5 Really Random Rants Week Ending August 21st
We are just two weeks away from the first game of the season, and the excitement is starting to build. It was another interesting week in the world of Clemson athletics, and here are my five rants for the week.
Really Random Rant #1
One of the many things wrong with last year’s offense is that we failed to adjust to defenses once the game was under way. In fact, last year’s offense often scored on the first few drives of the game and then struggled to score as the 2nd half unfolded.
Our offense scored 184 points in the first half last year, and only 124 in the second half. The scoring numbers support the theory that defenses quickly adjusted to our game plan and we had no answer once our game plan bogged down.
One of the things that I am really interested in seeing this year is whether or not our offense can flip that and become the aggressors on that side of the ball. It is a much more enjoyable experience to have the defenses on their heels and guessing as to what you will do than it is to having defenses dictating the offensive playcalling…resulting in situations where you can’t get key drives and scores in the 2nd half with the game on the line.
Of all the buzz about the speed of Morris’ offense this offseason, I am more interested in how this staff will do in adjusting to what defenses are doing DURING the game.
Really Random Rant #2
I love reading newspapers. Reading articles (like this) on a computer is a great way to get access beyond what a newspaper can provide. But there is something about opening the paper on a table with a cup of coffee early in the morning that appeals to me.
As you know, newspapers are quickly becoming dinosaurs. Subscriptions are falling dramatically at most of the nation’s major newspapers and many newspapers that are still alive are owned by major companies and offering cookie cutter versions of their news instead of the small town feel of traditional newspapers.
With that being said, I continue to be amazed at how poorly newspapers are run. Last week, a writer I enjoy reading (Travis Sawchik of Charleston Post and Courier) wrote an article regarding the Clemson Board of Trustees conducting a meeting regarding ACC expansion. The article was a simple report that had quotes from Cathy Sams and David Wilkins. It was a good and quick read by Sawchik, who is one of the few folks in the newspaper industry that do an excellent job in his profession.
But the headline of the article read in a way that the article did not. The headline stated something to the effect that the Clemson BOT was not interested in going to the Southeastern Conference. (The headline has since been changed on the Post and Courier web site). In other words, the article itself stated information that was nothing like what the body of the article said.
When I tweeted Travis about how his article’s headline was very misleading, he informed me that he did not write the headline and that copy editors at the paper were in charge of that. This is not the first time a newspaper writer has informed me that they don’t write their own headlines.
If that sounds ridiculous, it is.
A writer can pound out a 2,000 word article but can’t be asked to add a 4 word headline? And why do writers need an editor anyway? They went to college for 4 years to learn proper spelling and grammar. Not to mention Microsoft Word will do a spell check and grammar check for them…so why the need for a 2nd person to edit?
Writing is a tough job. Not having errors is even tougher. But for goodness sakes, if your newspaper is going under faster than you can shake a stick, how about trying to consolidate some jobs to keep your business afloat? And yes…I edited my own blog today and created my own headline (I am responsible for all errors included in blog)! Maybe if I had a 2nd person editing my blog and writing my headlines it would be perfect.
It’s no wonder that great newspaper writers (like Larry Williams) have said goodbye to the poorly run newspaper industry and have latched on to web sites.
Really Random Rant #3
I know preseason polls are typically as reliable as an airplane arrival time. But in looking at the USA Today poll, I find it really hard to swallow that Florida State could strut into Death Valley the fourth week of the season ranked in the top five in the USA Today poll. Granted, they will have to beat Oklahoma the week before they come to Clemson in order to keep their lofty ranking. But it is certainly possible that the Seminoles could be ranked as high as #2 or #3 if they come to Clemson undefeated.
I think Jimbo Fisher is a major upgrade from the last few years of Bobby Bowden. I also see that FSU has done a great job recruiting the past few years. But FSU has showed nothing under Fisher to this point that would justify someone believing they are a top 5 football program right now.
If FSU beats Oklahoma, they will deserve some praise considering the Sooners are most prognosticators’ #1 preseason pick. But part of being a top 5 program is not only beating great football teams (which FSU has not done recently), it also includes stringing together good wins in back to back weeks (which FSU has not done in a long time). Here is one guy that still likes Clemson’s chances at home vs. FSU in week 4, regardless of what ranking the ‘Noles bring into Death Valley.
Really Random Rant #4
As we close in on the first football weekend in Clemson, a couple of opinions from yours truly on what to do and where to shop as you come into Clemson.
Best Friday Night Restaurant-Sardi’s Den. Best ribs in town and maybe the best ribs in South Carolina.
Best Grocery Store-Food Lion on 123 heading towards Seneca. Most of you will go to Bi-Lo (across from Sardi’s Den), but it is often crowded and takes forever to move through the lines. Food Lion is a better alternative with fewer lines and a cleaner store.
Best Game Day Chicken-Zaxby’s. Easy to pick up and a variety of sauces to compliment good (but not the best) chicken fingers in the Clemson area. Convenience is the key to making this the recommendation. Nothing can beat grilling or smoking meat, but a good chicken finger comes in a close second place.
More favorites in next week’s blog.
Really Random Rant #5
The media made a big deal of the lack of access to fall camp in Clemson. As you will recall, major restrictions were placed on the media and the access they had to practices, players, and coaches as we led up to the season opener. It was as if the world was coming to an end. Gasp!
To be blunt, it has not been a big deal. Plenty of info has been available throughout camp that has fed a hungry Clemson Nation each day. Although we have not been able to get quotes from the freshman, if what they said was anything like the upperclassman that have been interviewed, we would not get anything worth our time reading.
Clemson players have become great at being boring in interviews, and don’t take that as a knock at the players. The PR people at Clemson have taught these boys how to say the right things to not rile up opposing teams and fans. But their canned answers are snoozers and offer little insight to what is really going on.
I like the fact that Coach Swinney feels that closing access is a way to keep things focused on the practice field for our players as opposed to getting in front of a camera and tape recorder to tell us how great you are going to be. I have no idea whether or not this will help win football games, but I also know that the drama created by the media about this decision has fizzled, mainly because it has had little to no impact on fueling the Clemson fan’s appetite for football. We get plenty even with the restrictions.
Scott Rhymer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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