Does Alabama head coach Nick Saban hate the media? The answer will probably surprise you. Well, rival fans anyway.
So you sit there, in disbelief, staring at the graphic on the television screen in front of you.
“Does Coach Nick Saban Hate The Media?”
You want to throat-punch someone. Not Conor McGregor, because you’re not stupid. But an Auburn fan, or Ryan Lochte, or maybe even a journalist. Because if anyone is doing the hating lately, it’s certain members of the media.
Of all the coaches who have failed to suspend players for off-field incidents, only Saban has taken the full, uncompromising weight of the media’s wrath.
Dozens of coaches block transfers to conference rivals each year, but only Saban seems to have had venom spewed his way by the so-called objective journalists out there in media land.
Why do they do it? For web hits and ratings, that’s why. That should tell you that Saban isn’t the one with the problem.
Watch Saban’s interview with Charles Barkley. Watch him apologize to Paul Finebaum. Listen to Saban when he admits, to the media, that there are some things he wishes he had said or done differently.
This is not a man who hates people or even journalists.
So take solace, not cover, keyboard warriors of college football. Nick Saban does not hate you. Unless he’s playing basketball with his coaching staff, he has no desire to beat the press.
No, when you hear the sound of his particular brand of fury, it’s directed at something else entirely.
When Saban hears questions about where Alabama is ranked, or how good his team is supposed to be, or all the things he and the Crimson Tide have accomplished in the past, his crimson blood begins to boil.
He’s not angry at the questioner. He’s not even angry at the question. He’s angry at the idea behind it.
And that’s the thing any decent journalist should have realized a long time ago. Nicholas Lou Saban is not angry at the media – not even the ones who may deserve it. He’s pissed off at complacency, disgusted with satisfaction and stark raving mad at expectations.
How can we not notice, when he when he proves it almost weekly with such fist-shaking, vein-popping lucidity?
Saban is mad at things, not people. If he could, he’d put these three abstract notions in a chokehold and slowly squeeze the life out of them — so that they could never roam freely through the minds and hearts of his players again.
But try as he might, Saban has been unable to make complacency’s ass quit. With four national titles in seven seasons, he’s managed to fend it off. But he hasn’t quite been able to kill it.
And that’s good news for Alabama fans. Because if he ever takes down the undefeated dynasty that is complacency, he may well morph into some sort of immortal, god-like being, and be swept away from the here and now straight into the hereafter — right before our startled eyes.
That would mean a coaching change. And outside of Saban’s rivals, no one — not even Saban’s worst critics in the media — wants that. Because then they’d have no one left to hate.