If you listen to fans too much, pretty soon you’ll be sitting beside em.
The words of former Texas A&M and Alabama Crimson Tide coach Gene Stallings ring especially true in the wake of Alabama’s 29-24 loss to the Aggies last Saturday.
Stallings was honored prior to the game along with other members of the 1954-57 Texas A&M teams known as “The Junction Boys.” He knows well the intense pressure of coaching in the shadows cast by the upper decks of Bryant-Denny Stadium.
So it would be no surprise to him that despite two national titles in three years and being in position to win a third, some fans would call for Nick Saban’s dismissal after a loss that put those championship hopes in jeopardy.
To be sure, most of what you read on social media is blather; the ravings of a culture that has deemed any expression – no matter how inaccurate or just plain dumb – of equal value and worthy to be heard. And I’d seriously doubt many of these calling for Saban’s firing even follow Alabama football.
Still, it says a lot about the culture of excellence Saban has instilled that there would be this sort of reaction after even a single loss. Never mind that the loss was to a team surging behind a superstar quarterback, occurring after an emotional come-from-behind win against a worthy foe.
There is plenty of postgame analysis to go around after Alabama’s loss. Would pounding the ball between the tackles have worn out the A&M defense in the later rounds? Did the coaching staff not take the Aggies seriously enough? All of it is academic at this point, but for the second year in a row Alabama’s hopes for a BCS title berth are in the hands of those other than the Tide players and coaches.
Still, we can disregard the rival fans stirring the pot; and the ignorant or attention-seeking folks calling for Saban to be fired. But those that truly call themselves fans of Alabama football need to take a step back. If you’re suggesting we run off a coach that’s 64-13 at the Capstone with two national championships, who do you suggest would be a good replacement?
I hear Gene Chizik might soon be available.