CLEMSON – Dabo Swinney is still waiting on his first spatula.
Apparently some Tennessee football fans took exception to a comment about flipping burgers made by the Clemson coach Nov. 21 on his weekly radio call-in show.
After then-No. 5 Tennessee lost to South Carolina 63-38 on Nov. 19, knocking the Volunteers out of the playoff conversation, Swinney offered the following:
“When you’re in Tennessee’s position, and they’re like, ‘OK, we beat South Carolina, we beat Vandy,’ and they’re in the playoffs. They’re flipping burgers at the house, having a cold drink watching the championship weekend, ‘What are we? Are we 3 or 4? Where are we going? Are we in Arizona or are we in Atlanta?’ And the next thing you know, you forget you’ve gotta go play.”
Swinney said Tuesday that he was simply attempting to get his own team’s attention prior to Saturday’s regular-season finale against rival South Carolina. The Gamecocks won the game, 31-30, ending a seven-game losing streak in the series.
“You say, ‘OK, you’ve got a path that’s clear, you know, but you have to finish,’ ” Swinney said. “It’s not anything against Tennessee. I’ve got all the respect in the world for Tennessee. I was talking about our guys and how they’ve got to finish.”
Despite that, Swinney’s comment prompted several responses on social media after Clemson’s 31-30 loss to South Carolina on Saturday.
“I’m gonna mail a spatula to Dabo’s home address,” read one tweet.
“Hope Dabo has a good spatula,” read another.
“Get your spatula out Dabo,” still another read.
Swinney laughed about the reaction during his Tuesday press conference ahead of the ACC Championship Game between Clemson (10-2) and North Carolina (9-3) on Saturday (8 p.m., ABC).
“That’s just a classic example of people hearing what they want to hear,” Swinney said. “I actually was paying them a compliment and really more challenging our guys.
“That just comes with the territory. It doesn’t matter what you say, people hear what they want to hear and take what they want to take and create whatever narrative they want. That’s my world.”
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney on 'flipping burgers' comments