By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
When it comes to knowing the game of football, few know more than former Clemson head coach Danny Ford. When it comes to technology, few know less.
“When my computer does not come on in the mornings, I call my wife. If she is mad at me for any reason that day, I will not get on there all day because it will not get fix. I can’t fix it,” he said jokingly.
Ford, who compiled a 96-29-4 record in 11 seasons as the Tigers’ head coach from 1978-’89, will bring both his strength and his weakness together this fall when he and local radio show personality Mark Sturgis host a Clemson game day video cast at coachescabana.com.
“It’s going to fun,” said Sturgis, the host of Straight Up with Sturg on Clemson’s Flagship Station WCCP-FM in Clemson. “It’s a way for fans to interact with Coach Ford and hear what he has to say about the game and much more.”
Coachescabana.com started last year when former Oklahoma head coach Barry Switzer started to breakdown the Sooners’ games from under his cabana, which is pool side at his Oklahoma home. Switzer’s house just happens to be across the street from where the Sooners play so he would have some of his former players stop by and chat during a live video broadcast while the Sooners were playing.
Ford will be doing about the same thing, except he will be doing it from Wild Wing Café in Anderson, which is about 12 miles up the road from Clemson’s Memorial Stadium. Ford will be one of 14 legendary coaches from across the country to do an interactive video show during a game broadcast. Other broadcast will be coming from schools like Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas and Penn State to name a few.
“It’s just a way for fans to discuss the game with Coach Ford and ask him his opinion on things during the game, at halftime or when the game is over,” Sturgis said.
Clemson fans will be able to talk to Ford through his official twitter account @CoachDannyFord, which he and the site launched last week.
“I don’t know how to tweet or know how to email or any of that stuff,” Ford said. “Luckily, I will have Sturg there to help me with that.”
Logistically, Ford says they have everything figured out on how the show is going to work except for the Georgia game. That’s when he will be inducted into Clemson’s Ring of Honor at Memorial Stadium on Aug. 31.
“We have not figured out how we are going to do that on either end,” he said.
As for the rest of the games, including the Tigers’ six remaining home games, he says he will be up at Wild Wings in Anderson about 45 minutes or so before Clemson kicks off each Saturday. The video cast will come on 10 minutes before the start of every Clemson game and will stay on 30 minutes after.
Ford says he will continue to tailgate and see his friends on game days in Clemson, but he will leave a little bit earlier so he can be in route to Anderson.
“They say it is fun, and I guess it is,” he said. “I told Coach (Dabo) Swinney and them that I was going to be doing it, and hopefully it is helpful to them. It will not interfere or anything in what they are doing in trying to build a football program.
“I’ll try to be a benefit to their football program, but at the same time I have to be truthful. If there is a situation you don’t agree with and somebody asks, you have to tell them what you believe. I’m a little leery about doing that. That’s one reason why I stay away from football practice and away from that side of town. I hardly go over there at all except for game day.”
Ford says he is excited about interacting with the Clemson fans on game days, but he wants them to understand, though he will be an analyst, he will do it with the respect he has for Swinney and his staff.
“You can do it in the correct way. First of all, I’m not an expert in what they are trying to do. I think I know football and understand football, but understanding what they are trying to do in a particular game and game plan and all that, you don’t know,” he said. “Unless you are there in the meetings, unless you’re there for all the practices and see it, you never know why they make calls or do what they do. You may disagree, but that does not mean you are right.
“That’s what people have to understand. If I have an opinion on something and they call, write in or tweet about it that does not mean I’m right at all. That’s just what I would have done based on what I saw. I have an advantage, I have already seen the play, and (the coaches) have not. They make all of their calls beforehand.”
It’s a little exciting for Ford and he is looking forward to the show, even if he isn’t the most technologically sound person.
“I’m going in a little bit blind because I do not understand all this technology stuff at all,” he said smiling. “But, we are going to have fun and I’m looking forward to doing it.”