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