Now that Clemson is heading to Orlando for the Champs Sports Bowl, I’ve been thinking about the Clemson tradition of the two dollar bill. Looking around my hard drive, I found this explanation of the tradition.
Clemson fans have a tradition of taking $2 bills when we travel to an away game, especially a bowl game. The tradition started back in 1977. Clemson had been playing the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets several years in a row. Georgia Tech was not a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference at the time, but the rivalry was still a great one because of the short 2 hour drive between Atlanta, GA and Clemson, SC.
Prior to the 1977 football season, the Georgia Tech administration decided they didn’t want to play Clemson anymore. George Bennett, director of IPTAY, and other Clemson fans wanted to show the Atlanta businesses what kind of economic impact Clemson fans have.
To prove their point, for the 1977 Georgia Tech game, Clemson fans took all their spending money in the form of $2 bills. The Atlanta economy was flooded with these $2 bills and they all knew it was from the Clemson faithful (some bills had a tiger paw stamped on it). Because merchants didn’t have a slot for the $2 bill in their registers, having stacks of these bills in the registers really made an impact.
The local media gave this plenty of press time and every Clemson fan got behind the idea. Later that year when Clemson traveled to Jacksonville, FL for the Gator Bowl, all the Clemson fans took $2 bills to spend on everything. Since then, Clemson fans have been traveling with the $2 bills to all away games and bowls.