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Tiger Traditions



Solid Orange Solid Orange is about pride. Clemson fans, friends, alumni and students undoubtedly love to show this Tiger pride through their actions of honoring the University’s traditions, teams, performances, people and one another. Students can be part of this exclusive campus movement when they • wear orange every game and on Fridays, • show the paw, wear it proudly, • hold great pride in what makes • welcome others in the Clemson way... Clemson unique, greet them, help them find their way, • are good sports, • cheer respectfully...but be the loudest • win with class, fans in the country, • follow rules regarding alcohol, • have fun!

Clemson Alma Mater Where the Blue Ridge yawns its greatness, Where the Tigers play, Here the sons of dear old Clemson Reign supreme alway. CHORUS Dear old Clemson we will triumph And with all our might, That the Tiger’s roar may echo … O’er the mountain height! This is the first verse and chorus of Clemson University’s Alma Mater 3

and is sung at the conclusion of all Clemson sporting events by our sports teams, alumni and students. At the beginning of the note “O’er”, place your hand in the air outward with your thumb tucked under your hand and wave it until the end of the note “height.”

Clemson Tiger Rag Clap your hands along with the Tiger Band as they play Clemson University’s fight song before, during and after sporting events. Clap your hands to the beat all the way through the song until it is time to spell out CLEMSON. At that time, make your hand into a fist and count out each letter C-L-E-M-S-O and after the O make a clockwise, circular motion with your right hand for an extra beat and finish it off with an emphatic N.

Cadence Count Clemson’s cadence count cheer was born in Clemson’s military days and can be heard at many Clemson sporting events. To start the cheer yell: C-L-E-M in cadence count! Then the cheer goes like this: 1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4 C-L-E-M-S-O-N T-I-G-E-RRRR-S, FIGHT TIGERS, FIGHT TIGERS, FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT! 4

Athletics Football Be sure to be in your seats at least 30 minutes before game time to see the Tiger Band’s pregame performance and watch our Tigers run down the hill as they take part in the most exciting 25 seconds in college football! The Tiger Band will play the national anthem, our alma mater and Tiger Rag in preparation for the Tigers to run down the hill when the cannon is fired. Once the cannon is fired, balloons will be released and the team will rush down the hill on to the playing field. When the Clemson team gathers to run down the hill the players rub Howard’s Rock. The rock is mounted on a pedestal at the top of the hill and was given to Coach Frank Howard by a friend (S.C. Jones ‘19) who picked it up in Death Valley, Calif. The rock was first placed on the pedestal at the top of the hill on Sept. 24, 1966, a game Clemson won 40–35 over Virginia. The team started rubbing the rock before the first game in 1967, a 23–6 win over Wake Forest on Sept. 23, 1967. Frank Howard is famously noted as saying “If you’re not going to give 110 percent, keep your filthy 5

hands off my rock!” Feel free to walk through Poe Plaza prior to the game and rub Howard’s Rock in a pledge to give 110 percent. Running down the hill is one of the greatest and most exciting traditions in all of college football! When the team gets off the bus and is standing on top of the hill they lock arms and show that they are one and are only as strong as the teammate beside them. This is a great symbol of unity for the football team. Be sure to get in the stadium early in order to show your support. During kickoffs, place your hand in the air exactly as you do at the end of the alma mater, with your thumb tucked under your hand, and wave it until the ball is kicked. As soon as the ball is kicked yell: “FIGHT TIGERS, FIGHT TIGERS, FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!” Time it so that your first “FIGHT” is yelled when the ball is kicked. If the Tigers are on offense watch for Tiger first downs. After the first down is gained you’ll hear the Tiger Band play a tune, make a first down sign with your arm, point it in the direction the offense is driving and yell, “GO!” 6

Once the Tigers score, after Tiger Rag has been played, the mascot will do pushups in the Southeast corner of the field directly in front of the student section. Count the number of pushups by yelling the number and pointing towards the Tiger. When the Tigers are attempting a field goal place both hands straight up in the air to encourage our kicker to make the field goal. When the opponent has the ball and the Tigers are on defense MAKE LOUD NOISES! Make sure you are so loud that the other team can’t hear themselves. The Tiger Band will assist you in getting behind the defense by playing “Rage Defense”. When you hear this song put your right arm in the air and move it back and forth with the music. At the end of three hand motions back and forth make a fist and yell “DEFENSE!” As a member of the student section you are responsible for getting the rest of the crowd involved. Here are some ideas for you to chant back and forth with the North stands: CLEMSON/TIGERS, LET’S GO/ TIGERS, ORANGE/WHITE. 7

One of Clemson’s traditions is to spell C-L-E-M-S-O-N around Death Valley. Sections A and B in the student section begin it by yelling “C!”, then the hill will yell “L!”. This will begin the cheer around the stadium and repeat it as it comes around to your section. At the end of the game it is tradition to gather at the paw at the 50 yard line to celebrate our win with our team and fans. Please wait until the visiting team has cleared the field and the officials allow you to enter. As with all Clemson sporting events, remember to stay and sing the alma mater with your fellow students and alumni after the game.


Basketball When the starting lineups are announced cheer on your Tiger starters. When the other team’s lineup is announced yell “Tiger bait!” after each name is read. When the Tigers are on offense help the team by counting down the shot clock when it gets below 10 seconds. When the Tigers shoot a three point shot put your hands in the air until the ball goes in. When the Tigers are shooting free throws clap when the ball bounces to the player then put your hands in the air. When the player makes the free throw bring your hands down and make a “SWOOSH” noise. When the Tigers are on defense BE LOUD! Get louder and encourage the rest of Littlejohn Coliseum to join you when the opponent’s shot clock is under 10 seconds. Just as we spell C-L-E-M-S-O-N around Death Valley, we also spell it around Littlejohn Coliseum. The band will yell “C!” and it will be spelled counterclockwise around the coliseum. Use the cheers you learned during football season to chant back and forth with the other student section with cheers such as CLEMSON/TIGERS. Be sure to stay after the game to sing the Clemson Alma Mater. 9

Baseball When the Tigers are on the field and our pitcher has two strikes against the opposing batter slowly clap and build your clap until the ball is pitched. When there are two strikes against the opposing batter and two outs in the inning stand up and cheer along with clapping. When the Tigers come to bat in the bottom of each inning cheer for the coach as he makes his way to the third base coach’s box. In the middle of the fourth inning look for Central Spirit as they toss out candy to the crowd during the Central Spirit Candy Toss. Join in or start a cadence count after the Tigers score each of their runs. Join Danny Cannon in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch and when the song is over say, “Hey Tigers, let’s score some runs!” When the Cheap Seats in right field play the trumpet say “Charge!” Be sure to stay after the game to sing the Clemson Alma Mater. ACC Champions 1954, 1958, 1959, 1967, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 2006. 10

Volleyball Stand up and cheer as Tiger Rag is played while the Tigers make their way onto the court and in between games. After the Tigers score a point, the PA announcer will say “Point Tigers!” to which the students immediately echo “Point Tigers!” When the Tigers block a point, bring both arms from down by your sides to over your head and back down again while yelling “REEEEEJECTED.” Time the chant so that “JECTED” is said when your arms have come back down. When the Tigers are one point away from winning a game (matches are the best of five games) stand up and cheer until the Tigers have scored the game clinching point. ACC Champions 1997, 2007.

Soccer One of a kind Clemson scarves will be distributed at games throughout the season. At any point during the game feel free to start chanting CLEMSON/ TIGERS back and forth between the home and away stands. 11

The Clemson soccer teams play their home games at Historic Riggs Field. Riggs Field has hosted several sports including football and baseball since it was originally dedicated in October 1915. Men’s NCAA Champions 1984, 1987. Men’s ACC Champions 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982(t), 1985, 1998, 2001.

Indoor/Outdoor Track and Field During many events like the pole vault and jumps, fans will start with a slow clap before the athlete performs that becomes increasingly faster as the athlete runs closer to the jumping/vaulting point. For running events, a meet official will ring a bell signaling the final lap of the event. At this point cheer on the Tigers even louder as they finish the race. Men’s ACC Team Indoor Champions 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002. Men’s ACC Team Outdoor Champions 1980, 1982, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004. Women’s ACC Team Indoor Champions 1992, 2010, 2011. Women’s Team Outdoor Champions 1991, 1999, 2010, 2011. 12

Cross Country Men’s ACC Team Champions 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988. Women’s ACC Team Champions 1986.

Swimming and Diving Men’s ACC Team Champions 1986. Women’s ACC Team Champions 1987, 1988, 1989, 1997.

Golf NCAA Team Champions 2003. ACC Team Champions 1982, 1987, 1988, 1990(t), 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004.

Tennis Men’s ACC Champions 1969, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1997. Women’s ACC Champions 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 2004, 2008.

Rowing The race boats launch from the docks about 30 minutes before the competition begins. Every time a Clemson race boat leaves the docks all fans perform the Clemson Cadence Count. ACC Team Champions 2009.


Events First Friday Before the first home football game every year Clemson students, faculty and community members come together to celebrate the first game of the season. The First Friday Parade includes floats, guests of honor, the Tiger Band, cheerleaders, rally cats, mascots and much more. The parade concludes with a pep rally on Riggs Field.

Tigerama Tigerama is a student led pep rally occurring the Friday night before Clemson’s Homecoming every year. It is hosted by Blue Key Honor Society. Tigerama features skits, videos and presentations by student organizations, the Tiger Band, the Rally Cats and cheerleaders as well as the crowning of Miss Homecoming. Tigerama has been hosted on Clemson’s campus for over 50 years and is a great way to get into the Clemson spirit before the Homecoming football game.


Homecoming Clemson’s Homecoming celebration each year is a chance to celebrate our past and look into the future. Campus organizations work all week to create floats on Bowman Field that are displayed on Saturday before, during and after the football game. The football game festivities include welcoming former players back to Death Valley, reliving past triumphs and reuniting with former classmates.

Black Friday: Cocky’s Funeral Come together and celebrate a different type of Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving before the Clemson vs. South Carolina home football game. The Student Alumni Association sponsors Cocky’s Funeral where Cocky, South Carolina’s mascot, is laid to rest. Colonel Sandy Edge reads Cocky’s eulogy and Clemson’s ROTC will lead in Cocky’s funeral procession.

Clemson vs. South Carolina Game It is a tradition for Clemson ROTC to protect Howard’s Rock beginning Thursday before the Clemson vs. South Carolina game when held in Death Valley. The cadets keep a steady drum cadence around the rock prior to the game and can be heard across the Clemson campus. As long as you hear the drum cadence coming from Death Valley you can be sure the rock is safe. 15

Rock The ‘John Rock The ‘John is our annual “midnight madness” event to celebrate the start of basketball season. Every year thousands of fans come to Littlejohn Coliseum to meet the new players, participate in on-court promotions, and get a first look at the men’s and women’s basketball teams. In past years fans have won televisions, iPads and had multiple chances to win a car! At the conclusion of the event fans have the opportunity to meet the players and coaches up close during the autograph session. Prizes, fireworks, and player entertainment make Rock The ‘John an event that you won’t want to miss!


Traditions $2 Bill It has been a university tradition dating from Sept. 24, 1977, for the school’s fans to spend $2 bills on away game trips. This began when the school played Georgia Tech “for the last time” as Georgia Tech refused to travel to Clemson. Of the 17 games played between Georgia Tech and Clemson between 1953 and 1977, only once, in 1974, did the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets refuse to come to Death Valley. To show the Atlanta business community how much money Clemson fans contributed to the local economy, Tiger fans spent vast quantities of $2 bills, many of them stamped with Tiger Paws. This was the start of Clemson’s $2 bill tradition. Whenever you head to a Clemson away game or bowl game, exchange your cash for $2 bills at a local bank, stamp them with Tiger Paws and spend them on your trip. Whenever you get a strange look be sure to explain that you are from Clemson University! Solid Orange Friday The Solid Orange campaign was adopted in 2002 as a way to reinvigorate pride and unity in the Clemson family. The central theme is honorable conduct, “Our actions honor our university, its traditions, teams, 17

performance, people, and each other.” As a way to promote pride, Clemson students, employees, alumni and fans are encouraged to wear orange at every sporting event and on Fridays.

Orange and Purple The first colors of Clemson can be seen in an early diploma that is displayed on campus. But to everyone’s surprise, they’re red and blue! The use of orange and purple began when Walter Merrit Riggs formed Clemson’s first football team in 1896. Because Riggs had come from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (later renamed Auburn), he borrowed ideas from their team colors, orange and purple, and their mascot, the Tiger. Although the football team was known as the Tigers and often used “Eat ‘Em Up, Tigers” as a slogan, it wasn’t until 1954 that a Clemson student donned the mascot suit. In 1993 the Tiger was joined by the Tiger Cub.

Tiger Paw The Tiger Paw is the athletic symbol by which Clemson University is most often recognized. Henderson Advertising developed this copyrighted logo in 1970. Many schools use a similar paw, but Clemson’s is unique — because it was taken from the print of a real tiger, it has a fishhook-shaped wrinkle in the lower right-hand area of the paw and is tilted at the one o’clock position.



Contributors: Bradford Jones, Katie Queen, Thomas Dees, Brett Mills, Patrick Stephens, Robert Tinsley, Sarah Newburn, Jordan Plumblee and Tim Isgett


Profile for Clemson Tigers

Tiger Traditions  

Tigers Traditions: Your Guide to Clemson Athletics’ Rich History

Tiger Traditions  

Tigers Traditions: Your Guide to Clemson Athletics’ Rich History