The first bite of humble pie usually tastes bitter in the mouth. But take it from a veteran pie eater, after the first bite it doesn’t taste too bad. Actually it goes down rather well when chased by a dose of reality.
My grandmother used to say, “Humility must start with the first bite.” And that I could “wait until someone forced it on me or I could begin tasting it now and say I was wrong.”
So here goes … I was wrong - to naively infer that the Auburn basketball team could actually win the SEC Tournament.
You see in two articles I posted Wednesday, I picked Auburn to win the SEC Tournament. I won’t rehash the reasons why I picked them to win here. Let’s just say being the homer that I am, I was caught up in the euphoria of the fast and strong finish to the Tigers regular season.
Time and time again the last few weeks Barbee’s crew got up off the mat to intimidate and a couple of times defeat more talented teams. If the 2010-2011 Tigers had nothing else, they had heart.
Some times heart is enough. Sometimes heart can even bring you wins. But more often than not – talent will trump heart.
The coach had his players believing, had them playing Barbee “D ball,” and the last few games they were hot. But the Dogs were ready – pouring ice water on the Tiger’s dreams. This time there would be no overtime, no 20 point comeback, and no last second heroics.
But the good news is that Auburn has Tony Barbee as it’s head coach. He will get it done. His peers in the SEC realize it too. Despite only having four SEC wins this year, he was one of three coaches in consideration for SEC Coach of the Year.
Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl said, “I think Tony did an amazing job coaching … I was impressed not only by what he did technically but how he kept his guys together and how they’ve improved.”
Kentucky’s John Calipari said. “I just think he’s done wonders, and I believe he should be considered (for Coach of the Year).”
Barbee commenting on his first year, said Monday, “More than anything, this year was about building the foundation for what’s to come, and these guys have done a great job of establishing what I wanted to establish.”
Auburn fans have seen that too; and that’s why I allowed my heart to pick the Tigers to win the tournament. So as grandmother used to say about eating humble pie, “I could wait till someone forced it on me or I could begin tasting it now ” …
Uhm it doesn’t taste so bad.