5 Unmissable Clemson Football Traditions

October 19, 2018
Tigers Running Down the Hill

It’s that time of year again! Our Tigers are mid-way through yet another fantastic football season. Nearly 122 years after Clemson’s first football game, thousands of people gather every Saturday to cheer on the Tigers and take in the action. Because Clemson football is nothing short of a legacy, there are plenty of game day traditions you really shouldn’t miss. We’ve broken down five unmissable Clemson football moments.

1. Dressing Up In Purple and Orange

On game day, you’ll see a sea of purple and orange. Orange clothes, purple hats, orange boots. You name it—it’s out there. What makes Clemson so special is that many people “dress up for games” in more than just a school t-shirt. In summer months, sundresses, khaki pants, and polo shirts are very common. In the winter, themed scarves and hats top winter dresses and collared shirts. Looking for a place to load up on Clemson gear? Downtown Clemson offers a host of shops that cater to this specific need, so start shopping.

2. Tailgating

Tailgating, a tradition that’s nearly as old as college football itself. Participants enjoy food and the company of friends before a football game. With spots scattered throughout campus, Clemson’s tailgating scene is known for its family-friendly atmosphere. It’s wholesome good fun. However, spots can be limited, so consider getting a group of friends together for a tailgate. EPOCH conveniently offers game day shuttles so you won’t have to worry about parking.

No spot on campus? No problem. Local restaurants offer a vibrant tailgating life, as well as discounted food and drinks on football Saturdays. The Esso Club is a special spot, so make sure you stop by on a game day.

3. Watching the Players Run Down the Hill

Clemson players certainly know how to make an entrance. Before every game, players run down ‘The Hill’ to the field, amid cheers and shouts from the crowd – aka the most exciting 25 seconds in college football. The reason behind the run? As players enter the field, they touch ‘Howard’s Rock’, a stone set up outside the field. It’s rumored to give players that touch it good luck.

Pro tip: get in to the games early so you won’t miss this iconic tradition!

4. Howard’s Rock

Howard’s Rock is just as ‘Clemson’ as purple and orange or tiger stripes. The rock is from Death Valley, California, and was used as a doorstop until 1966, when it was brought out during a game. Clemson was losing to Virginia by 18 points, with 17 seconds left in the game. Coach Frank Howard reportedly told his players that “If you’re going to give me 110%, you can rub that rock. If you’re not, keep your filthy hands off of it.” Clemson pulled off the victory, and Howard’s Rock has been considered lucky ever since.

5. The Tiger Rag

“1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4, C-L-E-M-S-O-N-T-I-G-E-RRRRR-S, Fight Tigers Fight Tigers Fight Fight Fight!”
If you don’t know this song already, you’ll know it by the end of your first football game. The Tiger Rag is sung dozens of times as a way to celebrate, motivate, and invigorate the team. You don’t even need to be at a football game to hear it. It’s often sung at random intervals around campus.

There are SO many Clemson traditions to take part in—but these are just a few of our favorites at EPOCH Clemson.


Image Source: Clemson University

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