Tiger fans show up early to see new team

08/17/2014 10:42 PM

08/17/2014 10:44 PM

Dusty Horne pulled off quite a coup over the weekend.

On Saturday, he was first in line at the Jefferson County (Tenn.) Fair to get an autograph from actress Catherine Bach, who as “Daisy Duke” on the TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard” had her legs insured for $1 million.

On Sunday, he was first in line at Clemson’s Fan Appreciation Day to get an autograph from Vic Beasley, who as a standout defensive end for the Clemson football team has his legs insured for $3 million.

Despite the disparity in insurance policies, Horne admits that he still prefers Bach’s legendary legs to Beasley’s.

But with the Tigers’ season-opening game less than two weeks away, he’s more interested in where Beasley’s legs might lead the Tigers this season.

“I think Georgia’s gonna get beat and I think (South) Carolina’s finally gonna lose (to Clemson),” Horne said. “Florida State’s the only game I’m scratching my head over.

“But if Beasley can get back there and put a few hits on Jameis Winston, maybe the tide might turn.”

Horne, of Westminster, and friend Jason Nicholson of Seneca were among thousands of Clemson fans who flocked to Memorial Stadium Sunday, braving long lines and 92-degree temperatures to greet, meet and secure signatures from their favorite Tigers.

Horne and Nicholson arrived at 8:30 a.m. to secure their strategic place in line.

“The goal was to get here fast and get through the line fast so we could get in another line fast,” Nicholson said.

It worked. Ten minutes into the festivities, they were in their second line of the day.

Meanwhile, the Saylors family of Anderson took a different approach.

Astrid Saylors and her 4-year-old daughter were first at the gate to see the offensive players on one side of Memorial Stadium; on the other side of the stadium, her husband Chris and their 2½-year-old twins were at the front of the line to see the defensive players.

“My husband was very adamant about us being first in line,” Astrid said. “So here we are.”

Pendleton’s Conrad Frick, 10, wasn’t first in line, but he was hard to miss while wielding a large “Roll Cole” sign, complete with a Batman logo that he made himself.

“Ever since I saw a picture of Cole Stoudt with his Batman wrist band, I just had to make the poster,” Frick said.

Nicholson was more focused on Stoudt’s back-up at quarterback – highly touted freshman Deshaun Watson.

“I’m excited about seeing him play,” Nicholson said. “I think we’ll see him early, probably in the second quarter of the first game.”

But it was Frick who perhaps captured best the prevailing sentiment among Clemson fans on Fan Appreciation Sunday.

“I think they’re going to have a good season,” he said. “I hope they beat the Gamecocks. I’m tired of them winning.”

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