Hate, heartbreak and Georgia Tech

Hate, heartbreak and Georgia Tech.

Well, hello again, tiger nation,

The last time we met, I told you old tales that led me to look for boys in orange on Saturday. Now, I know the last decade of heartbreak has been relatively less than what we said in the ’90s? early 00? late 00? But as an older millennial, a fan of ’90s Clemson football (including being part of the selling crowd at the 1998 Clemson/South Carolina game with 3 combined wins between the two teams), my early Clemson years defined me with a level of fury. I could not experience it in any other part of life.

This is what I wanted to touch on today:

Who was the first team or what was the first game you attended that broke your heart as a fan?

I’ll break it down like this: The first time I got my heart broken by a team and the first game I attended where I came out angry. Both of these moments are tied together by one team, which might surprise some younger Clemson fans. the culprit?

Georgia? no.

North Carolina? If it was basketball, maybe. But this is a sport with more than 5 players, so no.

South Carolina? As much as I hate them, I still don’t.

Who is this team that led me to experience the first moment of pain in orange? Somewhere between my disgust with Tyler Hansbro and my complete disdain for Beth Dutton of Yellowstone, you’ll find how much I couldn’t stand Georgia Tech in my youth. Yes, the very Georgia Tech we’ve come to expect in the past decade was a team that somehow found the most inexplicable, incomprehensible, and incomprehensible gains.

For a lot of people, Georgia Tech doesn’t make the list of teams that care about hitting. After all, we have enough to tackle our feathered brethren in the south, our Atlantic rival from Florida, and the actual successful team in Georgia.

But for me? I enjoy every point we make on Tech. In 2020, Clemson won 73-7, and to be honest, I wanted 80. Why? Let’s turn the clocks back to October 28, 2000, and I’ll tell you.

It was the Saturday before Halloween and Clemson was 8-0. They were coming out from behind with a win with a backup quarterback and they were a win away from a Gameday show with Florida State the following week. All they needed to do was beat Georgia Tech. This team was different from previous years; Joe Hamilton, the South Carolina native who made a point win over Clemson every time they played, went (and he certainly did). in the beginning? Much less dynamic George Godsey on the head.

This was supposed to be the start of my initial Halloween head start; I had a sick costume (I was heavy on Pokemon at the time) and we had the road ready to cash in on a ton of candy in a few days. That candy was the only thing I was looking forward to soon.

The truth is that Georgia Tech has never lost sight of this game. Even with Woody Dantzler injured, Willie Simmons helped Clemson retake the fight, giving them the lead by nearly 90 seconds. The defense had every opportunity to get only one position. But with 13 seconds left, the aforementioned Godsey found Keith Watkins to land 7 seconds early.

complete devastation. I’ve never felt so angry in my life. It was the first time that I felt angry about a match. Clemson had them on hand, then Tech just took it. This was the craziest Clemson game… until 4 years later. When I attended the Clemson game against Georgia Tech.

That was a huge weekend for myself in middle school. Going to games with my brothers and sitting in the student section was the pinnacle of living for my 14-year-old.

I listened to music I had never heard before like Hillsong and Jamiroquai (I know they are two completely different genres, but I still listen to the same Jamiroquai album to this day). I was introduced to this new canine church called NewSpring and for the second time in a row in the student section, my brother almost got into a fight (which was awesome). Cherry on top? Get to watch Clemson beat Georgia Tech.

And it looked like it would happen after Kyle Browning took her home to make it 24-14 just a few minutes ago. Even after Tech signs it down to 24-21, Clemson can run off the clock, right?

Or just get off the gamble, right?

Which team is number one on your hate and sadness list?

Instead, I watched the sequence of Cole Chason’s kick being retrieved in the Clemson redzone, followed by watching Calvin Johnson make a name for himself. Once again, you are ruined. I was so pissed that I only had it a few times yet (ask my wife for a Pete game in 2016).

And that doesn’t mention all the times Georgia Tech just found ways to win after that. Believe me, I could spend an entire article on the disaster of going to my first road game in Atlanta in 2011.

So there you have it: the reason Tech landed on my annual Most Wanted list as they share space with Clemson’s most hated competitors. So I ask you:

Which team or game broke your heart first as a Clemson fan?

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