When Dabo Swinney was hired, he told us to dream big. But who dreams this big?
Who dreams that a place you have loved since you were a small boy, a place that gave you the love of your life, would take you and your family on a journey full of unforgettable experiences?
Who dreams that 4th-and-16 does not represent an impossible down and distance, but instead the beginning of the greatest period in Clemson football history?
Who dreams that you would watch your team toss oranges from the Orange Bowl trophy on the same field where they surrendered 70 points just two years before?
Who dreams that you would return to the state where your grandfather completed an undefeated season as a member of the 1948 Tiger football team to watch the team he taught you to love play against the team your wife’s grandfather won a 1950 national title with as a player? All for a chance to see - for the first time since you were 4-years-old - your favorite team play for a National title.
Who dreams that when Clemson lost to Alabama 45-40 you would ever have another chance to watch Clemson play for a national title?
Who dreams that you would watch them win it all the next year?
Who dreams Hunter Renfrow?
Who dreams that when you were watching a generational quarterback from Gainesville, GA break all Clemson’s records, there was a kid in Cartersville, GA breaking all his high school records?
Who dreams that the joy you used to feel after a win would seem rather insignificant when you think about the joy you feel experiencing this ride with your kids? A ride where they played in the warm blue waters of Miami, watched waves of the Pacific crash into Pebble Beach, experienced rain in the Arizona desert, froze in the French Quarter, learned everything is bigger in Texas, laughed with each other, cried with each other.
Who dreams that seeing the excitement on your son’s face after he overcame his shyness and asked a player to sign his Tiger Rag would loom larger in your mind than the margin of victory in Jerry World.
Who dreams that in 2008 when you left your 10-month-old daughter in a Buckhead hotel with a 19-year-old Georgia State student whom you’d never met so you could take the MARTA to the Georgia Dome where shortly after you arrive to your seats you hear the first guitar chords of “Sweet Home Alabama” blare throughout the stadium and watch 75% of the crowd rise in unison and sing like it was the last time they would ever get to sing the song and you feel like the distance between the two programs was bigger than the distance it took to fly to Santa Clara 10 years later to experience that same song come on the stadium speakers early in the 4th quarter with your now 11-year-old daughter standing next to you, only this time you are the ones singing “Sweet Home Alabama” as the Tide rolls home?
Who dreams that you would be staring out a plane window at the snow covered Rockies less than 24 hours after your team reached the mountaintop of its sport for the second time in three years and think that the outcome of the game matters less and less and the memories created matter more and more?