Media sophistry

If using historical examples to illustrate a minor point is a crime, then most preachers and politicians I know would be in jail.

Of course, the media knows Nick Saban was not equating losing football games to those historical events—but with sophistic dexterity media pundits (both national and local) are reporting Saban’s remarks on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and Pearl Harbor. These sophists use the word “compare” because the average American doesn’t understand the difference between compare and equate (for that matter neither do most members of the media.)

This is why nobody likes or trusts the media. Anyone watching the press conference understands Saban’s point: when bad things happen, people respond. History is replete with examples from antiquity to the modern era. Unfortunately, Saban assumed reporters are more intelligent than they really are.

Most aren’t.

And those who are, wouldn’t pass up the chance to inflame the public to boost circulation or ratings.

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As long as the media has decided to act this way, Saban would be justified in ending his weekly press conferences. I have a difficult time writing that, because I believe openness is always the best policy; however, Saban can’t win with the ignominious press corps covering Alabama. You know something is wrong when of the largest papers in the state (outside of Tuscaloosa) a reporter in his second season of covering the Crimson Tide is doing the best job of all the Tide beat writers.

Saban should have prefaced his remarks with a big warning. He should’ve said I’m not equating these events to football, but I’m trying to illustrate a point—to explicate the importance of adversity on a population in general and a team in particular.

Maybe he should just dumb it down. He should Try to simplify things for the press and public.

In fact, former coach Bill Oliver explained how a loss can often result in a realization: “A loss will open your eyes and make you realistic,” Oliver said on Paul Finebaum’s Radio Show Tuesday.

That is really what Saban was trying to say. He got fancy, when he should’ve just kept it simple.


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  1. 1

    Caps, for the first time in my brief history with this blog, I have to agree with you about this. This is the dumbest Saban-related controversy since the ridiculous “coonass” thing.
    Seriously, from my limited trolling of the press box, I’ve learned that most of the in-state beat writers and columnists can’t stand Nick Saban, mostly because he treats them like crap. So it’s been interesting to see them all turn on him as soon as the honeymoon period wears off.
    Seriously, we should go ahead and abolish freedom of speech and get it over with. If I were Saban, I’d have a press conference that went something like this: “I’d like to apologize to everyone for the bug up your collective asses. Get the f— over it. That’s all. Press conference over.”
    I’m not saying Saban’s a nice guy, or that he’s someone I’d like to hang out with. But this is ridiculous.


  2. 2

    That is a very interesting observation regarding the sentiment in the press box and the writers.

    Compare that to the sentiment in the Auburn press box. Reading Scarbinsky or the Tiger beat reporters on is like reading something Tuberville’s mom would write.

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