Here is how my College Football Saturday went this week. I am not proud of it.
After Clemson completely blew out unranked Charlotte 52-10 (38 of our points scored in the first half alone), I was feeling confident-declining to check any pre-game previews confident-coming into this week’s match up against unranked UNC.
That was my first mistake.
I was so confident, in fact, that I decided that I would skip the game. I went to the girls’ soccer game with some friends, followed by dinner at the new restaurant in town, Daddy’s Noodle Bar. My family bothered me about coming home, that it was “tradition.”
But I had plans.
I was excited for a great night with my friends. The possibility of a close game never even crossed my mind.
Mistake number two.
After a few minutes of the soccer game, I realized why I was a football fan, not so much a soccer fan. Naturally, I checked the score of the Clemson game. And my jaw dropped. I held up my phone to the spectators around me. My mind ran wild as I stared in disbelief at the screen.
“We are down. The first quarter is over. 7-0.”
“It’s early, you will be fine.”
I let myself believe that, but inside, I wanted to go home. I needed to cheer on my team (I know that doesn’t make much sense-but it’s part of being diehard-okay?). I shook it off. They were the Tigers-they could overcome a seven-point deficit. They’d be fine. Right?
The next time I checked was halftime: 14-14. How could this be happening? At this point I was at Daddy’s, no way I was getting home now. My friends looked at me like I was crazy as I refreshed my phone again and again, trying to follow the game without actually watching it.
Touchdown Clemson. 10 minutes left. I felt relieved, but I knew we weren’t out of the woods yet. Everyone at dinner clapped and celebrated.
“See? You’re fine. They’ll be fine.” I was still not convinced.
And rightfully so. Suddenly, UNC had the ball. 1st and goal. With less than two minutes left. On Clemson’s 3 yard line. 1 yard line. Touchdown. A minute and seventeen seconds left to go. I’m speechless. I wait for the score to change. 21-20. I wait for UNC’s extra point and anticipate a long and stressful overtime.
I’m crying now at the table. My friend Anna gives me a hug. HOW IS THIS HAPPENING??? 21-20 still, a minute and seventeen seconds. All of a sudden the clock changes. The score is the same, Clemson is still ahead by one point. Did they miss the extra point? What happened???
I later found out that UNC went for a two-point conversion and didn’t get it. We had secured a win. As I watched the time run out, there in Daddy’s Noodle Bar, I made a promise to myself.
I would never miss another Clemson football game. Ever.
Please do not ever try to make plans with me during a Clemson game. Check their schedule, and plan accordingly.