I bet I got 10 phone calls yesterday asking me if I heard the news and what I thought about Tommy Bowden getting fired. Truthfully, I am a Clemson fan win or lose, up or down. I’m not a bandwagon jumper. I like to believe that one of my few positive character traits is loyalty. I’ve been a loyal Clemson fan for as long as I can remember. Like most folks “from around here,” you just have to pick sides. Growing up I had several family members and friends who went to Clemson. In fact, my Great Uncle went to Clemson and I have his 1930 class ring when Clemson was called, “Clemson A & M College.”
I can remember Coach “Red” Parker (losing record), Charlie Pell (ACC Championships – “dirty” program), Danny Ford (National Championship – “dirty” program), Ken Hatfield (ran “flex bone” offense, last to win an ACC Championship, cleaned up the program, but not a good old boy Danny Ford), Tommy West (could have been a Danny Ford offspring, but in way over his head), and now Tommy Bowden.
Personally, I like Tommy Bowden. I believe he loves the Lord, loves his family, and loves students (He got in trouble once for taking the whole football team to Newspring Church). He ran a clean program, raised graduation rates, and had an overall winning percentage. He was also 7-2 against South Carolina. But the reality of the big time business of College Football, that’s simply not enough. Was he a great game day coach? No. Would I have liked to see Clemson win the ACC championship and maybe more during his tenure? Absolutely.
But truthfully, in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter. It’s just football – a fun diversion. But don’t worry about Tommy. He’ll be fine. I’m sure he’ll be coaching somewhere next year. And to soften the blow he will get a nice 3.5 million dollar buy out over the next 6 years. Too bad our state doesn’t put the same effort, energy, and money in, hmm, let’s see. . . education. When is the last time the leading news story on all 3 local channels was about the search for your son or daughter’s English teacher? Or when is the last time someone asked, “Did you hear who Clemson hired to teach Mechanical Engineering?” “I wonder who’s going to be the next law professor at USC?” I know, I know – it’s football that pays that professor’s salary. But we do live in an upside/down world.
Good luck Tommy! Go Tigers!
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