The Butler (Bulldogs) Didn’t Do It

Quote of the Day:

Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.”     —Napoleon Bonaparte

Southerners more than any other group of Americans know how to take pride in glorious, gallant defeat. We have created an enduring mythology around the concept. In that tradition, we in Mississippi who know more about glory and gallantry in defeat than any other Southerner, have extended our admiration of the idea from war to athletics. Almost always the underdogs, we cheer our teams lustily when we pull off a major upset. More often we curse the fates (and the referees) when we end up an inch or a basket the wrong side of victory and honor our heroes who faced the longest of odds and nearly overcame them. We retell the stories of bitter defeat (and those occasional triumphs) at the best damn parties to be found. I hope the full-time Butler fans had a helluva party last night and I know they will tell the tale about how they almost shocked the world for years to come.

But here’s the bad news. Almost winning it all is a damn dubious accomplishment. In fact, it really ain’t worth a damn. Yeah, it was a great run. Yeah, I wish my team could do it. Yeah, they played great. Too bad. They failed to close the deal. Just like General Pickett. Instead of making history, they made a footnote. Nobody reads footnotes. I doff my cap to Butler. Your team played with gallantry and brought you a measure of glory. Today, your fame endures. Enjoy the pain. I know it is exquisite. Tomorrow you are forgotten. Take it from me. I’m a Mississippian and I know these things.

Bonus Quote of the Day:

If you ain’t first, you’re last.” –Ricky Bobby

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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7 Responses to The Butler (Bulldogs) Didn’t Do It

  1. Feidts Follies says:

    Nice. We were talking last night only about two hours after the game. Somebody asked me what the guys name was that took the two last shots. I said, “exactly”

  2. ZEEK says:

    I love the Ricky Bobby quote!!!

  3. Samsmama says:

    It was Hayward.

    I hate Duke. And I love to see a good underdog win. That game broke my little heart.

  4. Jessie Lou says:

    Butler was doing so well when I went to sleep, but the hopes were dashed first thing this morning. So much for being solid second! It just wasn’t the year for Bulldogs as evidenced by Miss State being left out to begin with. I’m still miffed about that which led me to caring less than I already did about the tournament as a whole.

  5. irvineredd says:

    I feel this other quote, from the same quality film, is equally pertinent:

    Ricky Bobby: Wait, Dad. Don’t you remember the time you told me “If you ain’t first, you’re last”?
    Reese Bobby: Huh? What are you talking about, Son?
    Ricky Bobby: That day at school.
    Reese Bobby: Oh hell, Son, I was high that day. That doesn’t make any sense at all, you can be second, third, fourth… hell you can even be fifth.
    Ricky Bobby: What? I’ve lived my whole life by that!

  6. irvineredd says:

    The Hayward kid from Butler is a name that should be remembered. He’s a 6’9 guy who can handle like a point guard. He’ll make it to the next level.

  7. They shoulda run the “picket fence”.

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