I love Carter-Finley … hence my name, right? But it is always fun to go on road trips and it seems like every time I come away with some pretty good stories. At least I think so anyway. I need to get back to telling more of these road trip stories (and tailgating stories for that matter) and leave the journalism stuff to the journalists so that’s what I’m going to do today.
So last Saturday me and Mrs. DFCF woke up before the butt crack of dawn (4:30) to hit the road and make our way down to Clemson. We were half asleep and trying to keep each other awake by telling jokes, stories, and doing some bad impersonations. I think that’s what we were doing anyway. I really was still half asleep since I stayed up til 1:00 Friday night for no good reason. We took an exit somewhere near Greenville at a Bojangles’ to pick up a Super Tailgate Special and meet up with some friends. As we were waiting for our friends I was still joking around with Mrs. DFCF and she even uttered the following words, “don’t tell anybody, but I still have fun hanging out with you.” Sorry babe, the cat is out of the bag now. I couldn’t resist.
Once we got down to Clemson we drove around for what seemed like 3o minutes to find a parking spot. The lot we used to park in is now an IPTAY permit lot so that threw us off. I still can’t believe that’s what they call their booster organization. It’s one of the best in the country, but that name is absolutely terrible. Anyway, once we finally parked we were beside a group of 4 male NC State students that had to be Freshmen. They remembered to bring beer, but no food so we shared some from our spread. We then told them some of our road trip stories from our student days to educate them a little and they filled us in on the developments regarding the Free Expression Tunnel. It was definitely interesting tailgating with them. You could tell they were “green” (watch out I’m using terminology from Deadliest Catch), but they’ll get there eventually. I was just like that back in the day. Hell, I remember sleeping in the car at Virginia one year and actually on the asphalt in the parking lot at Florida State another year. Excuse me for sounding old for a bit, but those were the days.
Then we went up closer to the stadium to tailgate with some Clemson guys that my buddy knew. These guys where what I like to refer to as bigwigs. One was a SC State Senator and another was a former All-ACC Clemson QB. They offered us beer and food and had plenty of stories to tell about the legendary Clemson Coach Frank Howard. The State Senator started off telling us about running into Howard the week they were playing an away game at Georgia. He mentioned to Howard that him and a buddy wanted to go to the game, but couldn’t find tickets. Howard told them to find a way down there, be at the stadium when the buses pulled up, and he would get them in. Sure enough they met the team buses and Howard gave them each a bag of balls to carry in the stadium. As soon as they were in told them to get lost and find a seat.
The best story was the one former Clemson QB Jimmy Addison told us about the Spring Practice when he became the starting QB. Clemson was installing a new offense at the time so all Spring the #1 & 2 offenses were going against the #3 & 4 defenses every day. So that meant the #3 & 4 offenses were going against the #1 & 2 defenses. Addison was the 4th team QB so he was going against the #1 & 2 defenses every day. They finally had their first scrimmage where the #1 offense would go against the #1 defense and so on. Clemson had a pretty good defense that year and had been beating up the Clemson offense all Spring in practice. Early in the scrimmage the 1st team QB got injured pretty bad so Howard was pretty mad and called the whole team together. He was tired of seeing his guys getting injured so he had a plan. Here’s how the exchange went:
Howard: Where’s that little sh*t Addison.
Addison: Right her sir.
Howard: Well son, do you believe in magic?
Addison: [confused] I don’t know, I guess so.
Howard: Well … POOF! … you’re the #1 QB.
Well Addison never lost the #1 QB job and went on to make first team All-ACC in 1966. Now he’s in the Clemson Hall of Fame. It’s not a NC State story, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless. So, other than the actual game and the punk ass Clemson student that got in my face afterwards, it was an enjoyable day. I’m dreading our next road trip, though. I haven’t been back to Chapel Hill since the infamous TA game. That place just makes me sick to my stomach. At least I’ll have my little bro there to keep me out of trouble. Yeah, he’s gonna have his hands full with that.
Speaking of my little bro, his team (Illinois State) was playing Youngstown State this past Saturday where former Pack QB Shane Montgomery is the Offensive Coordinator. He got a chance to talk to Shane before the game and Shane had nothing but nice things to say about NC State. He’s still a huge fan and follows the team. He must have had Gametracker on in the locker room because he knew we had a 7-0 lead and that we had a field goal blocked. It’s always great to hear former players that still live and die with the Wolfpack.