RTR Fan of the Month: July Edition


Are you a crazy Clemson fan? Do you know a fanatic? Whether it’s your neighbor, family member, co-worker, social media friend, etc-let us know. This is our second month and we want to thank Debby Laidlaw for being such a gratitious and helpful “Fan of the Month”for June.

Our choice for this month is Brook Collins Conklin. Brook grew up in Easley, SC with her parents and two older sisters.  As a four year old, Brook was dressed up in a Clemson cheerleader outfit equipped with pom poms by her grandmother, and that day was the beginning of her undying love for the Tigers. She attended Easley High and later Clemson University.

That love for her school and the teams didn’t just stop at sporting events, wearing athletic paraphernalia or displaying her pride on her automobiles but also in the halls of matrimony.

Remember the wedding saying, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something orange and purple.”

Yes, orange and purple were the colors fully displayed on October 26, 2013 when Brook Collins married Gary Conklin.

Does Gary have a favorite team and did you receive any resistance from him on having a Clemson themed wedding?

Gary basically loves the Pittsburgh Steelers and was pretty neutral on a college team when I met him. He’s from NY so he really didn’t have a state favorite…until he met me. I didn’t give him much of a choice. I did take him to Death Valley once when it was the off season…the lights just happened to be on at about 8:30 at night and he just stood there and said ” Wow, it’s amazing.” So he truly is a fan now, not just because I am. In regards to the wedding, it was actually his idea to have the Clemson theme.

One Life Photography

Were there any Gamecock fans as Groomsmen or Bridesmaids? Any initial resistance from them?

Yes, one of the groomsmen was a die-hard Gamecock fan. He kinda shrugged it off and laughed just because he loved Gary.

Any problems finding the Clemson colors? What was the hardest thing to find-rather it’s the colors or an item?

Finding the right color purple for the bridesmaids dresses was a challenge…other than that, I found what I wanted easily. I actually had my shoes custom made so those were probably the hardest to come by.

What was the most expensive item?

The flowers for sure. I wanted everything orange and purple and I wanted them EVERYWHERE!

One Life Photography

What is your favorite Clemson sport? And what sport would you like to see improve and would you watch it more?

Favorite sport hands down is football. I never miss a game…whether it be me watching it at the stadium, on my phone, the radio, or the tv. I would watch basketball more if they got better. We need a better level of recruiting.

Favorite player or players?

I loved watching CJ Spiller and James Davis…Thunder and Lightning ! They were so explosive…especially CJ Spiller. I am also very impressed with Deshaun Watson and his tenacity and level of commitment.

Do you like Dabo as the head coach? And what do you like about him?

I love Dabo as the head coach. I love his passion and how much he cares for the players. He is just an all around great guy.

Brook Collins Conklin with Dabo Swinney.

I know the five game losing streak to the Gamecocks was tough to deal with so how did you deal with it?

Oh my gosh, it was awful. I dealt with it by reminding the Gamecock fans how many more wins we have over them as a whole. When you are a die-hard fan, you just deal with it because you have no choice. When you bleed orange, you love them no matter what, win or lose.

Are you a Clemson fan who cheers for the hated rival to show state support or do you wish the worst for them in all sports?

I hate to say it but I never cheer for USC. Ever! Matter of fact, other than being a Clemson fan, the next fan I am is whoever USC is playing that week. I can’t help it.

If you’re not at Death Valley, then where do you watch a Tiger game? Can you watch it in a packed bar? If no, why not?

Oh no, I cannot. I get too hyped up and I yell at the tv, sometimes yell at the refs…so the best thing for me to do is watch it at home.

What is your most prized Clemson possession?

Probably would have to say my memories. All of them. I remember driving all the way up to the games from Myrtle Beach and then spending the night with my Grandmother, and she would leave the door open for me until the wee hours of the morning so I could celebrate afterwards. I would literally call my dad every single game and talk about every single play…it was another way to keep me close with my family.

Brook Collins Conklin hanging with The Tiger.

What would you like to say to Clemson fans?

That we are going to be the state champs again this year!! And National Champions!!!!

Brook’s love for Clemson is easy to see and her passion runs deep. She is currently waiting patiently for the 2015-16 football season along with the newest and her most important Tiger fan, Gary.

By the way, Gary and Brook did have something “blue” in their wedding so good luck is still in their future and the Gamecock groomsman will remain anonymous(see featured photo) for the sake of public humiliation but he is definitely a great friend to don the colors of the rival.