Let me start out by saying I am not here to put down someone else’s traditions.
Traditions are what make college football so different than other sports. It is what separates itself from the NFL.
Every school has their traditions. Ohio State has the band dotting the “I” in Ohio. Auburn has “War Eagle” and “Toomer’s Corner.” Florida State has “Chief Osceola.” Georgia Tech has “The Ramblin’ Wreck.” Georgia has “UGA.” Southern Cal has “The Traveler” and the list goes on and on throughout college football.
Clemson of course has its many traditions as well, and I don’t have to really spell them out to you. If you are reading this column, more than likely you know them as well as I do.
This year will mark my 22nd season covering college football and 15th covering the Tigers. I have seen a lot of great college football traditions in person, keep in mind, and I can’t rank them because they are all special in one way or another.
However, I do have an opinion when it comes to Clemson’s “Running down the Hill” prior to every home football game. I will not say it is the best tradition in college football because, like I said, everyone’s traditions are special and unique in their own way.
However, when it comes to the category of best stadium entrances, no one, and I mean no one, can rival Clemson’s. It is unique because of how it started. It was not a marketing campaign created by the school’s marketing department. There is no loud rock ‘n’ roll music blaring from the loud speakers. There is no chicken trying to do a magic act while the theme song from a popular movie is being played. There is no pomp and circumstance.
Nope, it is simply a team running down the hill into Death Valley, while the school’s fight song is played by its own marching band.
Again, you all know the story of the Hill and Howard’s Rock so I don’t have to tell you that story.
What got me on my soap box was this tweet below.
I was stunned that it called Virginia Tech’s “Enter Sandman” the best tradition in college football. First off, I just named a bunch of traditions, including Clemson’s Running down the Hill, that are just as good as Enter Sandman.
But to say it is quite possibly the greatest tradition in college football is ludicrous when it is not even the grandest entrance in college football. It’s a “tradition” that is really not old enough to be even called a tradition. It is not even 20 years old.
And before a Virginia Tech fan attacks me and accuses me or judges me by saying something like, “How can you judge it? You obviously have not seen it in person.”
Actually I have. I saw it in 2006, 2011 and 2017. It is a great tradition. It is a great entrance. It gets the stadium jacked up and Lane Stadium is a great college football environment. I will not argue those points.
However, “Enter Sandman” is not “The most exciting 25 seconds in college football.” That resides in Clemson’s Death Valley when an act of convenience 76 years ago turned into the greatest stadium entrance in college football and one of the best traditions in college football.
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