Learning to like Nick Saban

60 Minutes did something I hoped no other media outlet would do. Make people like me stop hating Nick Saban.

College football needs someone who people root against. A Miami Heat, New York Yankees, or Dallas Cowboys if you will. Alabama football fits the bill and then some. It’s personal for me as I’m a Miami Dolphin’s fan. Seven years ago I was quoting the slogans he was uttering to the press. Miami was coming off some really poor seasons and everything Saban did and said seem hopeful and optimistic. Like President Obama talking to voters in Iowa in 2008. But like Obama, Saban couldn’t keep his promises and reflects on that at the eight minute mark.

It says something when a prestigious coach admits a mistake. When he does it makes it harder for me to cheer against him. When he left the Dolphins I wanted to make a dart board out of his face, or a BB gun target. This story though made Saban appear as… gulp… human. I wanted to keep viewing him as a caricature. For about a few minutes Sunday night I saw him as a person for the first time since he left my Dolphins in a trash heap.

I still want Alabama football to falter as I’m tired of the Crimson Tide having a monopoly in the football universe. But there were several things from the interview that I liked.

Talking about his high standards on how it affects team chemistry. If mediocre players don’t like elite players then you can’t have mediocre players on your team. That sounds good but only a handful of schools can score the talent that Alabama can recruit. In a way, Saban was indirectly tooting his own horn and coming across as a humble leader at the same time. Who else can do that? A politician? Clark Kent?

His attention to detail was brought up by how his father raised him. It made me feel sorry for Nick Saban. Wait, did I just type that?

At the ll:10 mark Armen Keteyain says “Saban has found the right fit at Alabama” while video shows Saban adjusting his pants. I think he’s still trying to find that right fit if you ask me.

The end of the story is Alabama’s win at Texas A&M. It gave CBS a chance to show off its coverage of the SEC and it even showed Saban being proud of his team. Another human moment.

I still may not like Saban but I am finding it tougher to hate his team. My college football viewing experience is sure to take a hit because of this. Darn you 60 minutes!


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