BucketHatism: Clemson


“ALL RISE!!! Court is now in session. The honorable Bucket Hat King LJ tha Fiasco presiding. Please be seated and come to order”

Good day folks. The BHK is back in the throne of my old Louisville home after a great weekend in the valley of Death referred to as Clemson.  I became so annoyed with hearing other people recap their trip to  Clemson from 2014 that I had to book my stay for our return trip.  On Friday morning, myself and the Bucket Hat Queen loaded up the rental, attached the car flags, and headed South. Being from Wellford, South Carolina (moved to Louisville at 11 years of age) it was nice to go back home and visit family and old friends.  Here are a plethora of notes that I will now present to the court:

  • Driving through the North Carolina mountains and trying to throw up L’s at every passing car is both dangerous and acceptable at the same time. I strongly advise against it……(not really)
  • I booked my hotel months ago but then changed to a different hotel across the street for reasons I still don’t know.  Turns out the first hotel I booked was where the team was staying, and the majority of Card fans.  Nonetheless the staff at Courtyard Greenville-Spartanburg Airport was very nice. We even got a history lesson on Bojangles origins from the clerk.
  • Speaking of Bojangles, it was well worth the wait. I know some people don’t see what the fuss about but I was brought up on it and once the last franchise left Louisville there was a void in my stomach. Within an hour of checking in, void was filled.
  • Ran into a South Carolina Gamecock fan at Ingle’s who was trying his best to act like a UK fan meaning he was failing at every attempt to discredit Clemson. While checking out all we heard was ” They are not the good,  they barely beat Auburn, the barely won at Georgia Tech, their offense is….blah blah blah.  Finally after admitting to being a South Carolina fan I told him “I said the same about you guys when you played UK last week”.  He finished ringing me up in record time……

  • Saw some UofL fans at the hotel on the way back, no luggage, just a 24 pack of Bud Light.  Cardinal Tradition….
  • There were a lot of Clemson fans at our hotel, most traveled in from out of town or other parts of the state to attend the home game. Even saw a Wisconsin fan who was in town on business but rooting for the Cards.
  • The morning of game day in Clemson is like nothing I have seen. I got up around 730 for a Chick-Fil-A run and there were already Clemson fans loading up ice in the coolers and packing up the cars for the 45 min trip.  The staff at Chick-Fil-A even dress in orange shirts.  Ran into another Gamecock fan while leaving who wished us luck. You guys are on a losing streak to UK, no thanks dude…
  • After a brief struggle over which bucket hat to wear we finally departed the hotel and headed to Clemson. The road into Clemson we noticed a ton of signs for boiled peanuts. Big thing down there I suppose??
  • Finding the C-1 lot was like finding Mark Stoops hairline. You know it is there, you have heard about it, but you have to ask several people where it is and you get 3 different answers. Stopped at a fire station and finally got the location which was right next to the fire station. Don’t judge me, none of us are perfect.
  • You hear about the hospitality at Clemson and you think to yourself “no way people are that nice”.  Trust me, there is a way. Our shuttle driver dropped us off at the Library and as soon as we stepped off it was non-stop handshakes, fist bumps, and “hey y’all” from Clemson fans.  Campus was quiet so we were told to go over Bowman Field and head into Tiger Town.
  • Bowman Field is where GameDay was hosted. They were breaking down the stage as we walked by and Rece Davis was just out there walking around and chatting with folks.
  • Downtown Clemson is like Cardinal Towne only there are restaurants on both sides and the sidewalk is pretty narrow. Orange EVERYWHERE.  Still no rude fans, except for the guy who jumped in my snapchat video yelling “Go Tigers”. Ruined a good moment.
  • Stopped in a sushi/pizza bar name 356 to watch some games. Didn’t know sushi and pizza was a good combination but apparently it is.
  • There is no such thing as an empty bar in Tiger Town.
  • Was stopped by a Card Fan in one of the bars and asked if I was that guy with the #BucketHatism hashtag.  I can neither confirm NOR deny that sir….
  • Noticed Charlie’s defense was getting torched again and sparked up a convo with a Card Fan about whether or not he will be back in Texas next year..
  • Had a funny debate with a Clemson fan begging Louisville not to beat them too bad. I asked him if he can ask the crowd not to get too loud.
  • When at a Red Rage Tailgate ask the bartender for the LJ tha Fiasco drink…..thank me later.
  • For the record, Dave and the rest of the RRTG folks were robbed of the SportsCenter tailgate championship. They had everything you need at a tailgate. What they didn’t have, or even need was a fruity drink with mini chicken biscuits and other bull**** hanging out of it. This is a tailgate, not a luau.  And also Marty from ESPN should try sobering up before going on camera. If it sounds like I am bitter then my goal was accomplished.
  • Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) has to DJ every Red Rage Tailgate going forward.  What other playlist goes from Travis Tritt to Future and Drake??? I’ll wait…..
  • Want to play a fun game? Wait till Kelley Dickey has had a beer and then ask him a stat question.  Honestly, the man knows his stuff, I couldn’t stump him.
  • @Paige_S502  mom must attend every tailgate going forward.  Hilarious!
  • The BHK got tipsy at the tailgate but I gotta give props to the Clemson fan who hung out with Cards fans all day long while carrying a Clemson flag. The BHK was not a fan of having the flag placed on his head during a pic.  Fades will be ran next time homey….
  • Card Fans are not going to like what I have to say next, but when it comes to tailgating and fan support we have a way to go. I understand the tradition is not yet there and it will take years to get those things going, but Clemson fans had an understanding and that was nothing was more important than getting in your seat on time and that meant before the pregame even started.  There was a mad dash to the stadium and I got to get a few pics of the Hill and Howard’s Rock. Was asked by a drunk Clemson fan why I was taking a pic, then he answered his own question with “all good”. The student section was full 2 hours prior to kickoff, the DJ was playing music and keeping the crowd jumping, people were packing up their tailgate ahead of time to get to the game on time. The band coming down the street got the same attention as athletes would. It was just a sight to see. Stadium was full at 745, and the game didn’t kick off until a few minutes before 830.  I couldn’t help but to envy that. I can only hope one day Louisville can emulate something like that.
  • My seats were so high it came with a complimentary inhaler….
  • We literally were afraid to lean forward, it was steep and the fall would have been a disaster. Saw a couple of Card fans almost take a tumble. But the view was amazing, Could see the lake, sunset,  and our section overlooked the hill that Clemson runs down.
  • I was wondering how loud is “Clemson Loud”….once my ears stop ringing and I am able to hear and understand you without reading your lips I will let you know.
  • Our section may not have been heard on TV but dammit we were rowdy up there. I think when Mike Rutherford showed up it sent everyone into a frenzy. Or it could have been the Red Rage Tailgate guys.  Probably Jeff Nunn……whatever, we were loud.
  • The crowd noise was evident when we started the game with two false starts.
  • Lamar was rattled early by the pressure but as expected settled down and played well as the game went on.  We tend to forget that this team is fairly young. Lots of sophomores on the offense and this is the first environment they have played in like this. FSU on the road last year was not nearly as full.
  • Mark it down, make a reminder, etch it in stone……Jaire Alexander is going to play on Sunday.  That dude is a rising star and only getting better.
  • Feel bad for Trumaine Washington who was picked on nearly the entire game. His size works against him when facing bigger receivers. We now see why UofL is recruiting bigger, taller defensive backs.
  • I still can’t believe we weren’t able to get a sack on Watson.
  • Shout out to Jeremy Smith who has had issues with fumbles. Had some big runs, big catches, and had a nice game.
  • Cole Hikitini is the next guy to benefit from being coached by Petrino. Gary Barnidge part two!
  • So. Many. Fumbles in this game.
  • No, you didn’t see TBG at the Esso Club……
  • Sorry Clemson fans, but Ben Boulware can and should receive all the hate he can stand from the Louisville fanbase. Never knew trying to bring a player down required squeezing of the neck and throat.  That move is not even allowed in the WWE. I heard his apology but that is baby back bull**** dude…..
  • Apparently pass interference isn’t called for visiting teams……who knew???
  • Clemson fans spell out Clemson more than Cards fans use the CARDS chant. These are facts.  I think I heard 1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4 C-L-E-M-S-O-N in my sleep.
  • Memorial Stadium can really benefit from putting speakers in the upper deck.
  • After halftime I had that feeling we would either respond or I would be walking back to my car early in the 4th quarter. Luckily I was right.
  • Great fight by the Cards.  I know we lost, and it still hurts like hell and will always be that “what-if” game we will always remember but this team has so much heart and I love it.
  • That long kickoff return was the spark Clemson needed. I felt that had we contained him we keep momentum and win that game.
  • On Clemson’s go ahead touchdown I truly believe the Cards thought the play was dead. You saw a lot of Cardinal players stop while the Clemson player proceeded to the end zone.
  • I was pissed at James Quick like a lot of people were, and then I asked myself was it 4th and 12 or 4th and Goal?  That is when it hit me, there was no marker on the field. If someone in the stands is having issues determing where the 1st down spot is, then I excuse someone on the field who may not know. And you can all refer to the video circulating showing the ref celebrating the 4th down stop. Either way, that one yard will haunt our dreams but it will not define our season. 7 games left, lots can happen.
  • I remember vividly looking up at Mike Rutherford as he and his wife stood a few rows back after the game had ended. Myself and my future wife stood in the same manner. Complete shock, utter disappointment, and a long ride back home. Couldn’t feel my legs for a few minutes.
  • Clemson fans were literally running across the street to shake our hands and tell us good game. Some wanted to know about our experience, others wanted to know how loud we thought it got. I am sorry to those I didn’t get to engage in conversation with, my team just saw a great comeback end in heartbreak.
  • The shuttle system and the fact that no one could tell us how to get back to the C lot is my only beef with Clemson. NO ONE could tell us where the shuttles were and then we were told that shuttles were only for American Security and other people with special bracelets which we had no idea we needed. Asked several cops outside the stadium and they all responded with “not sure, I am from _________ South Carolina and just working the game. Wow…
  • We had to walk 35 min back to our car which included being told 3 or 4 different routes that were all wrong.  Thankfully, we blindly walked back into the C lot by mistake and found our car.
  • Clemson has no traffic plan. So I had an hour to sit in the same spot and wait all while replaying that last play.  Got out of traffic at about 230am and still  had to drive back to hotel in Greenville. If I had a complaint, that was my only one. Please Clemson, have people that can help with questions for visitors and work on that traffic plan.

In closing,  we got back to the hotel around 4am and after a shower the BHK crashed hard. Woke up the next morning with the TV on and hearing the recap of the Clemson game again didn’t make the disappointment much better. The BHK has never been around more friendly, welcoming, energetic, die-hard fans than he met at Clemson. Nothing but kind words, well wishes, and overall common courtesy which is something the world can benefit from.  As I packed my suitcase and gathered my belongings I slowly turned to the Bucket Hat Queen and asked her “Despite the loss and the long walk back to the car……would you do this again in 2018 when Louisville comes back”. She took a few seconds and nodded her head.  She asked me the same question and I responded “you bet your ass I would”…………see you in 2 years Death Valley.

Court adjourned (bangs gavel)




3 Replies to “BucketHatism: Clemson”

  1. Just in case you didn’t know. There is a Bojangles in Versailles, Ky. Matter of fact my wife is stopping there today on her way home from Lexington!!

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