When you're the defending national champions, and you're coming off a 41-14 shellacking of a Top 10 team, and you've just climbed to #1 in the polls once again… you'd think that Nick Saban could smile for just one second of his life.
Last we saw Nick Saban, he was being a jerk to Heather Cox for asking a simple question during a simple sideline interview. This time, Saban took it upon himself to tell the local media how to do their jobs during his Wednesday press conference. Evidently, Saban wasn't happy with how little respect this week's opponents, Western Kentucky, were getting in the papers. Because if you give WESTERN BY GOD KENTUCKY any extra motivation and don't abide by the Saban Rules, Alabama may only win by 40 points this week instead of 50.
I love how Saban professes that he "hates to be negative with anybody" and is "trying to be nice about it." Obviously, Saban is trying his best to keep his team's ego in check and not believe the headlines being written about them. Surely, Saban's fans are going to find this another example of his awe-inspiring leadership skills and what a great coach and representative of the human race he is. They'll applaud Saban for giving the media a taste of their own medicine. They'll see Nick Saban as being a true gentleman of the game and wanting to give a great program "on the rise" like Western Kentucky the respect it deserves.
All of that of course is hogwash.
Let's briefly digest a dose of reality, because I know that's rare in the college football world. Nick Saban doesn't give a flying you know what about Western Kentucky or its players. This charade is all about benefitting his own team. Alabama could beat Western Kentucky by four touchdowns this week playing six football players and five band members on both sides of the ball. Western Kentucky could have eight downs to try and gain ten yards and they'd still be lucky to leave Tuscaloosa with a field goal. This isn't about Western Kentucky.
No, all this is about is Saban flexing his powerful muscles and intimidating the media to do his own work for him. This is about Nick Saban being a bully and a jerk to the local media because he has the power to do so. Few things are more irritating in sports then power-hungry coaches trying to strongarm the media into spewing their preferred line of propaganda. What does Saban want? Does he want the local media to build up Western Kentucky as a "THREAT TO WIN" and put Alabama on "UPSET ALERT" so his team will be ready on Saturday? It's Saban's job to get his team in the right mindset for a game, not the media's. Remember, this is the same guy that bristled at Heather Cox's question Saturday night when she dared to call his running back situation a "committee" because it disrespected his own players. Which way does Saban want it?
If Saban's so concerned about what the media writes or says and when, leave the sidelines and go teach a journalism class. Until that day comes, Saban should let the media do their job and not turn Alabama sports pages into ad space controlled by the football program.
It's a very small and petty thing. But it shows the cult of personality surrounding big time college football coaches is as strong as ever. Just ask this guy.
(H/T Crystal Ball Run)