Alabama Football: Nick Saban is no fan of arrogance

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /

For a large number of Alabama football fans, arrogance about the Crimson Tide is a birthright. For those not having inherited such arrogance, it is easily adopted. Why should Crimson Tide fan arrogance be any other way? Even if it is an over-the-top reaction, its wellspring is the greatest college football program of all time.

The source of most complaints about Alabama Football’s arrogance is jealousy. When Alabama has a slight dip, as it has in the last two seasons, new ‘most-hateds’ pop-up. None of them displace any significant amount of acrimony against the Crimson Tide.

In every national discussion about arrogant college football fanbases, Alabama is invariably No. 1. Rather than be ashamed, most Alabama fans embrace the distinction, knowing it has been well-earned.

In January, another national survey was conducted. In terms of fan arrogance, the Crimson Tide and Fighting Irish fanbases were No. 1 and No. 2. I can’t speak for the Leprechauns but as one Alabama Crimson Tide fan, I am proud to be considered arrogant.

There is one problem. Our arrogance can go too far. A few months ago, Nick Saban called out Alabama fans for unrealistic expectations.

"When I came here, everybody was happy to win a game. Now, we’re not happy to win a game anymore. We’re not happy to win a game at all. We think we should win games by whatever, and I don’t think that’s fair to the players either. Because our players work their butt off to be the best that they can be, and to get criticized for what they work hard to do, so that you can be entertained."

When it comes to college football, I am prepared to believe Nick Saban is never wrong. And that includes the rare times when Saban ‘appears’ to be wrong. In this case, Saban is clearly correct. But even if a remedy is needed, there is none.

Alabama Football Expectations

For example, Alabama fans believe every season’s success should be measured by a championship. And an SEC Championship is not enough, it must be a National Championship. Nick Saban is not the only Alabama football coach whose success built such expectations. Wallace Wade did it. Paul Bryant did it. Frank Thomas and Gene Stallings embraced the idea and added to it with championships. One reason Nick Saban has taken Alabama Football to the pinnacle of college football is those National Championship expectations were in Tuscaloosa before he arrived.

Nick Saban’s big concern with arrogance is it being, results, rather than process-oriented. One of Saban’s most used terms is self-gratification. The pride of which he speaks is that which follows the successful byproduct of effort and execution.

Next. What to look for in the SEC Tournament. dark

Alabama football fans can maintain insanely high expectations. To go along with them, maybe we need to include more appreciation for how hard it is to achieve those expectations.