It is rumored that the Clemson University football team is disbanding due to complete lack of interest from the Clemson community. Ticket numbers have been receding for quite some time now, dropping at an almost exponential rate. Students, alumni, and other (previous) Tiger fans have apparently stopped caring about the fate of the team.
The reasoning behind the dwindling fan base is unknown. The team continues to do well in conference games, and they usually finish up the season with a high national ranking, so overall game performance does not appear to be the issue. The stadium had about a 2% capacity fill at the last home game; fans literally just don’t want to be here.
The players seemed to be taking their recent lack of attention hard. “I’d rather be in my dorm studying for my upcoming Bio exam than be out here playing,” freshman tight end Willy Skelton complained. Other players had similar opinions.
“I’ve loved the sport since I was seven years old, playing for my hometown’s little league football team,” walk-on junior Russell Banks explained, “but I just don’t really want to play right now.” Their responses were very telling, because, honestly, who would rather study for an exam than play football?
After talking to the players, we decided to interview the head honcho himself, Coach Dabo Swinney. Though usually keen to talk about the starting line prospects and game tactics, this time Swinney was not into the idea of football at all, “I need to be frank with you all: I’m really not sure what the point of this meeting is?” He instead chose to talk about his newfound interest in bocce ball for the rest of the interview.
With the fans gone, the players disinterested, Coach Swinney uncommitted, there was only one place left to go: the student body.
Based on the outcry caused by the new ticketing policy, we expected the freshmen class to be passionate about our noble sport. We couldn’t have been more wrong, “Are you sure we have a football team?” freshman Lily Waters asked when interviewed, completely unaware. Another freshman student anonymously commented, “I heard we used to have one, but that they’re shutting the program down this year.”
Five years ago Clemson was only on the map because of football, virtually unheard of for anything else. We investigated further by attending a Central Spirit meeting, confident we would finally understand the reasoning behind the football disinterest. However, the club did not mention football at all, instead focusing on organizing fans at soccer and volleyball games.
Outside of Tillman, we spotted the Tiger Cub slumped against a bench, eyes cast downward. He outright ignored our attempts at questioning him, instead giving a single, sad fist pump. We reached out for comment from President Clements himself, but we haven’t yet gotten a response.
With football as we know it rumored to be over, one question still remains: what will we complain about, now that we don’t have to worry about tickets?