Death Valley

Who owns Death Valley - Clemson or LSU?

Kristian Garic
January 13, 2020 - 11:45 am

Memorial Stadium in South Carolina is the home of the Clemson Tigers.  In Baton Rouge there is Tiger Stadium.  Clemson refers to their place as “Death Valley.” LSU claims the title of “Death Valley” for Tiger Stadium. Who was the original Valley of death for opposing teams?

LSU fans won’t like the answer. It’s Clemson that staked the first claim to Death Valley.  
Here is the history.  Presbyterian head coach Lonnie McMillian told reporters in 1948, “I have to take my team to Clemson and play in Death Valley.” Clemson head coach Frank Howard loved the phrase and started using it in the early 1950’s.  

In 1958, LSU beat Clemson in the national championship game; that’s when the Purple & Gold began to use the phrase “Death Valley” for Tiger stadium in Baton Rouge.  

So, in this short history lesson, Clemson is the original. As Emperor Palpatine said to Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi...”So be it, Jedi.” So be it, Clemson.  But, the Superdome may become the third stadium to claim the title of Death Valley...for LSU, of course.

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