The History Behind Clemson Paw Stamped Two-Dollar Bills

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Anybody watching the National Championship trends on Instagram or any other social media has probably noticed these nutty Clemson fans showing off stacks of two-dollar bills stamped with tigers paws followed by the hashtag #nattybound.

Why would so many Clemson fans have huge stacks of two-dollar bills? And why would Clemson and surrounding area banks make sure they have extra two-dollar bills during bowl game season? Because Clemson fans are a stubborn, proud clan.

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Back in 1977, Georgia Tech decided playing Clemson wasn’t profitable, so they wanted to take the Tigers off their football schedule. In retaliation, the Clemson Boster Club leader directed traveling Clemson fans to stamp a bunch of two dollar bills with paws and only spend those in Atlanta. This way Georgia Tech couldn’t deny the economic boost Clemson brought.

Today the tradition is reserved for bowl games and, of course, National Championships. I remember my father driving around to different banks so he would have enough two-dollar bills to use at the 2004 Peach Bowl against UT. (Which the Tigers won.) He even had enough to make sure all my friends had two dollar bills to spend. Dad was like a walking paw-stamped ATM. Give him a twenty and he would give you ten paw-stamped bills.

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This tradition is so entrenched in the Clemson culture that every student gets a stamped two-dollar bill when they graduate. Stamped two-dollar bills are like business cards to be handed out with pride, but they are also like a secret code for other fans. It shows we know and love our traditions. One spring night in the small town of Morganton, NC, my parents, Trae and I were eating at a Mexican restaurant. We walked outside and tucked under my Clemson paw magnet was a stamped two-dollar bill. An anonymous fan was acknowledging a kinship because no matter where Clemson fans may be, we all consider ourselves a family.

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And what a great family we are. I am so excited to see my Tigers go to the National Championship for the second year in a row. Win or lose, I am proud of those boys; they have fought hard and remained classy throughout this whole season.

With that said, GO TIGERS!

UPDATE:
WE WON!!!!!! THE CLEMSON TIGERS ARE THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!!!!

Photo from Clemson Football Facebook page
Photo from Clemson Football Facebook page

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2 thoughts on “The History Behind Clemson Paw Stamped Two-Dollar Bills

  1. I collect 2 dollar bills of which I have hundreds. I have found one Clemson bill, you would think at least one starving student would try selling some on e-bay.

    1. I know when I was a student I once refused to go out to dollar slice night because all I had left was my two dollar bill! If you are ever in the area, try the banks. They would most likely have them.

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