An Almost Unbearable Loss
How are you feeling this morning? If you’re like me, yesterday hurt even more than Saturday night. Maybe today will be better, but I doubt it. Where do you place Saturday’s controversial loss to Virginia? For this writer, it’s the most painful ever.
Losing to Florida State in the BCS Championship hurt. Watching Van Tiffin hit that 52-yard field goal in 1985 was a punch to the throat. Watching what was supposedly the best officials in the country take Saturday’s game into its own hands is almost unbearable. Florida State made the plays in Pasadena. Van Tiffin made the kick at Legion Field. You don’t like it, but you can live with it.
In Minneapolis, a couple of middle-aged guys took something from a special group of players and coaches. It’s going to take a minute to get over this one.
Give the Auburn players credit. They handled it with class—way more class than most of us would have shown. Of course, these aren’t average people. These young men are as special as they come. I’ve been watching Auburn athletics for 50 years and I’ve never seen a more unique and talented group of kids.
We’ve all been raised on football, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of an Auburn team than I am these guys. I loved that 1983 SEC Championship Team. The Undefeated Season of 1993 was magical. The national championship year of 2010 was something I never thought I’d see. And 2013 speaks for itself.
This year’s Final Four Team will go down as my all-time favorite—in any sport. Watching this team has been nothing but pure joy—one of the great surprises of my life. You love Auburn because of seasons like this one. What is it about Auburn teams that come out of nowhere to shock the world?
We can choose to look at the glass as half-full or half-empty. Right now, it seems the glass is shattered. In time, we’ll all get past it. We’ll look back and smile at the sweep over Alabama and Tennessee, the SEC Championship in Nashville and the historic run through the tournament.
Until I take my last breath, I’ll always smile when I hear the names Bryce Brown and Jared Harper. When I think of the kid smile of Chuma Okeke, I’ll remember why I love Auburn.
Bruce Pearl is special. We knew that before this historic run. Like Shug Jordan and Pat Dye in football, he’s a transformational coach that will be remembered in these parts long after we all are gone. We must remind ourselves that this is not the end but only the start.
While today still hurts, tomorrow offers the hope of more to come. That should put a smile on all of our faces.