“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt
Teddy Roosevelt’s words capture perfectly what every coach or athlete has to be reminded of when things don’t go swimmingly.
Mike Bianco has, for 14 years, “spent himself” building and improving the Ole Miss baseball program and along the way he’s gotten plenty of praise and “attaboys”.
However, he’s also endured seasons of undue criticism for getting close, not breaking through, and not reaching the College World Series.
Mike has never once embarrassed his employer or its alumni and fan base in word or deed, on or away from the diamond. He’s conducted himself as a gentleman 100% of the time. Now his team has gotten over the “hump” in a super regional and will reap the rewards with a historic trip to Omaha, as will fans including many of those same critics.
Personally, Mike has always treated me with kindness as I’ve covered his teams in different media capacities over the years. I’m proud for him, and glad he’ll experience coaching from those dugouts at TD Ameritrade Park. I think he deserves it.
Congratulations, Coach Bianco, on a job well done.