On the morning drive to work, sport’s talk show host Paul Finebaum was still on the subject. The fact that University of Texas fans continue to think its a possibility that Nick Saban would consider to replace Mack Brown.
The Associated Press reported on Thursday that a current and former Texas regent contacted Nick Saban’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, in January about the concept.
This isn’t the first time University of Alabama fans had to react to rumors that someone else was courting their ‘coach of the century’. In fact, I think Alabama has grown quite accustom to it. We are flattered- truly, but like Finebaum said, ” the remarkable part of the Nick Saban story has been the arrogance of Texas fans thinking he would actually want the job.”
I personally enjoyed that comment greatly, considering that most (not all) but most Texans are characterized by their pretentious attitude that they are the single best thing to happen to America- and sometimes the best thing to happen to football.
That’s why this story is no real “news” story at all, but instead a reminder of how the two football cultures of these two great states feel about each other. It is a commentary on how Texas is no longer the “home of football” and we Alabamians couldn’t be happier.
The book and the subsequent movie and TV series, “Friday Night Lights” may have been set in West Texas, but I urge any one who hasn’t yet experienced a West Alabama Friday night of high school football to do so. Trust me, Texas isn’t the only state writing the book on small town football and the passion that goes with it.
Now when it comes to the college level, right now all you have to do is scoff when you think of the Longhorns’ current season performance…. as Finebaum put it, they let their “red-headed step child” (aka Texas A&M) not only be better than them, but trample them in talent”. Listen, we all know there will be a time when Alabama won’t actually be kicking butt 24/7- but that time is certainly not now.
Bama fans have dealt with rumors that Saban would return to the NFL, but this was the first rumor that forced Alabama fans to picture their beloved leader in a true traitorous NCAA scenario and we knew burnt orange is, as the sorority girls say, ‘totes’ not his color. Having to appear even MORE in front of the media isn’t Saban’s forte either. If he were to take the job, his new office would literally pose as a part-time TV studio thanks to the Longhorn Television Network.
Yet for those who still nervously fret saying, “but he could leave”, older fans have just smiled and imparted this piece of wise knowledge, “he could leave, yes, but you can’t build a legacy like this in Texas.”
And thus the wisdom was imparted with the calm assurance that Tuscaloosa is the only football laboratory for the mad scientist genius that we all know and love.
Texas may have money, but I have a feeling money isn’t what Saban is looking for right now. He’s looking for championship No. 16, and we Crimson Tide fans don’t have time to feel bad for Texans hoping to buy success from a state that truly invented the feeling of Friday night lights. (But hey, I’m biased)
So, we can trade insults between states, talk smack amongst fan allegiances and analyze possibility all we want but what does the guy actually involved in all this have to say?
“Every year it’s something,” Nick Saban said on his weekly radio show. “Last year it was the Cleveland Browns, the year before it was somebody else, the NFL. Terry and I are very happy here in Tuscaloosa. We really love the University of Alabama. We feel like a part of a community here and we have lots of good friends here.”
“And quite frankly,” Saban said. “I’m just too damn old to start over somewhere else.”
Make that the old mad scientist genius we all know and love.