Charlie Timmerman thinks it's a "great time" to be a fan of the Clemson Tigers.
On the Wednesday before the College Football Playoff national championship game, Timmerman wore a Clemson shirt, watch and bright orange shoes in support of his alma mater. In the parking lot of Aiken Veterinary Clinic, his truck is covered in Clemson stickers, but he and his family take a large van with a tiger face on the hood and windows to football games.
"Tiger blood is thick," Timmerman said, a longtime veterinarian in Aiken. "It doesn't come out your veins very well."
Timmerman earned a bachelor's degree in Animal and Veterinary Science from Clemson. He has been to every championship game the Tigers have played in since then and attends almost every home and away game during football season.
He and his son will be among many area fans who travel to New Orleans for the national championship game that pits No. 3 Clemson against No. 1 LSU. The game will be shown Monday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
"We're always hopeful, but LSU has a great football team," Timmerman said. "Of course, so does Clemson. They've (Clemson) won 29 games in a row, which is hard to do in this day and time. If they want to make it 30, they've got a good chance."
Timmerman's love for Clemson comes from his time at the university in the early 1960s. Although he can't remember the first time he was inside the football stadium – having attended games since he was a young child – he has many great memories there as a Clemson student.
"Clemson is a family," Timmerman said. "And there's a family you make at the games, with people from other teams, too."
Like many fans, Timmerman doesn't leave anything to chance. He has a pair of purple and orange shoes he only wears on game day for good luck.
"We all think we play a part in the winning," Timmerman said. "We all have our special shoes we wear, special pants, everything is special. So I make sure I'm wearing a pair of shoes that I only wear on game days. And they actually won two national championships when I wore those shoes."
They also have an away-game tradition that requires a trip to the bank first.
"We always take $2 bills and stamp tiger paws on them so people know we've been in town," Timmerman said.
He even had a crown on one tooth for many years that had a tiger paw shape on it.
"The dentist was an Alabama fan," Timmerman said. "And I asked, 'Can you do this for me while I'm getting this root canal?'"
Both Clemson and LSU are undefeated heading into Monday night's game. Clemson has a powerful offense but has relied on its defense to help win two of the past three College Football Playoff championships. Clemson won its first national championship in 1981.
LSU, meanwhile, boasts the nation's most explosive offense led by Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow at quarterback.
"It should be a classic game," Timmerman said. "I see no reason that it's not going to be a great offensive game but also a great defensive game, too."
Timmerman is hopeful Clemson's defense will be strong enough to take on its undefeated opponent.
"Defense wins championships," Timmerman. "Offense is there for the show."