Dabo Swinney fires latest verbal salvo at Steve Spurrier, South Carolina

The Clemson Sports Blog

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney points the sky after entering the stadium before the start of the game.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney points the sky after entering the stadium before the start of the game.

— Another round of verbal back-and-forth between Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier unfolded this week.

At Tuesday’s press conference previewing South Carolina’s top-10 matchup at LSU, Spurrier quipped, “Most of our guys have never been to Death Valley. That is the real Death Valley, isn’t it? Is there another one?”

In 1948, former Presbyterian coach Lonnie McMillian told reporters that “he had to take his team up to Clemson and play in Death Valley,” and the name stuck.

LSU’s Tiger Stadium was known alternately as “Deaf Valley” and “Death Valley” in the 1980s, according to various articles, but the “Death Valley” moniker took hold sometime over the last 25-30 years.

Former LSU sports information director Herb Vincent researched the question in 1996 before the teams met in the Peach Bowl, talking to numerous longtime LSU fans and locals, and told the Associated Press no one knows which came first.

Wednesday, a reporter asked Swinney about Spurrier’s comments, and he responded in good kind.

“I can see where (Spurrier) might have a little confusion,” Swinney told reporters. “Our guys have never been to USC. California is a long way from here. I can see where there can be a little confusion there. There are two Death Valleys and two USCs. There's only one real one.

"But, anyway, coach Spurrier – that's classic Spurrier."

Swinney, of course, called out South Carolina after hearing a quote from USC’s official Twitter account saying “we aren’t Alabama and we aren’t LSU but we sure ain’t Clemson.” The quote, attributed to Spurrier, actually came from USC play-by-play man Todd Ellis following the Gamecocks’ victory over Clemson.

Swinney quipped that “Carolina is in Chapel Hill, USC is in California and the university in this state always has been and always will be Clemson” to begin an extended, now-infamous rant.

Who wins this war of words really doesn’t matter: Clemson or South Carolina will get the last- or at least the next – word when the teams meet in Clemson’s Death Valley on Nov. 24 in what will be a highly-anticipated showdown.

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Comments » 10

MoncksTater writes:

Dear heaven please let the Tigers pound those Coots in Death Valley this year ... and let the opposing ball coaches smug , smirky face be seen by news outlets everywhere directly after falling to his in state rivals...in Death Valley .

ManTiger writes:

I have not found CU stadium to be all that loud compared to many others

brookesdad729 writes:

Spurrier's an idiot and I wouldn't give him any kind of satisfaction by responding to anything he says! Dabo lets the Ole Ball Sack get to him every time! Line up and beat them chickens and then talk! Go Tigers!

kellytown writes:

I don't know who looks worst that chicken thats displayed at the bluff road stadium on saturday's or stevie.

starflyer59 writes:

I am a Clemson fan, but the gamecocks look to be unbeatable right now.

juxtaposer (Inactive) writes:

in response to brookesdad729:

Spurrier's an idiot and I wouldn't give him any kind of satisfaction by responding to anything he says! Dabo lets the Ole Ball Sack get to him every time! Line up and beat them chickens and then talk! Go Tigers!

It isn't Dabo. He merely responded (had to, really) to a question by a gaggle of reporters desperate for something to write about. Go to Tigernet.com and see the video.
The old ball sack is very vocal when his team is winning. Typical bully. He did the same thing with Phil Fulmer up at Tennessee. And at other places when his team is good..as SCarolina surely is right now. He's even gotten a little brazen with Nick Saban. Better be careful there.

brookesdad729 writes:

in response to juxtaposer:

It isn't Dabo. He merely responded (had to, really) to a question by a gaggle of reporters desperate for something to write about. Go to Tigernet.com and see the video.
The old ball sack is very vocal when his team is winning. Typical bully. He did the same thing with Phil Fulmer up at Tennessee. And at other places when his team is good..as SCarolina surely is right now. He's even gotten a little brazen with Nick Saban. Better be careful there.

Yep Spurrier has been very "humble", and I say that loosely, the past few years since his failed stint in the NFL and then arriving at SC, but now that he's starting to win, he's getting like he was at Florida, and I really disliked him then. Nothing takes care of that more than a beating. He knows he can't even carry Nick Saban's shoes so mentioning him and Saban in the same breath is unthinkable. Spurrier will never be as good as Saban, not at SC or anywhere else for that matter. Whoever plays Bama in the SEC Championship game is gonna get their clock cleaned, period!

TUN writes:

Spurrier may be a very good coach (and I think he is), but he is a total hack when it comes to history. Check this out from a simple Google search about the original Death Valley name as applied to football fields etc.:

"Although LSU's Tiger Stadium was constructed nearly 20 years earlier, the "Death Valley" nickname was first applied to Clemson's Memorial Stadium in reference to Howard's Rock, which was plucked frpm the dessert sands of the actual Death Valley in California.
LSU's use of the nickname came along quite by accident. In a tongue-in-cheek reference to Clemson Memorial's nickname, LSU supporters began referring to their stadium as "Deaf Valley", due to the magnificent volume levels produced within.
Unfortunately, this creativity was lost on television commentators, newspaper men, and, yep, a lot of us football fans alike, and after years of incorrectly referring to both as "Death Valley", the nickname stuck in Baton Rouge as well."

Lynx26 writes:

The way I see it... Let em talk! You're suppose to stand proudly behind your craft. They're sitting pretty right now... We have 1 loss- yea the SEC is way tougher than the ACC(not BBall season yet), but we'll have our chance to erase the last 3 years come Nov.24! I commend Spurrier for this... USC plays with aggression and toughness along with arrogance. It's cool with me.

We aren't as tough right now- we know that. But come Nov. 24 all the talk goes out of the window, baby!!! DABO continue to defend our troops and use some of that "trash talk" so we can play with a demeanor as well!

Leggo Clemson!

I love this GAME!

juxtaposer (Inactive) writes:

in response to TUN:

Spurrier may be a very good coach (and I think he is), but he is a total hack when it comes to history. Check this out from a simple Google search about the original Death Valley name as applied to football fields etc.:

"Although LSU's Tiger Stadium was constructed nearly 20 years earlier, the "Death Valley" nickname was first applied to Clemson's Memorial Stadium in reference to Howard's Rock, which was plucked frpm the dessert sands of the actual Death Valley in California.
LSU's use of the nickname came along quite by accident. In a tongue-in-cheek reference to Clemson Memorial's nickname, LSU supporters began referring to their stadium as "Deaf Valley", due to the magnificent volume levels produced within.
Unfortunately, this creativity was lost on television commentators, newspaper men, and, yep, a lot of us football fans alike, and after years of incorrectly referring to both as "Death Valley", the nickname stuck in Baton Rouge as well."

Sorry.....no bannana.

Clemson's Memeorial Stadium(and this is from memeory...NO WIKIPEDIA) was consturcted in or around 1950(looseley). The Presbyterian coach...name escapes me...bemoaned the fact that the Blue Hose got creamed every time they visited Memorial Stadium. HE nicknamed the stadium Death Valley.
At that time, LSU was winning SEC champinoships with the likes of Billy Cannon..probably before his time.... in TIGER STADIUM...and if anyone is of sufficient age, they remember listening to the """static""""" on the radio when listening to the broadcasts. The roar of the crowd was DEAFening.
A few years later, some lazy reporter referred to TIGER STADIUM as DEAFvalley..;;voila....and a misnomer emerges...so the Old Ball Sack can pull a funny.

Even funnier: Which Heisman winner was the least athletic: Gino Torreto, the old ball sack, or Danny Wuerful?

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