Found September 03, 2012 on Fox Sports:
Allstate_sugar_bowl_1ec6
Nobody from Alabama can quite remember when "Nick Satan" became a part of vernacular. Or if they do, they will not say for fear of him making their life hell. Suffice it to say that enough people believe the nickname fits that T-shirts were made, pitchfork and all. There are a lot of people who do not like the Alabama coach, though none of them are the houndstooth-clad masses cheering for the Crimson Tide. He does a fair amount to warrant this identity. He also wins, which is a huge "suck it" for people who do not like him. Watching Alabama slap around Michigan 41-14 on Saturday at JerryWorld, I found myself appreciating the man of the exceptionally pleated pants and few funny words. And in this time of fallen saints among college football's coaching ranks, I feel compelled to write in praise of Satan. Saban is viewed exactly as he is, as a mercenary who cares about one thing and one thing only -- winning football games. I find that kind of truth in advertising refreshing in this post-Joe Paterno era, as should you. Saban is not his players' father or friend, the bag guy or the bail man. He's their coach, and he's kind of a jerk at times. "I have a hard time remembering all the players' names," Saban said, "other than what I call them." These are not the cute little nicknames that have personal stories and denote hours in his office sharing tales of childhood. These nicknames are born of necessity. Saban called linebacker Nico Johnson 3-5, as in his number, until Johnson became good and then he became Nico. By shedding this phony father-mentor narrative, Saban actually teaches the valuable lessons guys like Paterno were supposed to be teaching. Life has winners and losers. Effort matters, but only sometimes. What you do defines you. So don't screw up. "The expectation we have and the standard we want to play to in business or in sports is about who you are," Saban said. "You know, it's good to look good. It's good to wear the jersey, but it's the guy in it and the character that you have and who you are that probably makes the biggest difference." There is no grand experiment going on in Tuscaloosa, just an intensely driven, sometimes mean-spirited, often obsessive football coach trying to win games. I do not know if his house is ranch style or if he has lived there his entire life. I do not think he has ever uttered the phrase "How much money does one man need?" I do not know if Saban gives to charity or has done a charitable thing in his entire life. Actually, I do. I looked it up out of curiosity. He has a foundation "Nick's Kids" that raises money for local charities. But this is not what people talk about when they talk about Saban or what he talks about when he talks about him. They talk about him winning, which is really how college football coaches should be judged. We do not give football too much power when we praise and pay them for what they do on the field but rather when we try to make their sphere bigger, when we talk about them as makers of men and teachers and moral compasses. This is where the whole thing gets screwed up, because it is patently false. Coaches are selfish like the rest of us, and they do things like lie and cut corners to win. They are more likely to feel like they can get away with it if everybody is running around praising them as saints. There is no mythology in Saban. His value is in the statistics, the wins and the losses, the number of Alabama fans that travel to see him, in how much money he helps make the university. He is not running an experiment. He is running a business, a very successful football business. So what is Nick like to play for? "Are you guys on a first-name basis?" Bama center Barrett Jones quipped. Not really. "We're not on a first-name basis, either. Let me clarify that," he said. "When you get to know him really well, he's got a dry sense of humor. He really cares about his guys. People really do not see that side of him about how much he cares about us. We love playing for him. People see the side of him that demands a lot out of us. That is certainly true. . . . He's the best coach in the country, and that is why." Just like we do not demand the CEOs of News Corp. or Coca-Cola or Apple produce good people -- only profit and results -- we should not expect the coach of a football team to do anything besides coach football. We should actually be wary of the football coach who touts himself as something more, talking about saving souls and teaching men, just like we would be wary of a pastor talking safety blitz. Everybody needs to stay in their own lanes. This is not to say Saban is not an influence on these players or that they do not love him. He is, and they do. He just never pretends about what his objective is -- winning games. And he is damn good at that. Why some people hate Saban is why I have come to respect him. There is something admirable about the man who lays it out there. This is who I am. No pretending. No pretense. No sainthood BS. There will never be a mural with a halo above his head. There may very well be one depicting him with a pitchfork. No one worships Nick Saban who does not have a rooting interest in Tide football. Quite the opposite, which is how it should be. Better the Nick Saban you do know than the JoePa you think you do.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
EASY TIGER

Nick Saban didn't like reporter's comment

Poor Heather Cox, she had no idea that her question [which was more like a compliment] to Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban at halftime would cause him to get angry. Cox asked “how running back by committee has really helped the offense,” because three different backs combined for 126 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Saban’s response is classic Saban. “Well, you...

Video: Nick Saban is a jerk to Heather Cox

New ABC Saturday Night Football sideline reporter got a taste of primetime when she tried to ask Alabama head coach Nick Saban about his running back situation and the multiple backs getting playing time and playing well.  Saban, in the type of gentle warmness that has seen him take Alabama to the top of college football, responded by shooting arrows of fire into Cox. ...

Saban: Nothing has changed for Alabama after romp

Alabama coach Nick Saban says the only thing that has changed for the second-ranked Crimson Tide is the buzz. Saban said Monday that the talk before the 41-14 rout of No. 8 Michigan was that ''we were too young, too inexperienced, couldn't handle success.'' But he says nothing else is different about the team and ''it's going to be all about the...

Simply the best: Saban has Tide rolling

Plenty of other coaches do what Nick Saban does. They preach about the process, focus on getting better every day instead of the trophies and championships that await, and want their players to be accountable. Thing is, Saban does it all better. He's the best in the business, and just in case anybody had forgotten that fact after a long offseason, the Crimson Tide's 41...
THE RICH GET RICHER

Mayweather cashes in big on Alabama

Entering this weekend’s mega-showdown that wasn’t between Alabama and Michigan, there were plenty of stories that captured the attention of college football fans. How would Nick Saban’s defense handle Denard Robinson? How would Michigan hold up against the Crimson Tide’s running game? How much would Floyd Mayweather lose betting on the Wolverines? Wait, what? Oh yeah...

Opening Victory Pleases Saban

Alabama Coach Nick Saban will know more about the specifics of his players after he views the videotapes of Saturday night’s 41-14 win over Michigan in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas. But he’s seen enough football to know that his second ranked Crimson Tide competed well.

Saban: "Everyone thought we were too young.."

QUICK HITS: Alabama coach Nick Saban pokes at the media, discusses where his team needs to improve, his thoughts on young T.J. Yeldon and more at Monday's press conference.

Saban: "There’s plenty of room for progress"

Despite being the new No. 1 in the polls and despite beating a then-Top 10 opponent 41-14 in college football's opening weekend, Alabama head coach Nick Saban is focused on correcting the mistakes his team made and said there is plenty of room for progress.

Alabama focused on BCS run

With an eye-opening win over a highly ranked opponent, Alabama showed that it might have a strong shot at another national title. Coach Nick Saban, though, doesn't want his now No. 1-ranked team to forget about all of the steps needed before another potential trip to the BCS championship. The Crimson Tide will try to build on their dominating season opener Saturday against...

Tide Coaches Pick Dandy Half Dozen

Although the message of the day from Alabama Coach Nick Saban on Monday following the Crimson Tide’s impressive Saturday night win over Michigan was that Bama needs continued improvement, he reported that a number of players had good games.

W. Kentucky-Alabama Preview

With an eye-opening win over a highly ranked opponent, Alabama showed that it might have a strong shot at another national title. Coach Nick Saban, though, doesn't want his now No. 1-ranked team to forget about all of the steps needed before another potential trip to the BCS championship. The Crimson Tide will try to build on their dominating season opener Saturday against...

SoundOFF: Crimson Tide Talk Win

We hear from Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban, quarterback A.J. McCarron and others following Saturday night's 41-14 season-opening victory over Michigan.

Ohio State jumps to 14th in latest AP poll

NEW YORK (AP) -- Alabama is the new No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll, moving past Southern California after its resounding victory against Michigan. The Ohio State Buckeyes jumped four spots to 14 after a 56-10 dismantling of Miami on Saturday. The Crimson Tide swayed more than enough voters with its 41-14 win Saturday night in Texas to overtake the preseason No...

Life for Michigan after Alabama

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- C.J. Mosley and his Alabama teammates have never embraced the label of defending BCS national champion. Neither has coach Nick Saban. This is the 2012 Crimson Tide, a group already establishing that it too will be a championship contender. "We made a great statement. But we're not the defending champs," Mosley said. "That was last year...

Oklahoma falls to No. 5 in latest AP poll

NEW YORK (AP) -- Alabama is the new No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll, moving past Southern California after its resounding victory against Michigan. The Crimson Tide swayed more than enough voters with its 41-14 win Saturday night in Texas to overtake the preseason No. 1 Trojans, who beat Hawaii 49-10. USC entered that game a 40-point favorite at home. The Tide...
Crimson Tide News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.