Final Thoughts On The National Championship

For the Alabama fan, tonight’s game has a ‘business as usual’ feel.  They are great.  They are hot.  They are clicking on all cylinders.  From day one of the season (which essentially starts tomorrow), the National Championship is their goal.  This is what ‘The Process’ is all about for them.

For the Clemson fan, this is an opportunity for national prominence.  It’s fair to say that the expectations at Clemson are just as high as Alabama, but in reality, an ACC Championship is a HUGE season.  And here they are, undefeated and the underdog in the National Championship with a steep hill to climb.  Win this one, and Dabo will be Frank Howard-level legendary in Clemson lore.  Here’s the thing: Clemson has all the pieces to beat Alabama tonight, and I think they’ll do it.  Not by much, but it feels like the perfect end to a perfect season.

And that’s what they’ll have to be tonight: perfect.  Yep, think about Billy Bob Thornton in ‘Friday Night Lights’.  “Can you be perfect?”.  That’s Clemson tonight.  I would be surprised if Dabo isn’t giving a speech like that right before kickoff.  Clemson has to play a perfect game tonight to beat Alabama.  Alabama is like Iceman from “Top Gun”.  They’ll wear you down, and as soon as you make a mistake they’ve got you.  Clemson can’t fumble.  They can’t throw any interceptions.  They have to make all the catches, all the blocks, and dominate on special teams.  They have to run the table.

The Tigers will be perfect tonight.  And they will be champions.

I’d love to hear your thoughts…

David Bowie, 1947-2016

It would be difficult to present a list of the coolest, most influential musicians in the modern era without including David Bowie.  He was original.  Synth-rock wouldn’t be a thing without Bowie’s vision.  It’s tough to swallow, but cancer has taken a great one.  Rest in peace, David Bowie.

The Farquhar Fly Bird

The good folks at Orvis brought this to my attention…anyone that has ever thrown a line in the water knows the exhilaration of when a fish hits.  There is nothing like it.  Well, here’s a pretty nuclear example of one of those hits…wait for it:

This is inspiring…good Lord I can’t wait to get out and fish.

ON FIRE: Widespread Panic covering ABB’s ‘Jessica’ on 12/29/15

Good lord.  It just got really hot in here….one of my favorites of all time by one of my favorites of all time. Let this one sink in, folks:


Were you there?

National Championship Giveaway with State Traditions

We are a mere five days away from the college football National Championship game.  The playoffs have been great, and there are two VERY deserving teams ready to face off on Monday night.  We’ll get into the previews and predictions in a bit, but let’s celebrate another great college football season with a giveaway from our friends at State Traditions.

The winner will get a Hat, a Gameday Tattersall shirt, a T-shirt, and a Koozie from a team of their choice.  Here are the details:  leave a comment to this post with with your pick on who is going to win to enter.

For additional entries:

  • +1 (2 Total) ‘Like’ State Traditions on Facebook
  • +1 (3 Total) ‘Like’ Red Clay Soul on Facebook
  • +1 (4 Total) ‘Follow’ State Traditions on Twitter
  • +1 (5 Total) ’Follow’ Red Clay Soul on Twitter
  • +1 (6 Total) Tweet the following about the giveaway ‘It’s #nationalchampionship time! I entered to win the @statetraditions X @redclaysoul Giveaway. Go here to enter:’

Entries must be in by kickoff on Monday, January 11th.  I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday, January 12th around lunchtime, who gets all the State Traditions goods from the school of their choice.

Special thanks to State Traditions for providing the goods for the giveaway…

Digging: Breitling Navitimer

I’m looking for #2 to add to the watch rotation.  I’m looking for something that is a good departure from my Panerai PAM112.  I really dig this Breitling Navitimer.  Good stuff.

Feedback welcome.

Allow Me To Introduce: Hook N Hide

I love finding companies like HookNHide.  Small batch, artisan based products that are as much about the story as they are the item.  HookNHide is a Charleston company headed by Tom Mauldin, an artist and a fisherman.  He wanted to create something that married the two, and hit it out of the park.  HookNHide offers six different buckles: the Redfish (pictured), Bull Dolphin, Rainbow Trout, Mako Shark, Sailfish, & Tarpon, each with a lifelike feel made out of a special blend metal that gets better with age.  The ‘hide’ part is the straps, offered in Classic, Horween leather, and in Rustic leather.

My first impression is how sound the buckle feels.  It is substantial, but not heavy.  The detailing gives the buckle a lifelike feel, and the metal blend gives it a nice patina that I expect will enhance over time.  The buckle is a little on the larger size, but not in a bad way.  The narrow strap keeps it from looking like a tool belt.  Let’s not forget the utilitarian use: the tails can be used as a bottle opener…pretty good when you are in a pinch.

That’s enough from me.  Tom was nice enough to give us some details on his company, and his products:

What is the history of HookNHide? I started HookNhide 9 years ago through a passion for the arts and the outdoors. I took the skills of lost wax investment casting and created the fish that I loved to catch on the saltwater flats, creeks, and rivers.

Where are the buckles made? The buckles are designed in Charleston, SC. They are molded, hand casted, and polished in Mexico. The metal is called “tumbaga,” mined out of the mountains of Mexico. It is a blend of silver, gold, and brass, a careful formulation of these metals consisting of 60% brass to give the buckle strength and integrity which patinas handsomely over time. It is an 8-stage process, which takes 3 days in handcrafting. We offer a lifetime warranty on every buckle.

What is your history in the buckle/metalworks industry? I was a fine art major at Hampden-Sydney College in Farmville, VA. I acquired the skills in mixed medium design at an early age and refined those skills at H-SC and after college. I had been given a belt buckle years ago that reminded me of the fact that I loved functional design and apparel. From that idea, the creative processes that allowed me to develop a bottle-opening buckle that served as a functional piece of art. Also, I had owned a pair of flip-flops that opened bottles years ago and I did not like the idea of using the sole of my sandal to open a bottle. I have been designing and crafting these buckles for over 9 years in the patterns of the fish that I love to catch. Our goal is to diversify our designs into the artistic world so that we can reach those who love wildlife and other outdoor activities.

What are the best things about being in this business? By far the most empowering and inspiring aspects about being in this business are working in a field that I am passionate about; expressing my passion for the outdoors through functional art. Running your own business and the friendships you form along the way are incredibly rewarding. The universe responds to every step along the way when you step out on your own, face your fears, and develop your own path.

HookNHide buckles are available at a couple retailers in Charleston, as well as on their website.