Note from Clemson: Don’t Be Surprised When You Actually Win The Big One

dabo-swinney-looks-up

Clemson Actually Won! Coach Swinney said “Only God could do something like this.” Amen brother. Down by 10 at halftime, Coach Swinney told his team

We’re going to win the game, because we love each other. I don’t know how, but we’re going to win the game.

Period. End of discussion. And after the game, Coach Swinney gave us the moral of the story: Clemson’s win gives us all hope, because “greatness is for everyone.”

So it shouldn’t be a surprise when our dreams come true. It shouldn’t be a shock to the system or a jolt to the nerves when everything we’ve worked for and everything we’ve hoped for and everything we’ve longed for actually and finally comes true and bursts through the front door.  

I am so happy for Coach Swinney.  I am. He deserves this win way more than most coaches that have won. And Deshaun Watson, Clemson’s star QB, was as confident and convinced and certain that his team would win as any other player ever.

Alabama did not lose the game; Clemson won the game, fair and square. Because Alabama was ranked No. 1 and Clemson was No. 2, it was an upset. But make no mistake, like it or not, the better team won. And Clemson clearly was the better team. And to quote Coach Swinney once more, “the win was not an upset, it was an expectation.”

The legend of Dabo Swinney just hit No. 1 on the charts and it will stay there for some time. The coach that almost nobody at Clemson wanted or heard of just won a national championship. And they didn’t just win, the won with ONE SECOND left on the clock! Wow.  Talk about a dramatic, come from behind finish. Some of the headlines spoke of the spectacular win:

Clemson Shocks Alabama to Win National Championship.

Clemson Wins National Championship in Thriller.

Clemson Stuns Alabama To Win National Championship.

Rarely is a sequel as good as the original, but Clemson rewrote the ending in its national championship story against Alabama. It was a triumph savored by Tigers players past and present.

Alabama v. Clemson II was everything we hoped it would be. The sequel was even better than the original. Legends were born as Clemson scored in the final seconds of the 2017 CFP National Championship, stunning Alabama with a thrilling victory.

Over the final 4:38 of the game, the teams would score three touchdowns and trade the lead three times, with the Tigers ultimately ending the night and the season on top the sport via a 35-31 final score. That insanity triggered a frenetic schedule that would continue for the coach, his family and his team that would carry on until well after most of everyone else on the East Coast was fast asleep.

He was already the best player in program history, but after coming up short in one title game and missing out on two Heismans, Deshaun Watson sealed the deal with an epic game-winning drive. At 12:27 a.m., the game finally ended after the game clock hung up on one final second for more than five minutes as officials made a ruling on the onside kick by Clemson.

What a way to win the big one.

http://www.usatoday.com/videos/sports/ncaaf/acc/2017/01/10/swinney-clemson-win-gives-hope-%27greatness-everyone%27/96393442/

Can Clemson Beat Alabama? (Round II)

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I like Clemson’s Head Coach, Dabo Swinney. I do. And in Alabama v. Clemson II, I DO think the Tigers can hang with the Alabama Crimson Tide tomorrow night. If Clemson pulls it out and pulls it off, the game will go down to the wire, which means I’ll need to stay up way past my bedtime to watch. Phooey.

Tomorrow night is college football’s big stage: the College Football Playoff National Championship. And on that big stage lies the 60 minutes that separates No. 2 Clemson from winning its first national championship in 35 seasons. To do so, the Tigers must beat No. 1 Alabama, the most successful program of our time. A victory by the Crimson Tide would be the school’s fifth in eight seasons, all under head coach Nick Saban.

Alabama is the college football team everyone loves to hate. People hate and love Alabama basically because of their colorful, crimson character of a coach, Nick Saban. Because of Saban, “‘Bama has been (and will be?) the standard in college football for a long time,” Swinney said before last year’s game. So, the question is this: can Dabo do it? Will Dabo do it? Or more pointedly, how might Dabo do it?

I ask myself these questions each and every day. Can I do it? Will I do it? Or more pointedly, how might I do it – whatever “it” is? And the answer is simply this: if you want to achieve you must first believe. And Dabo is driven and determined and set and settled on beating his alma mater tonight. Good for him. And his win tonight, if he can notch it, will speak volumes and teach another life lesson and set another sports precedent for the rest of us to follow.

On the flip side, Dabo’s desire and drive and desperation just might spell and equal an UPSET for Alabama. Make no mistake about it; even though the Tigers are No. 1, if they win, it WILL be an upset, because Nick Saban will be UPSET!

So here’s to the Clemson Tigers and cheers and hats off to Dabo Swinney. Because if he pulls this one off, he will have kept me up and kept us all awake and keep the college football world roused up and hunkered down to do it. Because it’s going to take some doing to do this. But isn’t that what we all face every day?

Can Clemson Beat Alabama?

saban-cover by Monte Burke

With Alabama’s help, tonight I can be in bed at a decent hour because the Brick Red will take the Tigers to the woodshed. I like Clemson’s Head Coach, Dabo Swinney. I do. But I don’t think the Tigers can hang with the Alabama Crimson Tide tonight. I don’t. If Clemson pulls it out and pulls it off, the game will go down to the wire, which means I’ll need to stay up way past my bed time to watch. Phooey.

Tonight is college football’s big stage: the College Football Playoff National Championship. And on that big stage lies the 60 minutes that separates No. 1 Clemson from winning its first national championship in 34 seasons. To do so, the Tigers must beat No. 2 Alabama, the most successful program of our time. A victory by the Crimson Tide would be the school’s fourth in seven seasons, all under head coach Nick Saban.

Alabama is the college football team everyone loves to hate. People hate and love Alabama basically because of their colorful, crimson character of a coach, Nick Saban. Because of Saban, “‘Bama has been (and will be?) the standard in college football for a long time,” Swinney said Saturday.  So, the question is this: can Dabo do it? Will Dabo  do it? Or more pointedly, how might Dabo do it?

I ask myself these questions each and every day. Can I do it? Will I do it? Or more pointedly, how might I do it – whatever “it” is?  And the answer is simply this: if you want to achieve you must first believe. And Dabo is driven and determined and set and settled on beating his alma mater tonight. Good for him.  And his win tonight, if he can notch it, will speak volumes and teach another life lesson and set another sports precedent  for the rest of us to follow.

On the flip side, Dabo’s desire and drive and desperation just might spell and equal an UPSET for Alabama. Make no mistake about it; even though the Tigers are No. 1, if they win, it WILL be an upset, because Nick Saban will be UPSET!

So here’s to the Clemson Tigers and cheers and hats off to Dabo Swinney. Because if he pulls this one off, he will have kept me up and kept us all awake and keep the college football world roused up and hunkered down to do it. Because it’s going to take some doing to do this. But isn’t that what we all face every day?

Dabo Swinney: #Bring Your Own Guts!

Dabo Swinney
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney

William Christopher “Dabo” Swinney, the head coach of the Clemson Tigers, will play for a National Championship on Monday Night against the vaunted and seemingly invincible Alabama Crimson Tide.  I’m rooting for Dabo, not only because of his insanely cool, country boy name, and not because of his faith or the fact that he’s had a life of family pain and poverty, but because of his manly, macho motto: “Bring Your Own Guts!”

Dabo, that’s right Dabo (how do you get the name Dabo?), took in his mother while playing at Alabama. ALABAMA!? Wow. How’s that for irony? He played AND coached at Alabama, and now he’s got to go through ‘BAMA to reach his ultimate goal. Dabo also reconciled with his alcoholic father before his death. Tear-jerker stuff.

Monday’s championship game will not be his life’s biggest battle, just the most recent.  And I just checked on the name “Dabo:” this nickname was given to him as an infant by his parents when his then-18-month-old brother would try to enunciate “that boy” when referring to Swinney. Ok. I guess that’s just a southern thing.

Anyway, I like Dabo. I like the name and I like his game. I like his maxim and his motto. “Bring Your Own Guts.” This principle and proverb applies to sports and to life. It applies to the pros and the para-professionals. And it applies to collegiate champions and to high school letterman alike. Everyone needs guts, but you’ve got to bring your own.  You can’t live off of mine, and you can’t make it without yours. It’s that simple, and yet it’s that profound.

When I perspire, I can inspire and I can preach hellfire, but at the end of the day, you better bring your own heart and your own spirit and your own mettle and your own muster. Because everyone needs to learn how to aspire to be all they can be. In other words, bring your own guts.

I like another thing Dabo said. He’s a tough coach but he loves and is loved by his players. That’s why he’s right on another note: “Rules without relationship lead to rebellion.” Wow.  The Apostle Paul couldn’t have said it better. Rules, rules, rules.  They breed refusal and rejection and resentment and ultimately rebellion. But with relationship, rules restore and redeem and reconcile. It’s so spiritual. And yet many still don’t get it.

But I do. And I hope you do too. So thanks Dabo. Thanks for being a walk on at Alabama and for graduating with honors and for having the guts to coach Clemson with gusto. Alabama may look good, but your guts will hopefully lead to Clemson’s glory on Monday night.