27 November 2015

Surviving a Rivalry Relationship

True story: the night I met Patrick, one of the very first things that I told him was that I went to Clemson and I loved all things Clemson and that I did not like USC. At all. Not even a teeny, tiny bit.

But that wasn't always true.

I hate to admit it but y'all, I was the product of a house divided and this is what my childhood looked like growing up:


Thank goodness that somewhere along the way I actually chose a side and stuck with it {& got rid of those bangs!} It's been nothing but orange for me since then. But then came Patrick and he was a USC student and I ended up going to a few South Carolina games. At the end of that first season, we decided to make a bet on the outcome of the Clemson/USC game: loser had to wear a shirt from opposing team.

I learned my lesson: no more betting on the Clemson/USC game.


The good news is that we've survived six Clemson/USC games.

It was pretty rough for the first five years of our relationship though when USC won every single time we played. It didn't matter how good of a team Clemson had that year, USC would win. I saw close games, I saw not so close games, I saw them win at USC, and I saw them win at Clemson.

All five of those years made last year that much sweeter.

So how do we make this rivalry relationship work?

1. Be willing to be neutral.


While I've never worn garnet to a football game {that is a magenta scarf!}, I've sported plenty of white or black shirts. Patrick's been a little bit better than me about this because he has at least worn a dark purple polo to a Clemson game before and one that could almost be described as orange. This also means you shouldn't openly cheer for the opposing team to win when you're at your significant other's game... easier said than done {I'm not particularly good at that one}


2. Find a team that you both like and you can both cheer for.

Two years after we started dating, Patrick and I went to our first Panthers game together. The Panthers scored a touchdown and I jumped up and started cheering. I looked over and saw Patrick doing the same thing. We just kind of stared at each other for a minute because we'd never been in that situation before... it was so weird to us that we were cheering for the same team.


3. Find a fun new tradition that you can both enjoy.



Patrick and I decided that we wanted to throw in one away game per season to our crazy fall football schedule and alternate between our two teams each year. Last year, we went see USC play Vanderbilt... and thoroughly explored Nashville along the way. This year, we traveled to Kentucky to see Clemson play Louisville and got to explore Louisville {& bourbon!} while we were there. With two teams that play in two different conferences, we have a long list of 26 schools/new cities to visit! Well, 24 now that we've crossed 2 off of that list.


That being said... GO TIGERS! BEAT USC!

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