Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Welcome to the TIGER SWAG!!

My first introduction into the Palmetto State rivalry was 1987. I was 8.

The Friday before the game was donned Carolina-Clemson day (you know right of way where loyalties lie based upon which team comes first when naming the game) and we were encouraged to wear garnet or orange to support our team.

This brought confusion when a few friends showed up in garnet. I’d never really consorted with people from that other school. Should I treat them the same? They could still be my friend, right?
And that team couldn’t be that bad if my friends liked them.

On Monday morning, following USC’s win, the cafeteria was adorned with USC posters, streamers, and a DOT matrix banner (remember those – where the paper fed through the little holes on the outside. Then, when you were done, you removed the perforated edges) and the teachers and administrators congratulated USC over the loudspeaker.

I thought this a tad obnoxious, but figured USC won the state championship and probably deserved the honor.

The following year, Clemson won, and I was so excited for school Monday to see the celebration they would receive. It didn’t take long to realize little would be said of Clemson’s win. There were no posters or banners on the outside of the school. No decorations in the cafeteria. No school wide congratulations over the loudspeaker. Nothing.

It was at that point I realized you had to pick a side – and there was only one side to be chosen.

The orange. The orange my mom and dad proudly wore. The orange my mom’s mom and dad proudly wore. The orange I chose then to proudly wear.

Since that day, I never looked back.

I met a girl that wears orange. My two little girls wear orange (and purple). My boss and coworkers wear orange. Even my pastor wears orange.

I know what it means to wear and share the orange.  And this will be a place to do just that.  To examine ourselves, remember what makes Clemson so special, and have a good bit of fun at the expense of our Gamecock, Dawg, Jacket, & Heel friends.

So please check us out, drop us line, and let us know how you're doing.  And if so inclined, how we're doing.  You can reach us by email at, twitter at!/thetigerswag, and facebook at

Also, please check out our <uglier> sister site,

Willy Powell
Class of '01

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