include a drive to Tampa on Wednesday, not a return to Charlotte.