USA TODAY Sports
We've been here before, you and I. We go here yearly it seems. Like an Ole Miss odd couple, living out our love hate relationship in a public dance of back and forth to the sound of a stale, canned, message board laugh track. This dance plays out between the forlorn, heart broken, reticent sports fan and the rough 'n' tumble, hard charging, silver tongued Genie, dangling my hopes and dreams in front of my nose like a bunch of carrots on a cane pole. And despite my hatred for being dumped on and soul crushed by you yearly, I allow it to continue with Swiss time piece accuracy and relentless regularity.
You feed my fandom in November, December and January with win after win and plenty of extra sugar and candy. High on the rush of pre-diabeeuts levels of insulin surging through my veins, you nurture my sense of pride, you meticulously wash, condition, blow dry and style my thickening coat of wool and you reassure me that THIS year will be different. All the while, you successfully hide the glaring short comings and gaping holes in our beloved Rebels hard court style like a bald, cigar smoking, cabby punching Wizard of Oz. And I buy it. In bulk. Every. Fucking. Year.
And now, again, here we stand. Having been as high as a pre-Two and a Half Men Charlie Sheen and as wooly as a Canadian Mammoth in the grip of an ice age, you once again, looked me straight in the eye, gently embraced me with a fatherly, reassuring hug of warmth, closed your eyes, patted me on the top of my head and violently shoved me down a 30' flight of stairs made of broken glass, with hand rails of burning gasoline and terminating on a landing fashioned of used hypodermic needles and rusty razor blades. I lay there in a broken heap of fractured bones, gushing lacerations and twisted dreams, staring up at you through tearful eyes asking why, as you peer down at me through a cloud of Cohiba smoke, cackling in delight at my naive stupidity and recurring trust issues.
And yet, somehow, for some reason I did not delete your number from my phone. Sure, I burnt some pictures and I threw away that baseball glove you gave me last Christmas and I cursed you aloud to all that would listen, yet I never cut the cord. I never pulled the trigger and I didn't start anew. I let you linger. And now, and finally, and permanently, we arrive here. I have finally grown up. I am finally my own man. I finally developed the courage, the strength and the determination to either love you or hate you completely. No more back and forth, no more pain, no more suffering no more reconciliation and no more enabling.
Well, Andy, this is it. This is the end or the beginning. This is the finale or the return. This is my nothing or my everything. And the choice is yours. Prove to me that you deserve to be my hero for the foreseeable future bringing about stability, success, confidence, pride and satisfaction or don't, and never again shall we speak or see or dance or mingle or mix. Ever.
You have the opportunity to become a legend. You have the opportunity to become greatness. You have the opportunity to start something in Ole Miss basketball that will remain for all time. A new arena, a fantastic AD with a background in Basketball who will support you and give you EVERYTHING YOU WOULD NEED to begin an era of unmatched and unprecedented success in Ole Miss basketball. You are already the all-time winningest coach. Now, begin the future of Ole Miss basketball this Saturday. Begin the reign of Ole Miss terror on the rest of the SEC. Begin an era in which teams fear us. This Saturday, you have the opportunity to start anew, ignore the entirety of the past and BEGIN THE FUTURE OF OLE MISS BASKETBALL! Be my hero, Andy. Be the coach I know you can be and find a way to get this team to achieve the levels of success that we all know are possible. Do something amazing. Be a legend.