November 26, 2012

Time loves a hero

Well they say, time loves a hero

But only time will tell

If he's real, he's a legend from heaven

If he ain't he was sent here from hell.

--Little Feat

AUBURN -- Here's something I learned in the 1990's, during Auburn's last rollercoaster ride through boom-and-bust coaching regimes: Don't get emotionally attached to football coaches.

It was a good lesson. Coaching is a very odd profession that, like politics or entertainment, tends to attract personalities who tend to do things that are inexplicable to, well, normal people.

Success is rewarded with big money and, more insidiously, adulation wildly out of proportion to the actual importance of a coach's place in the real world. Only a few can handle it. Many can't. Gene Chizik wasn't the first coach to decide, wrongly, that his own brilliance was the primary reason for his early success only to wind up alienating both the people who helped get him there and fans who briefly (and foolishly) viewed him as infallible.

He also won't be the last, although many would do well to learn from his example.

His last game was pretty much what everyone expected. Auburn played reasonably tough, if not particularly well, for about a quarter and a half before reverting to 2012 form. The rest was what tends to happen when really bad teams play really good teams.

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