This is the first of an occasional CRant series on the FSU fan experience at opponents' stadiums. We're looking for other Noles to profile home fields of B.C., N.C. State, UNC, UM, etc. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you can tell FSU faithful what to expect, including tailgating, seating and how hostile or hospitable rival fans are. And thanks to Nolepjd3883 for this excellent 411 on Death Valley.by Nolepjd3883
Stadium: Stadium size is basically equal to that of Doak Campbell. However, the layout is quite a bit different. There are more sideline seats at Clemson, and they are higher than they are at Doak.
It's another stadium where they divide fans from the visiting teams. They put FSU fans in three different locations in the ballpark. The worst being, where I have always wound up sitting. The "D" Deck.
The concourse getting to it is fine with ample room. However, the concourse ends at the base of the D Deck. Thus if you're in the top rows, you have a "hike" to reach your seat. And it is straight up.
Concessions: I couldn't answer that, because once I reached my seat, I wasn't coming down until the game ended. I've brought a coke with me to the top and milked it throughout the first half.
Parking/Tailgating: Have always parked at a park next to a lake. (I forget the names). Seminole Boosters have always gathered there. Some have driven in closer to the stadium, but I've always walked in from that spot. It's probably a good mile to mile and a half from the stadium. The walk in is fine...but if we lose, the walk back will be memorable. Everybody driving by will add a comment or two.
Fans: They're a unique bunch. They all love football so that is a plus. They all talk smack because that appears to be their nature. Half of them are "good sports" and enjoy smack directed back at them. I've always sensed that they have a great deal of respect for Florida State.
I imagine it's because we're the only team that travels in good numbers to their stadium, besides South Carolina. They do have trouble-makers though.
Nothing that would compare to what a person would encounter in Gainesville, nor are they as belligerent as Maryland fans, but they've got some that are looking for trouble. I've had good interaction with them, but I can't give a precise answer, because I've never parked where they have in droves.
Tradition/Fun: Everybody has their own thing about college football. I've always enjoyed away games, because I get to witness in person traditions that are viewed on TV and can become a part of it. I've talked to many an opposing fan that have told me that they wanted to experience "Osceola" sticking the spear mounted on "Renegade." That's why they came to Tallahassee to see a game.
Well, at Clemson they rub that rock, before they come onto the field. If you've never seen it in person and you love college football, you need to make plans to go to a game at Clemson. Something I never knew until the first time I went to a game there, is that Clemson leaves the field after their pre-game warm-up and returns to their locker room. However, then they leave the locker room and board busses.
Now, the crowd in that North End Zone gives way and they prepare that rundown for the team. The stadium gets a buzz to it. Then you hear the sirens of the police escort and you can see the buses arrive at the top end of that North End Zone. Then the players disembark, and the crowd is really starting to get into it.They enter their stadium with those arms raised and fists clenched, and the place is rocking...then they rub that rock, the stadium erupts and down that hill they come. The first time I was there, I got so excited I almost cheered for them. It's that thrilling.