Tim Bourret '77 | December 28, 2018
The Notre Dame team buses arrived at Clemson's Memorial Stadium about 11 a.m. on Nov. 12, 1977. The Irish were to face a surging Clemson team that had lost just one game and was ranked 15th in the nation. The Tigers had not been to a bowl game in 18 years and the locals were in a frenzy.
I was on the first bus, seated near the front next to legendary Notre Dame sports information director Roger Valdiserri, my boss at the time. I was the only graduate assistant in the SID office and this was my first trip with the team. Assistant SID Bob Best had told me on the Monday before the game he was behind on finishing the basketball media guide and that I was going to Clemson.
In those days, the visiting buses pulled into Memorial Stadium next to the locker room door. Roger and I looked through the front window of that first bus and the famous hill at Clemson was already packed, two hours before kickoff.
Roger looked at me and said, "What in the world are we doing here?" I laughed. It felt like we were about to be ambushed.
As if the Clemson crowd would not be excited enough, Notre Dame coach Dan Devine had added fuel to the fire during the week with some comments about his concern over Clemson crowd noise and the willingness of the Atlantic Coast Conference officials to keep the atmosphere civil while the Irish were trying to run a play.
His concerns deepened the night before the game when Clemson fans continually called his room at the Clemson Holiday Inn at 2, 3 and 4 a.m. For some reason the front desk kept putting calls through to his room.
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