Archive for Clemson

Sporting another team’s colors

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2020 by macmystery

A Patrick Mahomes/Kansas City Chiefs T-shirt passed on to me by my friend Francie Szarek.

When you get deep into the NFL playoffs, or the playoffs in any sport, most folks’ teams are no longer in the mix.

Some people just kind of roll with it, enjoying the games. Some people have a betting interest.

And then I think there are a lot of fans that kind of pick favorites for the rest of the way. Sometimes because there’s a team they like a little that’s not their team, sometimes because of a particular player or players (I root for the teams that have the most Clemson guys on the roster), and then some are simply rooting AGAINST teams they can’t stand (see the Patriots).

Today, I’m wearing a Kansas City Chiefs/Patrick Mahomes T-shirt passed onto me to wear by my friend Francie Szarek. I think she’d admit she lives in a Pittsburgh Steelers household, but her husband’s Steelers are out and as a Kansas native, she’s all in on the Chiefs.

I was already pulling for the Chiefs. My Cowboys haven’t been in the NFC Championship in 20 years. And the Chiefs knocked the Houston Texans, my second favorite team, out last week. With three Clemson players on the roster, that makes them my favorite the rest of the way.

But wearing another team’s colors, gear etc., … do people do that? I can’t remember the last time I did it. Maybe Georgia Tech T-shirts in the 1980s? But I was a kid, and that happens.

Among my adult friends, any of them wearing another team’s stuff are an indication sex is or was happening. Obviously, today, I am an exception.

Do any other adults out there wear another team’s stuff?

Sweet Caroline!

Posted in Family, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2020 by macmystery

My niece Caroline is ready to step to the free-throw line.

Bah bah nah. That’s what come’s after Sweet Caroline, no?

If there’s any confusion, this  is most assuredly not about that popular Neil Diamond ditty. While I’ll admit it’s catchy, when you listen to the words, the song is actually quite creepy.

It is even more so when you consider it was allegedly written about a quite underage — barely even teenage — Caroline Kennedy. Think about that next time you’re singing along during the seventh-inning stretch at a shitty Boston Red Sox game.

Nope. This epic blog post is about Caroline, my niece, named after my mother, Carole.

Caroline is my sister Michele’s only child, born roughly a half a year after my own daughter, Ella. Unlike Ella, who is quite small, Caroline is big. Quite big.

I don’t mean this in a bad way. But she takes after her father in the fact that she’s tall. Quite tall. And getting taller.

At the ripe age of 11, she has already surpassed her mother in shoe size. I’m sure Michele welcomes this. It means she’ll no longer worry about Caroline stealing her shoes.

Problem is, it means she’ll be buying a lot more shoes. And the growing is far from over.

Caroline isn’t just big in stature, she has a big voice and it’s impossible not to notice she’s in the room. And issues with her ear she’s had since birth mean she’s sometimes unintentionally loud.

And my nickname for her? Lovingly, it’s Big Head.

But her size betrays her. When you’re with her, you feel like you’re in the room with another adult. It’s easy to forget, she’s only 11. Sometimes it’s tough to not be hard on her. Her size, unfairly, honestly changes your expectations.

But she’s a good kid. And something else she has that’s big — her heart.

Caroline has been playing church league basketball for a couple years now. I’ve managed to attend several games when in town.

Her coaches have tried to take advantage of her size — who wouldn’t. They want her to go to a spot, turn, and ask for the ball. When she gets it, they want her to turn and shoot. No dribble. Simply post up. There’s no one in her league who can contest her.

All this makes sense. The results? A few points — the games are low-scoring and her shooting has been suspect. And a lot of rebounds.

But not so many wins.

In fact, until last week … zero wins. Some close calls, but no bananas.

Basketball-wise, Caroline has some things to work on. I have told her a couple of times, the best thing she could do to improve is play as much basketball as possible.

There is a conflict, unfortunately. The things her coach asks her to do aren’t wrong. They are the things that give the team the best chance to win.

But she needs to improve her shooting, dribbling, passing, … and the mental aspects. And she won’t get better at those things if all she does is post up, catch the ball, turn and shoot. She can only get better at those things by doing them. She needs to play ball, a lot of it, and against kids her size, where she’s forced to do those things.

During this offseason, she made a decision to get more serious about basketball. A huge Clemson fan, she has made it her goal to play for the Tigers.

A realistic goal? Who knows. But she’s playing with a purpose.

She has actually gone and talked to the people who would be her coaches at the junior high and high school level about what she can best do to be ready to play for them.

Last week, I got the texts from my sister that I usually get during Caroline’s games. Except this time, they ended differently.

Trailing 5-4 late in the 4th quarter — with both buckets belonging to Caroline — a late score from the coach’s daughter gave her team a long-elusive 6-5 win.

Caroline finished with 4 points on 2-for-3 shooting with 11 rebounds and zero fouls.

“It feels good,” she texted me after her first win. “I played like I had a goal in life.”

I reminded her that her goal was good, but to be careful to enjoy the moment and have fun, even if the goal doesn’t work out.

“I know and I did but I still want to work on my goal.”


This week, Caroline and her team did it again. She scored 6 points — all on putbacks —  and her team won 8-4.

A winning streak. Who’d have thought it?

There’s really no point to all of this except that I love her. And some things seem to be breaking her way.

And there is no one happier for her than me. She, and her mama, deserve it.


Like your turkey organic?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 19, 2009 by macmystery
Quick quiz: Who's the turkey in this picture?

Quick quiz: Who's the turkey in this picture?

The Clemson Poultry Science Club is offering 50 organic turkeys for sale this Thanksgiving.

Want to know more? Read here.

Dylan and Danny

Posted in Family, Sports with tags , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by macmystery
Two of my favorite people -- Dylan and Danny Ford.

Two of my favorite people -- Dylan and Danny Ford.

I went to the Spartanburg Touchdown Club meeting on Friday at Wild Wing Cafe in downtown Spartanburg to hear former Clemson football coach Danny Ford speak.

Dylan loves Wild Wing, and since he had a big program at school (that his grade wasn’t even allowed to attend) and then early dismissal, I took him along.

He was excited to wear his Clemson jersey and take his clemson football to have Coach Ford autograph it, even though he has no real idea who Coach Ford is. Coach of the 1981 national champions somehow doesn’t mean as much to him as to me.

He got to eat chicken fingers, hang out with the grown-ups (the thrill of missing school played a role, as well) and get his picture made with someone who his daddy liked a lot. And he loved it, especially since Mommy and Ella didn’t get to come along.

The picture doesn’t mean a lot to him, but hopefully one day he’ll understand why it does for me.

Thank you R.C. Edwards

Posted in History, Sports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2008 by macmystery
R.C. Edwards sees Clemson football coach Dabo Sweeney off before the Tigers game with South Carolina one last time.

R.C. Edwards sees Clemson football coach Dabo Sweeney off before the Tigers game with South Carolina one last time.

Dr. R.C. Edwards passed away on Thursday at the age of 94. He’ll be missed.

Anyone who has a degree from Clemson University, as I do, owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Edwards.

As an editor for Clemson’s student newspaper, I was lucky enough to meet a few people in my time at the school that most students wouldn’t without a little extra effort.

Among those, my two favorites were easily former sports information director Bob Bradley, God bless him, and former University president R.C. Edwards. And though I spent a year as news editor, I met Edwards during my time as sports editor. There may have been no bigger Clemson sports fan than Dr. Edwards.

As a student, I was admittedly unaware of just how much Edwards meant to Clemson. What I knew was he had been president for a long time (21 years) and was quite popular.

And just by watching how those with influence at Clemson acted around him, it was clear how much respect he garnered.

When you understand what he did for the school, it makes sense.

“Except for Thomas Green Clemson himself, the founder of the university, Bob Edwards was the single most important person in the history of the school,” Donald McKale, Clemson’s Class of 1941 Memorial Professor of History, and my professor for a summer school World War II in Europe class, told the Greenville News.

He entered the school as a 15-year-old freshman, graduated in 1933 with a B.S. in Textile Engineering, returned to the school in 1956 as a vice president and became president in 1958.

He retired in 1979. Those 21 years were quite eventful in American history, and it was no different at Clemson. Edwards was president through three major turning points in Clemson history.

Edwards oversaw the transformation of the University from an all-male military academy to a co-ed university.

He took on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the early 1950s when they initially wanted to flood 9,000 acres of Clemson’s campus and force the school to move in order to construct the Hartwell resevoir. Not  only did Edwards win, but he convinced the Corps to actually re-route the Seneca River in the process.

And possibly the most impressive feat … Edwards facilitated the peaceful, if not downright uneventful, integration of Clemson University in 1963 at a time when it certainly wasn’t the norm (Just prior to Harvey Gantt’s enrollment at Clemson, James Meredith’s enrollment at the University of Mississippi at Oxford in the fall of 1962 had forced the use of federal troops to quell violence).

According to the book, “Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University,” Edwards and Gantt both showed admiration for the way the other handled himself during the process.

Of Gantt, Edwards said: “If Harvey Gantt had not been the great person that he was and is, the situation at Clemson would have been a lot different.”

When Edwards retired in 1979, Gantt returned the compliment, telling the press, “President Edwards was very fair to me. He seemed to be singularly interested in making sure the change was peaceful.”

By the time Edwards retired, he had personally handed out more than 70 percent of the diplomas given at that point in the history of Clemson University.

When Edwards retired he didn’t go away. He was always around and  approachable, even to a student who didn’t enroll until more than a decade after he had left office.

Here’s the statement on Edwards from current Clemson president James Barker:

R.C. Edwards was a giant in the history of Clemson University. No president will ever surpass his dedicated service to his alma mater nor his impact on all aspects of life at Clemson. Dr. Edwards was my President and he has always been a part of my Clemson experience, from the day I first walked onto campus to today.  When he shook my hand at graduation in 1970, it was one of the proudest days of my life. I still stand in awe of all that he accomplished as president. He led Clemson through the transition from a small, all-male military college to a major co-educational, integrated university. He presided over an era of enormous, much-needed change with strong, steady and visionary leadership. He will always be remembered.

Edwards did what was best for the University, even if it wasn’t the most popular option, and he could do so because no one could question his love of Clemson.

Many people graduate from college, and as time passes, the school they attended becomes just that, where they went to school. But many who leave Clemson never get over the feeling that there is something special in those hills and about the family they are forever a part of. And for that, we owe a lot to Dr. Robert C. Edwards.

Thank you R.C. Edwards, you’ll be missed.