Nick Saban Says It’s Our Fault, And I’m Okay With That


It’s not easy when Dad gets onto you, is it?

Coach Nick Saban has never had a problem chiding Bama Nation for what he sees as egregious fan behavior, and he took the podium at a press conference recently to do just that about Bama fans’ critique of the Tide following the 14-13 win in what experts have dubbed The Ugliest Football Game Ever Played. (Source: Me.)

I don’t foresee a time when St. Nick and I get a chance to sit down and chat football one on one. (That said, Coach, feel free to prove me wrong. Call me.) Since I probably won’t have a dialogue with Saban any time soon, I think it’s best I just translate for Bama Nation what he was saying when he called out the fan base.

SABAN: “Blake didn’t do the quarterback sneak right. But I really saw our players help him and support him. He made a mistake. That was good. I think we need that on our team. Some of that has been missing on our team.”

TRANSLATION: “Blake Sims has some serious upside but with a lot of room to grow. He’s also been the starting quarterback for half a season. And it would be nice if every time Blake did something wrong, TV didn’t cut to a shot of me and Lane Kiffin arguing.”

SABAN: “Everybody’s got such a high expectation for what our team should be. I was just happy to see our players be happy about playing a game and winning.”

TRANSLATION: “You expect titles, because we won three out of four national titles, and had a ridiculously improbable implosion last year on a fluke end of the Iron Bowl. These kids are snakebit, and I’m going to rally them by taking the pressure off of them and yelling at you guys. Man up, take it, and let me use you as locker room fodder for a group of exceptionally talented and miraculously underachieving kids.”

SABAN: “When Landon Collins intercepts the ball at the end of the game, I hadn’t seen that much emotion out of our team for a long time

TRANSLATION: “Our team has been waiting for Landon Collins to emerge as a playmaker this year. Finally, he stepped up. They were pumped. Let’s build on that.”

SABAN: “It really, if you want to know the truth about it, pisses me off when I talk to people that have this expectation like they’re disappointed that we only won the game 14-13 and the way we played. That’s frustrating. You want to talk about something that’s frustrating? That’s frustrating to me, for our players, who play with a lot of heart in the game.”

TRANSLATION: “Seriously, guys — I’m HUGELY pissed at the team. But for whatever reason, that is not getting through to these guys. Apparently, running the stadium until you puke no longer motivates them, so I’m going to make the Bama fans the bad guy and give the players an enormous chip on their collective shoulder. Just go with it.”

Look, we know we have the ponies in the stable. But after a sloppy loss to Ole Miss, Alabama responded with one of the ugliest games Bama Nation has seen since the Saban administration established itself as the model for college football programs. Horrible missed tackles. Stupid penalties. An offensive line that looks like it was handed the playbook 10 minutes before the game. And let’s not even get into the fumbles.

So we’re upset and frustrated. And I have no choice but to fall back to the old mantra: In Saban We Trust. If throwing the fandom under the bus is the fuel needed to light the fire, then serve me up. Roll Tide.