Alabama Crimson Tide: Disdain for some rival coaches is not unwarranted

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Alabama Crimson Tide fans don’t much care for a few coaching foes. Our disdain is not without merit.

Fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide do not universally hate any opposing coach. There are some, however, to whom the word ‘rancor’ applies. It is most difficult for Alabama fans to ignore the shenanigans of Will Wade, Hugh Freeze, and going back aways, Phil Fulmer.  Some other guys would draw more of our ire, were it not for their habitual silliness. It was easy to hate Tommy Tuberville. Hating the silly, Gus Malzahn, by comparison, seems such a waste of time.

A similar waste would occur by acknowledging dislike for Jim Harbaugh, Lincoln Riley and Scott Frost. None of the three can likely much help who they are. So we ignore nonsense like,

  • Lincoln Riley saying, after the CFB semi-final game, “they (the Tide) completely outplayed us early and then we completely outplayed them pretty much the rest of the way.”
  • All the foolishness that came out of Scott Frost’s mouth about a UCF National Championship
  • Jim Harbaugh being the most overpaid coach in college football

Alabama Crimson Tide fans are capable of forgiveness. Well, not for Will Wade or Phil Fulmer. But we have pretty much forgiven Urban Meyer for duplicity. Though to some of us, he remains a pompous ass. We totally forgave Lane Kiffin for being a bigger ass than Meyer ever was.

Ed Orgeron might rile us slightly, with his Cajun-Neanderthal, guttural “we comin” challenges. But Coach O has an entertaining act and he performs it well. Not to mention, he had the best team in college football last season.

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Who knows, in time we might even forgive ‘The Reverend Freeze’ for falsifying piety while being personally and professionally dishonest. We don’t demand that coaches be the adult equivalent of altar boys. If we did, more than a few former Alabama Crimson Tide coaches would be found wanting.

Then there is Kirby Smart. At the least egregious level, Kirby is viewed as a turncoat. Not for becoming Georgia’s head coach but for how he went about it. The widely discussed photo Kirby made of Nick Saban’s ‘Big Board’ when exiting Tuscaloosa was somewhere between disloyal, bad form and outright unethical. The photo’s purpose could not have been to honor the memory of his mentor. No, for Kirby it was a tool to negatively recruit against that same man.

It still sticks in Crimson Tide craws the way Kirby Smart poached Tide cornerback, Maurice Smith. We suspect it sticks in Nick Saban’s craw as well.

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What does not bother Alabama fans is Georgia being good under Kirby. The more strong SEC teams the better. However, we will not acknowledge him as an elite coach just because he can recruit well in talent-rich Georgia. Georgia may well win a National Championship with Kirby. Or maybe not. There is no indication he has learned more than what he absorbed in Tuscaloosa. He was given a huge advantage being mentored by Nick Saban. How much he achieves with that advantage remains to be seen.

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A fair complaint of this post is, it is just another example of an Alabama fan thinking no program can match the Tide. We are sometimes guilty of such arrogance.