A few weeks ago I posted a link to ShoelessWorks website so that everyone who frequented our little hovel on the web could go and get ready for the upcoming Clemson football season by viewing some of last years best plays. The post didn’t get much attention and I figured it was just another mini post until something popped up a few days later in the response column. It seems that, for some unknown reason, Shoeless will no longer be showing any of his infamous Clemson highlight films on his site. In fact it seems that all the previous videos have been removed as well. What was this all about? Clemson’s video hero, the site that all Tiger fans went too for their Monday morning video recap to an awesome soundtrack had virtually slammed on the brakes without explanation.
First, let me state that I understand that Shoeless is his own man and I have no idea how much blood, sweat and tears that the man has put into those videos. I also understand that when someone puts that much of their life into a product and an opportunity arises for them to go on a payroll that money is always better than free compliments. The following is in now way a bash on Shoeless but more of a question as to what went on over the past few weeks to his passion that is/was ShoelessWorks.com.
Oddly enough, along with the message that all videos would be stopped and removed, a blog entry was also removed. That blog mentioned that Shoeless had been approached by someone in Clemson about the opportunity to get his videos on the Coaches show as well as sideline passes for better video opportunities. I even commented on the blog post complimenting Shoeless on his years of work and it finally paying off as well as mentioning that I was looking forward to even better videos on his site in the upcoming season. He even had an entire line of ShoelessWorks merchandise made up to help raise some money for his future endeavors. You can GOOGLE it and check. It no longer exists but it was there. (This may have been the snag in Shoeless downfall as he was selling merchandise off of Clemson’s trademarked materials.)
Upon my recent visit to ShoelessWorks, I decided to see what was behind the entire disappearance of our video hero and opened the public posting that he offered on the website. Within came a sort of puppetmaster type document that seemed to have been related to the original blog posting mentioned above.
“In the next few days I might become lucky enough to help out with the Coach’s Show and gain insider access to a place that 1000s of Clemson fans wishes they could go, and if I get that opportunity I will not be doing a service by continuing my site but instead destroying the very fabric in which it was built. ”
He then goes on to state that ALL Clemson related videos are hereby removed and stopped on the site. That is followed up by the statement of:
“By keeping my videos on my site it takes away the school’s opportunity to capitalize on it’s potential. I have heard it many times before “why would I pay for online videos when ____ does it for free”. They are exactly right. ”
So in the end it seems that Shoeless has signed on with some body at Clemson that has strongarmed him into eliminating his highest traffic flow inducing items on his site, Clemson highlight videos. I do not know where he was fed the lines about his FREE highlight videos destroying Clemson’s reputation but I do not, or rather did not now that everything has been removed, see anything damaging to Clemson with one exception being the USC/Clemson fight tapes that were available. Also, the site is on the world wide web for all Clemson fans around the world to enjoy. With this new agreement, only those with access to a cable company that carries the coaches show as well as time in the slotted time frame and “other clemson media outlets” will be able to enjoy his work.
The question of the removal of the ShoelessWorks merchandise and the law dogs that may have hunted him down due to this also linger.
In the end I hope that Shoeless comes out on top as he has provided hours of entertainment for the Tiger Nation, I just hope that some shady characters did not pull the wool over his eyes and eliminate his connections to his legions of fans that freely directed people to his site over the years with the elimination of what made him famous; video highlights on his website. And if everything does go as mentioned in the email and the deleted blog post, I hope that he somehow gets to post the Coaches Show on his website every week as I know that I can never catch that show due to time restraints or cable provider.
Shoeless, good luck and I look forward to seeing your new work when I can.