As I drifted off to sleep last night after a long weekend in Florida visiting colleges for my oldest step-son, I had a brilliant idea for this week’s “My .02,” and from what I remember, it had little to do with complaining about Clemson or our fanbase, and instead was profound and a good “hmmm, that’s interesting,” kind of column.  However, I fell asleep thinking that I would remember in the morning rather than write it down and guess what?  I have no recollection of what that wonderful topic was.  Instead, here I am.  But don’t worry, loyal reader and lover of my comma over-usage, I’ll come up with something in this large head of mine.

This past week I have seen all sorts of Clemson message boards and fans tell me how much they hate Friday night games.  Heck, my partners on Sluggo (Wednesday nights, 7:30pm EST on Facebook and Youtube) discuss ad nauseum about their displeasure with the Friday night games that Clemson is subject to seemingly every season.  This week’s My .02 is to tell you that I am in the minority here and I will try to explain why.  This one will likely be a lot shorter than my last few entries, if that’s ok with you.

Last weekend, officially Week 6 in the college football season was one of the most exciting, crazy weekends of college football that we have seen in quite some time.  From Alabama losing to Texas A&M; Texas’ epic collapse in the Red River Rivalry or even UMass winning a nailbiter against fellow bottom-dweller UConn, there were fun games all over the boob tube.  Heck, South Carolina losing by a hundred to Tennessee also satisfied this big Clemson fan’s love for the sport.  As great as the weekend was, something was missing.  And that something was my beloved Clemson Tigers.  

Fast forward to Week 7 in the college football season and a quick look at the schedule will show that my Tigers will travel up to the Carrier Dome (named for the air conditioning company even though the building is absent of any comfort.  Riddle me that!) to face Dino Babers and the Syracuse Orange on FRIDAY NIGHT!  The night that is reserved for High School Teams in the South.  Friday night is traditionally High School games, Saturday the colleges and Sunday for the pros.  However, there are two reasons that I am ok with my Tigers playing on Friday night.

First of which is because we get the entirety of Saturday to watch other teams play.  Please don’t misconstrue what I am saying here.  I love when Clemson plays on Saturday, and really don’t care at which time they are slotted in.  However, with how fun last week was watching, with little to no bias, the other games that littered the airwaves, I am looking forward to doing that again this weekend.  The slate looks slightly bare, with the marquee matching pitting the #1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs versus the #11 ranked Kentucky Wildcats, both at 6-0.  I am calling it now, this game will not be close.  There are other games throughout Saturday that could wet my whistle and be good.  But the best part of college football regular season is that most of it, especially this iteration of it, has been extremely unpredictable.  Therefore, I am ok with the Tigers playing on Friday night.

Secondly, I am a kid from the northeast.  Now that doesn’t mean much to most of the Clemson fanbase that grew up in the south and called me the Yankee for most of my freshman year at Mauldin Hall.  There have been few recruits on Clemson’s radar from the northeast in recent years, however we saw it with the recruitment of former defensive lineman and current Miami Dolphin, Christian Wilkins.  Wilkins, from Connecticut but went to school in Massachusetts, or vice versa, pardon the lack of what would be very remedial research that I am not willing to do right now.  Point being, he did most of his college trips over the summer because his high school, as with most schools up that way, play on Saturday afternoons.  When I was growing up there were very few high schools in New Jersey with lights.  The funny part, looking back, was that the schools that were dominant in NJ all played on Friday nights, while the rest of us pee-ons were Saturday at 1pm.  Clemson fans know all too well about the games being Saturdays at 1pm, as most of theirs were played at that time.  One of which was Mike Groh’s Randolph Rams.  Groh, who quarterbacked the Virginia Cavaliers to the first victory over Florida State in ACC history back in 1995, was a high school sensation in NJ, who would play 5 games on Fridays and 5 on Saturdays.

ALL THAT WORD SALAD to say, that I know I am in the vast minority of Clemson fans when I say that I look forward to the Friday night tilt versus Syracuse this week, and look forward to the off-day Clemson game during most of the seasons.  

Go Tigers!  I’ve got the over (45.5), so here’s to hoping they can put it together a little more and score some points that we’ve been used to in the past 10+ seasons.

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