This is usually the time of year that I crank out the preseason college basketball posts. I have some things on the way, but for now, I'd like to explain myself as the resident basketball crazy person.
During a summery Friday evening, I enjoyed a meal with some of my favorite people. In between homemade tamales, bourbon peach ice cream and large amounts of scotch, one of these people (who shall remain nameless for the sake of this blog) stated, "I will never know how I let you convince me it was possible that Auburn could win 20 games last season." My rapid-fire response -- I always have these on hand when it comes to discussing, or should I say, lamenting, Auburn basketball -- was "the entire SEC was down and frankly, I thought AU could be less sucky than everyone else." I took a very large sip of scotch after this statement. It burned. Actually the scotch didn't burn, but my heart did.
If you know anything about me from real-life interactions, Twitter or maybe even this blog, you know these things:
• I am generally angry. About something, nothing, anything, everything. This is not some sort of #humblebrag or even a self-deprecating attempt at humor. It is just a statement of fact at the moment.
• I am fiercely stubborn. Some point to the fact I am a Virgo, others point to the fact that I am Asian and may have descended from North Korea. Seriously, I am from South Korea. Really.
• I might love Auburn basketball more than I love coffee, Chris Davis, surfing and the cat that lives with me combined. Just kidding. I love Chris Davis more than anything. Anyway, preseason 2012, I presented my case to another beloved blogger on the probability of a .500 season. I was so convincing that he rushed home one night just to watch an exhibition game. This person still speaks to me, thankfully. Love you, Kevin.
Last season was expected, maybe even anticipated by most of you. I know this based on some of the (begin sarcasm font) glowing, complimentary (end sarcasm font) comments on my posts. Posts that I stayed up late to write, posts that I stayed sober to write while in the midst of a work maelstrom and an imploding season. And yet, I trudged along, delirious in the belief that the sheer love for my Tigers would somehow miraculously will them to score points, foul less and defend the perimeter. Every fan base has one crazy, right? Hello, my name is Crazy.
I spent a lot of time at Quixotes in Auburn before and after the games. I tweeted a lot of things that I probably should have deleted the next day. Per my usual, I bought two tickets to the SEC Tournament. I am talking about the book of tickets for admission to every single game. My fervor is probably only matched by the Big Blue Bandwagon, except I love a different feline. Auburn lost in the first tourney game to Texas A&M. To add insult to injury, we lost one of the ticket books shortly after leaving that game. I consoled myself by visiting a local distillery and leaving with a case of bourbon. I may have also eaten the hottest fried chicken ever. It didn't help. My heart just felt numb.
During the offseason, I took a huge step back and thought long and hard. I was a student at Auburn when Chris Porter and Doc Robinson rocked the Coliseum and Scott Pohlman rained threes. I met Mamadou N'Diaye outside the computer lab in the business building one night and marveled that God made humans that tall. Cliff Ellis brought something to the Plains that remains in my heart as strong and true as that night Kentucky fell in Beard-Eaves. I get pangs in my stomach and my chest aches sometimes because I fret that we may never see that kind of success again.
I guess I am finally a little wary of allowing my heart to dream so big this year. Hope springs eternal, yes, as I wait in anticipation of the return of the "squeaky-shoe sport" (shout out to Pod Katt for this reference). I accomplished some things this year in my life that I never thought were possible. And yet, I would trade it all, in a heartbeat, for a single postseason in hoops. Here's to something better than we have seen in a while. Keep dreaming and scheming. War Damn.
More from College and Magnolia:
- Auburn-Tennessee game time set for 11 a.m. on ESPN
- Jeremy Johnson named SEC Freshman of the Week
- TAKES. 2ND EDITION, VOLUME 8
- BCS standings, Week 10: Auburn holds steady at No. 11
- SEC football review, Week 9: All aboard the pain train, Mizzou