You are currently viewing Clemson wife

Clemson wife

Let’s get one thing straight: I’m a Clemson football player’s wife, and I know next to nothing about football. There, I said it. Shocking, right? You’d think being married to a college football player would mean I’m an expert on plays, strategies, and all those technical terms. But the truth is, I can barely tell the difference between a touchdown and a field goal. And honestly? I’m okay with it.

Let me take you through a typical game day in my world, where I’m pretty much winging it and learning on the fly. Fortunately, my husband is very patient and will answer any questions I have, even if I unintentionally ask it during the most exciting play of the game.  For that reason, he is very thankful for the playback button or instant replays!  Usually, the most repeated question he gets to answer is “Whose got the ball?”  The strategy of the game seems very basic:  when the ball gets hiked, tackle someone wearing a different color than you.  To complicate matters further, football has its own language.  Playing defensive line, my husband taught me words like “slobberknocker” and “decleater.”  Not words I would use in everyday conversation, but they create quite the visual, nonetheless.  To understand the game, you need to know about a “skinny post”, a “nickelback,” and a “tight end.”  In my opinion, for there to be a skinny post, you need a fat post.  The nickelback is always the guy wearing the number 5 jersey and a tight end, well, needs no explanation.  My husband said that my perspective was not quite accurate on all three counts, but he was very encouraging.  He still has hope.

While watching the game together, every now and then, completely randomly, I can make a correct informed call:  “That was targeting!” or “That pass was not catchable!”  My husband, though shocked, beams with pride.  Then I will transition to commenting on the football fashion, the colors and the shoes.  He says they are called uniforms.  I knew that.  Sighing audibly as his shoulders drop, he still has hope.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned a few basic football terms. I know what a touchdown is and sometimes I can spot when the team is on offense or defense. Not always, but on occasion.  But despite my lack of knowledge and understanding of the sport, my husband says I would be a tough coach; he wouldn’t want to play for me.  I have very high expectations.  For example, when the quarterback gets sacked, I ask “Who messed up?”  When the kicker misses the field goal I will comment “How can you miss something so big?  You had one job?”  Apparently, I need to work on extending more grace to the players.  Shaking his head, my husband clings to his last glimmer of hope.

Being a Clemson football player’s wife who knows very little about football is a unique experience. It can be confusing at times, but it’s also filled with unforgettable moments and amazing people. If you’re like me, just remember to watch the game with an open mind.  If you don’t understand the game, football fashion is an interesting and intentional diversion.  The color combinations have meaning like whether you are playing on your home field, away, or may signify a traditional school event that has been celebrated for years.  I think Clemson wears all purple for Military Appreciation Day.  My husband said, when he played, they would get excited seeing an all-orange uniform hanging on their lockers.  I don’t remember what he said that signified.  Maybe I’ll ask him next season.  Admittedly, on a few occasions, I’ve shown up to games wearing the color of the opposing team.  In my defense, I didn’t know what their colors were.  As a result, I was strongly encouraged to change.  My wardrobe now contains a lot of orange and purple items.  Speaking of fashion, why is the quarterback always in a pocket?  But I digress.  Until now, by the end of each season my husband’s hopes that football would make more sense to me have precipitously declined.  But on the positive side, there’s always next year, right? 

Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll finally figure out who the “wide receiver” is, what a “blitz” is and why players, who gets handed the ball from the quarterback, routinely run up the middle when it is clearly blocked. Guys, take some advice from this armchair quarterback:  Main Street is always blocked!  But until I better understand the game and all that goes with it, I’ll wear Clemson colors at the right time and place.  And I’ll continue cheering, even if I don’t always know why. Go Tigers!

Leave a Reply