Dabo Swinney Walks Back Tennessee ‘Burger-Flipping’ Comment, Says It Was Misunderstood

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Clemson and Tennessee may meet in a bowl game after both programs faltered down the stretch, and Dabo Swinney was QUICK to reverse course on a burger-flipping comment he made last week that sent Vols Twitter into a frenzy.

During a radio appearance, Swinney was asked about overlooking opponents ahead of Clemson’s game against South Carolina.

Of course, the Tigers would ultimately lose, which is seemingly what Swinney was trying to avoid.

“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,” Swinney said.

“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.”

Dabo Swinney and Clemson lost to South Carolina.
Dabo Swinney is a big burger guy and Tennessee fans didn’t like it. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

The “flipping burgers” part of the diatribe shockingly raised some eyebrows around Knoxville, but not to worry, Vols fans … Dabo says it was actually a compliment.

Whoops!

“That’s just a classic example of people just hear what they want to hear,” Swinney said Tuesday. “I actually was paying them a compliment. I was really more challenging our guys.

“We were talking about finishing and how hard it is to win. I’m talking about our guys, you say, ‘OK. You’ve got a path that’s clear. But you have to finish.’ I just made the point the team we’re getting ready to play, this team, they’ve just got to do this and do that, then next week, they just can sit at home and flip burgers and watch all the championship games they’re in. But you’ve got to finish.”

Dabo Swinney, Clemson could face Tennessee in Orange Bowl

Unfortunately, neither the Vols nor Tigers finished this season strong.

Both programs suffered brutal losses down the stretch, dropping them well out of the playoff picture heading into the championship weekend.

Bad news for them, but good news for us! Several bowl projections have the two programs set to meet in the Orange Bowl later this month, which would make for great TV – especially after Dabo’s burger comment.

Did the longtime coach mean anything bad by it? Probably not. Frankly, his explanation is pretty believable if you ask me.

But, that’s not the way the world works in 2022. Fans take something and go bonkers with it, and players LOVE a little spice heading into a big game.

Better bring those guts, Dabo!

Written by Zach Dean

Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.

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