One of the Many Reasons….

…why I am proud to be a Clemson Tiger.

Clemson played Boston College last weekend in one of the LONGEST games ever because of two thunderstorm delays.  The Tigers ended up winning the game, but also won over some BC fans.

Mark Herzlich is a senior BC linebacker who is sidelined this fall because he is recovering from cancer.

His dad wrote this letter to Clemson University:

Dear Clemson Fans:

First – My son is Mark Herzlich, the BC linebacker recovering from Cancer. The entire Tiger Nation should be proud of the complete class your entire program carries itself with. I wear a copy of Mark’s jersey to games and I lost track of the number of Clemson fans who approached me to wish him well and to say that they were praying for him. These are people who don’t know me, don’t know Mark and have little reason to even be aware of his situation yet were both aware and involved enough to say some kind words. Thank you.

Second, for those who missed it, prior to the game Coach Swinney presented Mark with a Clemson jersey signed by the whole team with Mark’s #94 on it. I’ve never seen such an outstanding and unsolicited display of sportsmanship.

Finally, throughout the weekend the major topic of conversation outside football was the graciousness of the Clemson fan base. All of us commented on how welcoming everyone was, both before and after the game. I’ve been to Clemson before and interacted with Clemson fans in Boston so I wasn’t surprised any more but I was glad to see my friends get the message too. There was absolutely no lack of support or fanaticism for Clemson football but it was all wrapped up in an understanding that competing doesn’t mean hating, that you need an opponent to play a game and that there’s a difference between an opponent and an enemy. My younger son, who’s used to the whole us versus them attitude in a lot of fan bases turned to me at one point and said, “you just can’t hate these guys!”

Clemson continues to be my favorite road trip. I always root for Boston College to go undefeated and win the ACC, but in the years that it can’t be us, I hope it’s you.

If you’re going to be a bear – be a grizzly!

-Sandon Herzlich

tiger paw

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. EntertainingMom
    Sep 23, 2009 @ 19:37:39

    Wow that is truly amazing and an example of sportsmanship at it’s best. My cousin played for BC. Was a kicker. Scored a winning field goal (like a million years ago) against ND which ended like a million year losing streak to that team. I’m a bit proud (still after all these millions of years) of my cousing, so if it is OK Clemson will be my #2 favorite team… But wow… that is just truly impressive!

  2. Amy
    Sep 23, 2009 @ 19:44:19

    That is a great letter. His last name (Herzlich) is German, and means (in my terrible translation) something of a mix between “from the heart” and “warm”. It is used in front of greetings such as Welcome, Happy Birthday, and Hello. Just a lil’ trivia!

    Oh, I want to see a picture of the boys on the blog soon. And there has to be a full on prego shot of their pretty mama. Only a month and a half!

  3. saltybaby
    Sep 23, 2009 @ 22:32:01

    That was very thoughtful of Clemson to do that for the youngman from BC. People from the south are generally a gracious, friendly bunch, and sometimes it even wears off on those who are not from down here. I’m glad to see that even rowdy football players can be so thoughtful and nice, As for Clemson; I can’t dislike them because I have family who attended there. However, I am not big on the ACC, I am a die-hard SEC fan and all I can say is…….Lucky for ya’ll, you DON’T have to play THE FLORIDA GATORS! Hehe. Go Gators!

  4. Christie
    Sep 24, 2009 @ 10:43:19

    That story gives me chills every time! I, too, am proud to be a Tiger!

  5. Hip Mom's Guide
    Sep 24, 2009 @ 14:05:12

    Wow, that’s pretty amazing. I’d be sportin’ my school jersey!

  6. Jaina
    Sep 24, 2009 @ 19:19:57

    Wow, that’s amazing. Right up there with that story about the high school that turned up supporters and cheerleaders for the juvenile detention team. How neat is that? Thanks for sharing this letter…this is wonderful. There are truly good people in this world. I love reminders like this.

  7. margaret
    Sep 24, 2009 @ 22:54:28

    i love this!! proud to be a TIGER!!!!!

  8. Blond Duck
    Sep 25, 2009 @ 06:32:16

    Hooray!

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