The Clemson Tigers Football Squad Gets Fired Up

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Clemson's Memorial Stadium (a.k.a. Death Valley) is the site of what has been called "the most exciting 25 seconds in college football." To get jacked up for game time and remind the enemy whose house they're in, the Clemson football team storms onto their field between two rows of band members and thousands of frenzied Tiger fans after each player rubs Howard's Rock.

Howard's Rock—a white flint boulder imported from the real Death Valley in California—sits at the top of a long grass hill that leads into the stadium. It was presented to legendary coach Frank Howard in the early 1960s and has served as inspiration for every Tiger since.

On Sept. 24, 1966, the rock was mounted on a pedestal at the top of "The Hill." Exactly one year later, Howard told his team that if they gave it their all against Wake Forest, he would let them rub the rock; the Tigers won 23-6. Soon thereafter, Howard let only the players who were ready to battle rub the rock. He would say: "If you're going to give me 110 percent, you can rub that rock. If not, keep your filthy hands off it."

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Clemson's Memorial Stadium (a.k.a. Death Valley) is the site of what has been called "the most exciting 25 seconds in college football." To get jacked up for game time and remind the enemy whose house they're in, the Clemson football team storms onto their field between two rows of band members and thousands of frenzied Tiger fans after each player rubs Howard's Rock.

Howard's Rock—a white flint boulder imported from the real Death Valley in California—sits at the top of a long grass hill that leads into the stadium. It was presented to legendary coach Frank Howard in the early 1960s and has served as inspiration for every Tiger since.

On Sept. 24, 1966, the rock was mounted on a pedestal at the top of "The Hill." Exactly one year later, Howard told his team that if they gave it their all against Wake Forest, he would let them rub the rock; the Tigers won 23-6. Soon thereafter, Howard let only the players who were ready to battle rub the rock. He would say: "If you're going to give me 110 percent, you can rub that rock. If not, keep your filthy hands off it."

Former Tiger tailback Rodney Blunt once said, "When you get to the bottom, it's like you're in a hole, and all around you are nothing but Clemson fans. It's like the crowd is one big voice. You feel like little kings."


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOOTBALL | MOTIVATION | COACH