Did Saban really say that?

Published 5:58 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2007

By Staff
With talk that the Battle of Murder Creek may not even happen next year, I imagine there's quite a bit of apocalyptical talk among fans of W.S. Neal and T.R. Miller this week.
But Alabama coach Nick Saban took the cake in his Monday press conference, comparing the Tide's loss to Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday to the catastrophic events of Sept. 11 and Pearl Harbor.
His words: “Changes in history usually occur after some kind of catastrophic event. It may be 9/11, which sort of changed the spirit of America relative to a catastrophic event. Pearl Harbor got us ready for World War II or whatever, and that was a catastrophic event.”
What's worse than losing to Louisiana-Monroe? Losing all perspective on life.
I'm sure Saban - whose nickname among sports writers at LSU, by the way, was “Nick Satan” - will complain that he's been taken out of context. His spokesman, in fact, has already issued a back-pedaling statement to The Associated Press.
Identify with, sure. Compare to a football game? You have to be kidding.
It would be different if Saban had said these things in the heat of the moment right after losing the game. But he prepared the statement. He thought about what he was going to say, and he still said it.
From the minute Saban was hired, talk centered on his devotion to the game of football. What Alabama fan - or Auburn fan, for that matter - didn't receive the e-mail detailing Saban's fake schedule, with every minute programmed toward winning games?
I don't think Saban is really that insensitive to think that Alabama's loss is in any way related to a tragedy like Sept. 11. He was among the first to say football was not important when player Justin Britt missed the Ole Miss game this year when his mother suffered a brain injury in a fall at her home.
But the fact that Saban didn't consider what a gaffe it would be to make his statement Monday says a lot about his judgment off the field.
For the record, I haven't heard anyone in Brewton or East Brewton compare the possibility of not playing the Neal-Miller game to a tragedy like a terrorist act, and I seriously doubt anyone will.
We may be fanatics about our rivalry, but we've got some sense.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867-4876 or by e-mail at kerry.bean@brewtonstandard.com.

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