Clemson Football has announced the gameday designations for the 2024 season. The Tigers will play seven home games this fall and each will have a special theme, sometimes two themes.
While the calendar usually falls together with a logical order, the placement of one major traditional event is a bit awkward.
The Tigers kick off the home schedule against the Appalachian State Mountaineers on September 7th. This game has been designated as Football Reunion and First Responders Day.
Clemson will host the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 21st and they will celebrate Family Weekend and Land Grant Day.
On September 28th the Tigers will host new ACC member Stanford at Death Valley. They have designated this as Homecoming Weekend. This one seems odd because Homecoming usually happens following a road trip.
The most likely reason Homecoming is a game following another home game is that Clemson only plays one home game in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As such, the game on October 19th against the Virginia Cavaliers has been designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Day. It has also been designated as Clemson + Day, which is to highlight the athletic department’s streaming service.
The November 2nd game against the Louisville Cardinals has been designated as Hall of Fame Day, which is when the Tigers will recognize the members of the 2024 Class for the Clemson Hall of Fame.
The November 23rd contest against The Citadel Bulldogs will be both Military Appreciation Day and Senior Day. The Tigers will wear purple jerseys and honor their seniors and graduates in their next-to-last home game.
Old man rant: Clemson Football should prioritize Senior Day and place it on the final home game of the season
This season’s final home game, against archrival South Carolina Gamecocks, will be IPTAY Day when the Tigers honor their donors who help fund the university's programs.
Though game designations are trivial to some, I am not crazy about this schedule. I do understand the reasoning for placing Breast Cancer Awareness on the Virginia game because of the correlation with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That is a worthy cause that is bigger than football.
I also agree that putting both Breast Cancer Awareness Day and Homecoming on the same weekend minimizes the emphasis that both days deserve. Last season, both days fell on the same weekend, and maybe they learned from that experience. This is an awkward placement for Homecoming but I do think there is a logical reason behind the decision.
I don't like the situation, but if I were in charge, I would begrudgingly make the same decision. I also acknowledge that I am probably an army of one with my discomfort with Homecoming not following a road trip.
The one quirk in the way Clemson usually does their schedules is that in years when they play the Gamecocks in Death Valley they usually don't put Senior Day on that game. Again, there might be a very logical reason for this. Maybe they feel that the hype of the rivalry takes the focus off the seniors.
If the seniors prefer their day be in the penultimate game to avoid crossover with the Palmetto Bowl, then that is when it should be. Personally, I prefer when Senior Day is the last hurrah of their last season, and I think that weekend should be reserved for honoring the seniors.