Look, right off the bat, I realize that many people are going to read the headline of this article and wonder if I am asking a legitimate question. You might be thinking to yourself that maybe the headline is minor foreshadowing of a piece that will be filled with satirical irony and feel-good nickames, such as “Nicky Satan” and “College Footballl Hitler.”
If you happen to be a part of this group, then you have some disappointment coming your way, because yes I am actually asking a legitimate question.
All of us as writers for Rant, no matter the sport, will rarely ask any of you loyal readers for anything. All we ask of you is that you continue to enjoy the work we put in on a daily basis and provide your always-valued feedback, be it good or bad. But right now, I am actually going to ask you to do something for me. I want you to sit back and ask yourself the question titled above. Why do you hate Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban?
Now if you’re just a fan of a fellow NCAA BCS-level school, I’m sure that the answer, whether you want to hear it or not, is that it’s simply because he has provided more success to the University of Alabama than the head coach at your institution has. Now, that’s not to say that your coach is bad by any means, it’s just that Nick is–well he’s infinitely better. When the intensely-popular sport of college football is involved, jealousy rears it’s hideous head and clouds any kind of sound judgement.
However, when put in perspective, that’s what makes our beloved sport so fun in a way. We become jealous of other school’s accomplishments and long for the day when we can experience even an ounce of that joy we see others basking in as their schools raises that coveted crystal ball. It’s a never-ending vicious cycle that, like I said, contributes to the excitement and optimism of the die-hard college football fan in all of us.
I’m not concerned with the hatred directed towards Saban by the fans. No. What boggles my mind the most is the hatred from his peers in the coaching profession.
Today we learned that Florida Gators offensive line coach, and former Saban assistant, Tim Davis, referred to the ‘Bama coach as “the devil himself.” Some laughed at this, some (Alabama fans mostly) scoffed at the comment, and some may have even brushed it off. I, however, simply squinted my eyes as I zoned in on the quoted comments and asked myself, “Why?’
This isn’t the first instance of a fellow coach publicly opening his mouth while some sort of derogatory comment towards the four-time national championship winning coach spewed forth. Four months ago, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin referred to Saban as, “Nicky Satan?”
Yes, Coach Franklin that’s hilarious. It’s hilarious, that is, until you’re staring at a scoreboard and the broken dreams of your players after “Nicky Satan” gets done unleashing the beast that is his Alabama Crimson Tide squad on you on the field where it matters the most; not in front of a microphone trying to get a chuckle out of folks.
Hatred from the fans should is somewhat expected because, let’s all face our problem, we’re irrational. In my opinion, that’s what makes us the best fans in the world, and no one can tell me any different.
However, I will never understand this from coaches. If you’re a coach, I would think that you would want to try to emulate Saban as best you can. Because, really, what is the problem with him? He hasn’t been convicted of any major recruiting violations. His players are rarely spotted on a police blotter. Overall, they don’t play dirty on the field. Simply put, he molds his team to be better than yours, and he’s the best of our generation at it.
Again, the negativity from fans is expected. But, from the coaches, it’s just plain stupid.
We often use the common expression of “not poking the bear” in reference to not irritating someone. A coach from another school slandering Saban isn’t “poking” the bear. No, you’re poking the man who may one day be known as being better than ‘Bear.’