Clemson vs Florida State showdown!

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We are just four days away from what some are calling the biggest game in ACC history.  This is a game I am both looking forward to and am scared to death of at the same time.  Jameis Winston and his Noles are rolling into town for the first time since 2011 where the Tigers were able to pull out the win.  Unfortunately that was two years ago and both teams have changed dramatically.  The one promising aspect is that Clemson is head and shoulders better than they were two years ago.

Once again ESPN’s College GameDay will be in Clemson, only the 3rd time they have returned to the same school in the same season, and the 1st time that have returned within the first 7 games.  This is truly going to be a special day at Clemson University and then in Death Valley.  Whether or not we win or lose (unless we just get totally blown out) this is going to once again be great exposure for our University and our football program.  I can’t even imagine how many NFL scouts will be at this game as well as players we are looking to recruit for years to come.
Keys for a Clemson win are going to be the following:
  1. Our receivers against their secondary.  Clemson is know right now for having an explosive offense which can score quick and score a lot using the many weapons we have at receiver.
  2. Our defensive line against their offensive line.  We know both quarterbacks have incredible passing accuracy but both can also quickly scramble out of the pocket if no one is open and running for positive yardage.  We need to get pressure on their quarterback and not allow him to run down field.
  3. Special teams.  We have been using Adam Humphries a lot lately for punt and kick returns but although he has great speed, he has had a hard time getting the big returns like we used to see in CJ Spiller and Jacoby Ford.  This is where the Seminoles find ways to score extra points if their offense goes 4 and out too much.  Yes, they have speedy returners but they also have a great ability to block to help get that returner to the end zone.
 I will close by saying this, no matter what happens we have become the kind of football team I have always wanted Clemson to be.  They push through adversity and never give up, never.  Two great examples are last year against LSU and this year against Boston College.  In the BC game we came back in the 2nd half and outscored the Eagles 21-7 en route to a 24-14 win.  Last year we were 4-16 with just over a minute on the clock.  Tajh through a perfect pass to DeAndre “Nuke” Hopkins for a 1st down and a few plays later clutch kicker Chandler Cantanzaro put up the game winning field goal.  Coach Dabo Swinney has said it again and again, that is what great teams do.  They find ways to win.  Sometimes it looks pretty (LSU) and sometimes it is ugly (Boston College) but remember, a win is always a win.  I hope that’s exactly what we get this coming Saturday.
Tajh & Winston1

A Dreamer & A Chicken Plucker

A Dreamer & A Chicken Plucker

Let me tell you, Jesse hated this job.  And you would too, I imagine, if you had to do it.  Jesse was a Chicken Plucker.  That’s right.  A Chicken Plucker!  He stood on a line in a chicken factory and spent his days pulling the feathers off dead chickens so the rest of us wouldn’t have to.  It wasn’t much of a job.  But at the time, Jesse didn’t think he was much of a person.

His father was a brute of a man. His dad was actually thought to be mentally ill and treated Jesse rough all of his life.  Jesse’s older brother wasn’t much better. He was always picking on Jesse and beating him up.

Yes, Jesse grew up in a very rough home in West Virginia.  Life was anything but easy.  And he thought life didn’t hold much hope for him.  That’s why he was standing in this chicken line, doing a job that darn few people wanted.  In addition to all the rough treatment at home, it seems that Jesse was always sick.  Sometimes it was real physical illness, but way too often it was all in his head.  He was a small child, skinny and meek.  That sure didn’t help the situation any.  When he started to school, he was the object of every bully on the playground.
He was a hypochondriac of the first order.  For Jesse, tomorrow was not always something to be looked forward to.  But, he had dreams.  He wanted to be a ventriloquist.  He found books on ventriloquism.  He practiced with sock puppets and saved his hard earned dollars until he could get a real ventriloquist dummy.
When he got old enough, he joined the U.S. Army.  And even though many of his hypochondriac symptoms persisted, the Army did recognize his talents and put him in the Entertainment Corp.  He served from 1943 to 1946.  During the enlistment, his world changed.  He gained confidence.  He found that he had a talent for making people laugh, and laugh so hard they often had tears in their eyes.  Yes, little Jesse had found himself.

You know, folks, the history books are full of people who overcame a handicap to go on and make a success of themselves, but Jesse is one of the few I know of who didn’t overcome it.  Instead he used his paranoia to make a million dollars, and become one of the best-loved characters of all time in doing it!  Yes, that little paranoid hypochondriac, who transferred his nervousness into a successful career, still holds the record for the most Emmies given in a single category.  This wonderful, gifted, talented, and nervous comedian brought us Barney Fife.

He was??…Scroll down

Jesse Donald “Don” Knotts

July 21, 1924 – Feb. 23, 2006

NOW YOU KNOW, “THE REST OF THE STORY”

US Pro Championships

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For the first time in 7 years, the US Pro Championships has found a new home in Chattanooga, TN.  Though I am sad to see it go, I can’t complain too much.  First of all we did have the race in our backyard for 7 years straight and hometown hero George Hincapie garnered 2 wins during that time.  Second, there are a lot worse and farther away places for the race to move to.  Chattanooga is only about 4 hours from Greenville, on average.  The last time I was there (for the last edition of the Tour of Georgia) it’s downtown was really starting to improve upon itself.  I saw a lot of the same downtown Greenville transitions which gave me hope for them that their community will develop in the same positive note that Greenville’s has.

I don’t consider myself a pessimist by any stretch of the imagination but I really have a hard time understating why a town as “hilly” as Chattanooga is, got the race.  I remember the first year it was in Greenville and the organizers decided to put in a nice “climb” in the race that would help thin the field out after a few laps.  That first year they scaled Paris Mtn 5 times before finishing in downtown Greenville.  As a result, more than half the field complained that it was too tough because of the ascents up Paris.  As a result, the organizers agreed to shorten the “big” laps over Paris to 4 times over, and increase the number of circuits on the streets of downtown.  Now the race moves to Chattanooga, where there will undoubtedly be far more climbing than anything else, how many American riders are going to show up?  As any race director will tell you, your race is only as good as the number of spectators you have show up.  The number of spectators you have is a direct result of the caliber of a field you can produce.  If you make the race too tough for anyone who is not a pure climber will most likely NOT show up.  For instance, Tyler Farrar (arguably the best American sprinter in the pro peloton) got dropped the last time up Paris.  So I can pretty much guarantee you he will be a no show for Chattanooga.

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