For the first time in 80 years, The Citadel fans make their way to Clinton

Sep 09 Written by  MONTE DUTTON

Once upon a time, Tom T. Hall wrote a song in which he mentioned a fellow in a bar “who claimed he was a veteran of the Falkland Islands War.” It was only slightly more likely for The Citadel to be playing football in Clinton on Saturday.

The Hurricane Irma crisis was averted, but The Citadel marched up to play Presbyterian College, anyway.

No one playing on or rooting for either team minded a hurricane going west of the forecast path.  The game was moved from Charleston to Clinton, when The Citadel’s home had a target placed on it by seers representing the National Weather Service, The Weather Channel, Weather Nation and the models originated by Europeans and Americans, not to mention careful readers of Nostradamus and the Book of Revelation.

Better it is to trust a Facebook meme than a long-range forecast.

Had officials of The Citadel and Presbyterian known on Wednesday what had changed by Saturday, the game would have been played, as scheduled, at Johnson Hagood Stadium. The Bulldogs had not played the Blue Hose in Clinton since 1937, and it took a flawed storm forecast to get them here this time.

Changing conditions changed travel plans. Most of the Citadel fans who had once considered stopping by Clinton for a ballgame en route to wherever Irma wasn’t, changed their minds and drove back to the Low Country afterwards.

There were, however, exceptions. A man from St. Augustine, Fla., said he had taken his family first to Charleston, then to Charlotte, and then down to Clinton for the game.

“It’s good to see the ’Dogs,” he said, “but I expect we’ll take our time getting back to Florida.”

A Citadel man from Anderson, who had two grandsons in tow, said he was greatly impressed with the atmosphere of a Presbyterian home game, but then he would be as The Citadel led the Blue Hose, 35-7, at the time.

The Bulldogs wore home uniforms – the choice to oppose the Blue Hose was steel-gray jerseys and pants -- but as befits a team ranked 13th in one NCAA Football Championship Subdivision poll and 14th in the other, The Citadel dons, at various times, white, black, gray and, officially, light, i.e., Citadel Blue. The team wore its so-called “Duty” togs. Other combinations include Home, Dress White, Salt & Pepper, PT and Summer Leave. Any would have been suitable to defeat the Blue Hose, 48-7, on Saturday. The Bulldogs rolled up 539 yards to Presbyterian’s 229.

In summary, lured to the Upstate by the threat of disaster, The Citadel made itself right at home.

Last modified on Saturday, 09 September 2017 23:22