Is Christianity in Dire Straits – Part I?

Symptoms of being in dire straits:

Burned out…
Not a fan of your earlier work…
Too many expectations…
No hope for a return…

Mark Knopfler and his boys dealt with similar issues and it killed them…

Dire Straits was considered by many to be the premiere rock band of the mid ’80s after their hit Money for Nothing and the video that followed it…

But the pressures of trying to be the best got to them and they separated…

Sound familiar? It should…

If we aren’t careful, we too can get caught up in the game of Christianity…

We get burned out trying to be something or someone we’re not…

Or we never forgive ourselves for things we’ve done…

Or maybe we do accomplish something great, receive the accolades, but then spend the rest of our lives trying to relive that moment…

Christianity, if viewed improperly, can be overbearing. It can be confusing and tiring and frustrating…

It can do to you what it did to the Dire Straits – ruin you…

But, if viewed in the proper light and relationship, it brings life. It brings joy. It brings hope…

If at any point on your Christian journey you get discouraged or exhausted or begin to feel like you’re in Dire Straits – remember that you have the great Sultan of Swing on your side and in your heart…

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I Hate the Game Because of the Playa’s

My first introduction into the Palmetto State rivalry was 1987. I was 8.

The Friday before the game was donned Carolina-Clemson day at school (you immediately know where loyalties lie based upon which team comes first when naming the game), and we were encouraged to wear garnet or orange to support our team.

When a few friends showed up in garnet, I was a tad confused. I’d never really consorted with people from “that other” school. Should I treat them the same? Can they still be my friend?

My logic brought me here: Any team of a friend couldn’t be that bad if my friends liked them.

USC went on to win that game 20-7 to have their first two year period without a Clemson win in nearly 20 years.

On Monday morning, following USC’s win, the cafeteria was adorned with USC posters, streamers, and a DOT matrix banner (remember those – where the paper fed through the little holes on the outside. Then, when you were done, you removed the perforated edges) and the teachers and administrators congratulated USC over the loudspeaker.

I thought this a tad obnoxious, but figured USC won the state championship and probably deserved the honor.

The following year, Clemson won, and I was so excited for school Monday to see the celebration they would receive. It didn’t take long to realize little would be said of Clemson’s win. There were no posters or banners on the outside of the school. No decorations in the cafeteria. No school wide congratulations over the loudspeaker. Nothing.

It was at that point I realized you had to pick a side – and there was only one side to be chosen.

Orange.

The orange my mom and dad proudly wore. The orange my mom’s mom and dad proudly wore. The orange I then chose to proudly wear.

And since that day, I have never looked back.

I met a girl that wears orange. My two little girls wear orange (and purple). My boss and most of my coworkers wear orange. Even my pastor wears orange.

Yet – there’s something about the Clemson-Carolina game I hate.

This hate isn’t for a lack of winning. In fact, Clemson never lost to USC while I was in school. And following USC’s win in 2001, Clemson went on to win four more in a row.

The hate isn’t out of jealousy. Our rival does plenty to keep themselves in the news – usually for the wrong reasons.

The hate isn’t due to any one person, but rather many people – namely USC fans. Not necessarily alums, but fans.

Fans that are waiting for you at the door when they win, but can’t be found when they lose.

Fans who stormed into Death Valley and took a chunk of Howard’s Rock.

Fans who lay claim to the entire state just because they’re named after it.

Fans who claim their superiority just because of conference affiliation.

Fans who state their dominance because they’ve won three games in a row for the first time in 35 years.

Fans who shout “Go Cocks”.

Fans who are incapable of having a rational conversation regarding the two teams.

You could actually lump me in with that last one. Maybe I’m part of the problem too.

That’s okay, at least I’m not a USC fan.

The Authority of God

The doctor tells a patient they need to change their diet, or else…

The teacher tells the student they need to change their focus, or else…

The boss tells the employee they need to change their habits, or else…

The parent tells the child they need to change their behavior, or else…

The coach tells the player they need to change their attitude, or else…

And then there’s God…

He asks us to change our diet, to have self-control, to be filled with the Word and the Holy Spirit…

He asks us to change our focus, to take every thought captive and think about things that are true and pure…

He asks us to change our habits, to pray continuously and to throw off everything that hinders…

He asks us to change our behaviors, tells us we are a new creation and to love our enemies…

He asks us to change our attitude, to be humble, and to make our attitude the same as His Son…

God asks us, some would say even commands us, but yet, we rarely listen. We give great credence to doctors, teachers, and coaches, but God – not so much…

Which of our leaders has ever raised the dead, performed miracles, or healed the sick? Which one of these ever comforted or answered prayer?

So we follow blindly the ones with no power, but toss the Source to the side…

I do the same – but wonder why? Why do I place my chips on a gamble where the odds are not in my favor, where I can’t control the outcome?

But we have a God who is in control, a High Priest, who is holy, blameless, and pure, and can handle anything…

He has the authority. If only I would trust him as such…

One of Those Days

They say each generation has that one flashbulb memory moment where they can remember in great detail a specific moment. They remember where they were, who they were with, and what they were doing. Some even remember weather or clothes or other minute details of that event…

My parents had November 22, 1963, JFK’s assassination, and my grandparents had December 7, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor…

My generation has two – January 28, 1986, the Challenger explosion, and September 11, 2001…

I can remember both events in detail, especially September 11th. I remember our office huddled around a small black and white television watching fuzzy news reports and listening to NPR through our office phones (NPR was our hold music at the time). I remember the disbelief, the confusion, the fear…

Janet and I had just purchased our first home less than two weeks before and were still in the moving and unpacking stages. I remember wanting to cry, but the utter shock of the day preventing any form of emotion from exiting the body…

These flashbulb memory moments can also occur individually, and, for me, November 22, 2003 is one of those days…

This is not a memory created by a single event, but actually forged through multiple little memories in an almost surreal manner…

This rather warm Saturday started with the funeral for Janet’s hero – her father. I don’t remember much before the funeral, other than being in multiple rooms, but I remember the funeral itself. I remember the slideshow and Janet speaking to everyone while quoting lyrics from a Ten Shekel Shirt song. And I remember the ride back to her parent’s house after the funeral, the speed bumps and listening to ESPN Radio trying to learn whether or not Michigan defeated Ohio State (Des was a Michigan alum)…

But back to the funeral – the one thing that will always stay with me is the people…

I was amazed at the number of people who drove to Charleston, SC, where very few of actually resided, to celebrate Des. People I had never met told me stories I had never known because they were impacted by a man they hadn’t seen in years. There were people from jobs and churches and neighborhoods, some of which go back 30-40 years…

Seeing all this gave me a beautiful picture of family – and its power to heal. Janet and I didn’t expect many, if any at all, of our friends from Bluffton to make it. But afterwards, as we were speaking with some of those who attended, we saw one family we recognized. But, to be honest, it wasn’t one of the families we thought may come. It was actually a family that felt compelled to be there to support us – and I am still grateful…

However, the greatest gift of friendship didn’t come from the sacrificing of money or time or comfort, but of pride. One of Gail’s good friends is a USC alum and fanatic, and as we were speaking with them, we noticed something out of place – she was wearing a Clemson necklace in honor of my father-in-law and his three Clemson educated children (and two educated sons-in-law)…

What made this gesture even more humbling was that later that evening would be the Clemson – Carolina rivalry game…

Following the ride home from the funeral is a bit of memory gap – until kick-off of the Clemson-Carolina game…

We had two tv’s going – one upstairs and one down. The downstairs version was the entertainment version, where guests and food were king, but upstairs…upstairs was serious football watching…

Anywhere from 5-10 guests – all Clemson alums – gathered to watch the game. Most of us were looking for a reprieve from the day and the emotions – excited about the distraction…

What we were granted with was divine…

We were able to do something we hadn’t done in a while – genuinely smile. We looked at each other in disbelief and awe at what we were watching…

At one point Janet and I glanced around the room and saw everyone smiling and relaxing and knew Des, with his forever gracious and hospitable heart, would have his own celebration no other way…

Maybe It’s Not What We Thought It Was

They are who we thought they were! Denny Green after losing to the 49ers…

He was asked about whether or not the team he just lost to was different than what they expected. He responded with an emphatic no. They are who we thought they were – we just didn’t do what we needed to do…

But what if something you’ve always known is actually not what you thought it was?

What if it’s different?

Or worse yet – what if it’s indifferent?

What if it’s a Bible verse and you’ve been using it to justify or explain yourself – and this verse is actually about something completely different?

What if this verse contains the words of Jesus – and a miracle?

What if it’s Jesus’ very first miracle?

What if the topic de jour is alcohol?

The verses in question come from John 2 where Jesus turns water into wine while at a wedding feast…

Many use this miracle as proof positive that Christians can drink – I mean if Jesus’ first miracle is turning water into wine, then he is obviously okay with drinking…

And when I said many, I meant many – pastors, leaders, teachers, and laymen. I’ve seen it used and quoted by them all. “You know, Jesus’ very first miracle was turning water into wine; therefore, it is obviously okay to drink. If not, then why did Jesus make another 100 gallons of alcohol and not just any wine, but the good stuff. I bet Jesus was a wine aficionado and wanted people to appreciate it”…

But what if this miracle is not about alcohol at all? What if the wine is an innocent bystander?

Jesus’ first miracle serves many purposes and condoning alcohol is not one of them…

It speaks to his authority – he is now establishing his position over his family. His mom, Mary, recognizes she can do nothing and that Jesus can. She cedes her parental authority to his by telling the wedding workers to do whatever Jesus tells them to…

It speaks to his deity – he does something supernatural that only the Son of God could do…

It speaks to his compassion – he comes to the rescue of a wedding couple who were about to face embarrassment, and possibly litigation…

It speaks to his purpose – why use your first miracle on those who really don’t need one. They weren’t sick, poor, or lame. He didn’t forgive sins or make a big splash, but yet here we are 2,000 years later talking about it…

It also speaks to his condoning – not of drinking, but of marriage. There is some significance to the fact that Jesus came to the rescue of two people being joined together in marriage. This was no random party – it was a wedding feast…

Now – I’m not getting into the argument of drinking in this post – and you may be surprised at my thoughts – I’m just saying it’s foolish to base your justification on a single verse, miracle, proverb, or even thought…

The Bible is the inerrant word of God and can never contradict itself. A thought from one verse can always be reconfirmed through the use of other verses. If not, then odds are it is being taken out of context…

And if it is being taken out of context, it may NOT be what you think it is…

For additional thoughts on these verse, click here:

Art versus Message

I have previously tried to describe some of my frustrations with Christian music, but I couldn’t put my finger on the basis of that frustration.  Michael Gungor, one of the really good guys and artists lays out his take…

I don’t necessary agree with everything in his post, especially the use of Jesus’ first miracle as the mass basis of thought, but I do agree with the general sentiments…

To read or learn about Michael Gungor and his music, visit his website: http://gungormusic.com/

When you are in a touring band, there is a lot of time that is spent waiting. Waiting to board a plane, waiting for the bus to arrive at the venue, waiting for sound check…etc One of the many games that people in our band have implemented now and then to fill the waiting time is a little game we might call the “Christian or secular” game. Basically the game is simply playing a very short clip of music and having someone guess whether it is “Christian” or “secular” music. The person who is most accurate with his or her guesses is the winner.

This is surprisingly easy to do.

Especially when you talk about radio stations. It is easy for me to spot a Christian music radio station within about 3 seconds. Far before any Christian lingo is uttered to make it clear.

It’s weird. I’m always trying to figure out what it is that makes something sound like Christian music, because there’s definitely something… I’d love to get some of your thoughts about it. But for me (and I’m actually one of the better players of the game if I must say so myself), I find something very disingenuous about most Christian music. This is something I can simply feel at a gut level. If I hear a song, and I hear any sort of pretending or false emotion, that’s a good first indicator. I’m really not trying to throw mud here, I’m being honest at how I am good at this game. Christian music often has a sheen to it that other music doesn’t have. Some pop and country music has a similar sheen, but the Christian sheen is like a blander sheen somehow.

The vocals are always really hot in the mix because for Christian music, the words are the most important part. That’s kind of similar to country though as well, so you have to be careful there. Country has some of the same Nashville tones, players, and compression styles that Christian music has most of the time, but the twang is just a little deeper with the country side of things. There’s also a little more “humanness” or “soul” in Country to my ears.

The false emotion that I’m talking about might be familiar to some of you. There’s just something more believable about the whispery sexy voice that is singing about sex on the mainstream radio station than the voice that copies that style of singing while putting lyrics in about being in the arms of Jesus. And it’s really not even the style or the lyric that is the problem to me, it’s the fact that I don’t believe that the singer is feeling the kind of emotions in singing that lyric that would lead to that style of singing. It’s that same kind of creep out that you feel when somebody gives a really loud fake laugh. It’s just weird and uncomfortable feeling.

An example of this would be a song that somebody sent us recently of an older song of mine called “Wrap Me In Your Arms.” The lyric is a very intimate and soft sort of lyric. “Take me to that place where I can be with you, you can make me like you…etc” This person did a hardcore/screamo version of this song. Not just like getting a little loud, I mean full out death metal sounding, demon-voiced screaming. It was so freaking weird mostly because it seemed so disingenuous. You would never speak such gentle words to someone you loved by screaming in their face like you were possessed by Beelzebub. That’s an extreme example, but it’s very typical of the basic premise of most Christian music to me, which is–use whatever musical style you wish as a medium to communicate your message. It’s not about the art, it’s about the message. So use whatever tools and mediums you have at your fingertips to do so. If you want to reach emo kids, then sing emo music but with Jesus language. The problem with this is that emo music is not simply reducible to certain sounding tones and chords. There are emotions and attitudes of different genres of music that are the soul of the music. You can’t remove the anger from screamo and have it still be screamo. It’s the soul of that music, whether that soul is good or evil is not the point, simply that it is the soul. So when you remove the soul from music and transplant the body parts (chord changes, instrumentation, dress, lights, and everything but the soul…) and parade it around with some more “positive” lyrics posing as Christian music, then what you have is a musical zombie.

It looks like a human.. It eats like a human… It still walks and makes noise and resembles a human, but it’s not. It’s a zombie. It has no soul. It just uses it’s human body for its own purposes.

This is what I initially feel when I play the “Christian or secular” game. I look into its eyes, and I perceive whether the thing has a soul or not. And 9 times out of ten, I can do it very quickly and efficiently.

Why is this like this? I don’t know, and it makes me very sad. I don’t hate all Christian music. There are a few artists that I know in the Christian industry that are really trying to transcend the inherent limitations and zombying effect of the industry. But the industry as a whole is broken, friends. We call it Christian, but it’s certainly not based in Christianity. It is based on marketing. That’s it. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but it wouldn’t be true.

Example:

We just were part of one of the biggest tours of the fall in the Christian music industry. To my knowledge, every night but one night was sold out, and that’s because they added a second show in the same city kind of last minute. The interesting thing about this tour was that it was pretty much in all mainstream venues. Clubs, theatres…etc It was awesome.

But you know what made me sad? That empty bar every night.

Even though these shows were all sold out, I would imagine that the bartenders at all those clubs were like “oh man, Christian night… that means no tips for me.”

Sometimes the promoters would just buy out the bar so there wouldn’t be any liquor sales at all.
I’m not saying that I wished that everybody was getting hammered at the show… But for crying out loud, buy one beer. Or heck, if you don’t drink beer, buy a Coke.

But here’s what is super weird about this situation. I bet you if you took all of those Christians that came to the shows and split them up and had them go to “secular” shows, A LOT of them would have bought a drink. It’s the fact that there is this assumption among all of the Christians there that having a drink at a Christian event is sort of a questionable thing to do.

Why is this?

It’s certainly not because of the Bible. Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding. And not just any wine. The kind of wine that made people think they saved the very best wine until the end. And you preachers who pervert the scriptures with your own extremely biased interpretations, here’s a news flash, people at parties don’t think the best wine is non-alcoholic grape juice. Religious people didn’t call Jesus “a glutton and a drunkard” because he ate communion loafers and grape juice all of the time.

Sheesh. It’s just so ridiculous to me.

And here’s the thing. I don’t even drink very much. I’ve never really been drunk, and I’m not advocating that people should just be foolish with their drinking or eating habits. But for crying out loud, this whole spiritualizing of alcohol being an inherently bad thing is so annoying. It’s mostly just an American thing, by the way (as well as places where America has exported these ideas with our missionaries). If you go most other places in the world, or anywhere else in history for that matter, Christians drink alcohol. Ever heard of a little thing called Communion? You know, the bread and the wine? That’s a pretty big deal in Christianity. Jesus didn’t pour out a cup of grape juice.

Man alive.

You know what the alcohol thing is based on? You ready for this? You sure?

Money.

Old people are the people that give the most money to Christian organizations like religious media outlets. And old people grew up in a time where alcohol was seen as a taboo social reality. Just like dancing or playing cards or “mixed bathing” (swimming). It’s based in an era of prohibition. These are old American values that we’re dealing with, not Christian values. It’s the old American people that have money that the Christian organizations do not want to offend. So they create an environment where drinking is seen as evil. If you want to start a television ministry, you can’t have it known to your donors that your staff likes to go out for drinks after work. So you implement rules for them. Do you know how common this is? I have friends that have lost their jobs over crap like this.

Do you see the irony of this? If you had been a disciple of Jesus and drank some of the wine of his first recorded miracle with him, you would be fired from a lot of the churches in this country. Shame on us.

So the point? (I haven’t forgotten) The point is that the industry that labels things as Christian and sells them to you has far more to do with marketing then Christianity. They are marketing to the mixed bag of values that has created the Evangelical Christian subculture. It’s a mix of some historically Christian values, some American values, and a whole lot of cultural boundary markers that set “us” apart from “them.” This sort of system makes us feel safe and right, and it makes some of its gatekeepers very wealthy and powerful.

The effect is then the filtering down of this subculture to people that don’t necessarily want to think through the viability of every one of these boundary markers, but in their simple desire to belong to what they consider the good guys, they acquiesce to the rules handed to them. At least in public. As the joke goes, why do you take two Baptists with you when you go fishing? Because if you only bring one, he’ll drink all your beer.

Here are some of the actual effects of this subculture though.

1. It makes us dishonest

When the foundation of the market and music you are trying to make is pretense, it’s very hard to be honest and successful. There is an unspoken assumption from most of us that we really want the people on the stage or on the book or album cover or on the radio need to have it together more than we do. Because we are messed up, we need them to be a sort of savior and hope for us. The result of this is that it’s often the people who are really good at pretending that they have it all together that make it to the stage and the book or album cover and the radio stations.

So Christians that would normally buy a beer don’t because they are in the Christian concert. Christian bands that smoke (which a lot of them if not most of them do, including some of my players) have to duck into back alleys as to not offend anybody. I think smoking is stupid. But I think it’s stupid because it smells bad and it kills you. I don’t use my religion to judge other people about it.

Rather than just being honest about where we are at and what we all struggle with though, we look to our gatekeepers to believe and live morally vicariously for us. That way we feel better about being part of the system of good, and the moral brokenness in our own lives is repressed like the fear of a child with her security blanket.

This sort of dishonesty is at the heart of much of what I and so many others find so repulsive about much of modern American Christendom

2. It kills creativity

I had a conversation with John Mark McMillan last night about something that I think is very interesting. By the way, I consider John Mark to be one of the ones I consider to be making a valiant effort in transcending some of these imposed limitations in this industry. But he mentioned to me how strange it is that people keep calling his new album “creative.” That word is actually one of the most used words when people describe our music as well. In fact, I bet some of you reading this have described as such. Here’s the weird thing about this…

Why do you find it necessary to say that?

Do you notice that nobody really uses that word about other types of music? I just was perusing some Itunes user reviews to see if this holds up. I checked John Mark and mine, and “creativity” is very often found. But it’s not often found in reviews of bands like Sigur Ros, Bon Iver, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens or other artists who are certainly very “creative.”

Nobody goes to an art gallery and says, “boy, that painting is so creative.” Why? Because it’s art! Of course it’s creative! Why else would it be there? It’s very nature is creativity. Or like Lisa pointed out to me today, “that would be like saying, I love your house, it’s so architectural.”

But when someone in the Christian industry actually takes their art seriously, everybody is like “holy crap, listen to how creative it is!”

It’s like a person that’s been living among zombies for years seeing an actual human being and exclaiming, “wow, look at how clean her face is! She doesn’t even have any blood on it or anything!”

I’m not slamming the people that describe our music as creative. I appreciate the kindness that’s behind the words, but it does make me sad that the idea of creativity is so foreign to our industry that we have to actually point it out when someone actually sees the art as art and not zombie propaganda. Ok, that might have been a little much. But I like the sentence so I’ll leave it.

So that’s why I’m good at the Christian or secular game. I’ve seen behind the curtain, and I know the little man that’s pulling the levers, and he’s not impressive. I recognize his voice at this point, and it’s all over religious media.

Why am I writing this blog?

Some of you have commented in the past when I’ve been critical of the Christian music industry that I’m being hypocritical by still being a part of it. I don’t see it that way. I actually love a lot of the individual people in the industry. There really are some amazing people in it, many of who share my weariness about the way things have been. And I also love you guys. I love our fans. I love the people that we get to meet and I love being able to get our music to them. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try our best to purify the systems that we are part of. I just want to be honest about what I see and call us to find better ways of doing things.

Two quick recommendations and I’ll stop this blog that has already gone on WAY too long:

Consumers: I would suggest that you actively support those artists that you love that the industry hasn’t necessarily bought into. The cards are stacked against people that actually want to do honest creative art in this industry, and the people that try really need your direct help and support to have any chance. For us, we’ve had one guy for instance that has been sending us a check every month for years because he appreciates what we are trying to do. Do you know how much that one family has helped us stay encouraged? Even if it’s not a huge amount of money or anything, just having people behind you in this sort of battle is really helpful.

Industry people: Stop being so afraid. I know you want things to be different than they are as well. I know you want creativity to be valued as much as “Becky” analysis, but we need some of you to have some balls and make some decisions based on that value system. Yes money matters. But so does beauty. Art actually makes a difference in the world. Have the courage to actually make decisions on values and not simply on past numbers and trends. And for crying out loud, if it really is good, the numbers will follow eventually anyway.

Artists: Take heart. I think the tides may be turning. The recent attention and success of our band speaks to it I think. People are growing weary of the status quo. The machine and its sheen have seen its strongest days. So I encourage you as well to not be afraid. Your art is worth making even if the industry around you isn’t quite ready for it yet. Make it and let them catch up with you. Your art is sacred. Be honest. Be brave. And don’t let the markets or the industry be the final filter on your art, let your heart do that. Ok that’s all from me tonight.

Destination > Journey

Most people say the journey is more than the destination…

Well, they’ve never been a man, a Christian (or a Christian man), in construction, or a Clemson fan, for each of the these the destination is far greater than the journey…

The man bumbles through the journey, going through the motions, just hoping it will end. Usually when he gets there, the result itself doesn’t matter – just as long as there is closure…

The Christian goes through the journey with one focus – the destination – and there is nothing on said journey that will ever compare with the destination – eternity with God…

The Christian man – well, some things along the journey are better left unwritten. Luckily, the Christian man receives the same destination as the Christian woman…

Construction – no one truly loves it. The long hours, the grueling work, the red tape – but everyone loves the finished product. A completed project is what it is all about. They don’t move the bus during the week – just at the end…

And then there is being a Clemson fan – where the only thing that comes easy is beating your rival…

The Wake Forest game is a prime example. A great journey would have included free parking pass, tickets, and soft pretzels, multiple visits by the Tiger, all wrapped around a three touchdown romp. We could have danced in the aisles, planned our trip to Charlotte, and sang a lot of mediocre 80s songs from the loud speakers…

But that’s not Clemson’s style and that’s not the Powell style…

We had no parking pass, so we dumped a car on Perimeter Road – in a “No-Parking Zone” with the plan to catch a ride with family that did have a parking pass. Only they got to Clemson and realized it was still back home…

At the stadium, we begin the search for tickets. They’ll be easy to find, right? It is Wake Forest, after all…

After spending a good bit of time looking for four together, with no luck, we abandoned that idea to go after tickets in pairs…

We find a quick pair and I decide to check my phone to see the time – only to have the tickets stick to my phone. Out they both come. I was able to salvage one ticket, but the other flew away – never to be found again…

We finally found a second pair of tickets fairly close to the first two plus we buy a cheap ticket to replace the lost one and made our way into the stadium…

If Clemson were to romp by three touchdowns, all would be forgotten. But alas, Clemson decided to team up with the American Heart Association and run all 80k fans through an impromptu heart check…

  • They go from being up 7 to down 14 in less than half a quarter
  • Wake lined up for a short field goal, which might have put Clemson away had it gone in…
  • After tying the game late in the 4th, they got the ball back with nearly 2 minutes left, which is plenty of time – until Clemson misses their own short field goal
  • Luckily, they received one more chance. This time, they reached their destination by a game-winning field goal…

While the journey makes for good story, and good memories, I could have done without the drama and struggles.  In the end, the destination is certainly much greater – and easier than the destination…