Does Alabama’s Saban need security?

AP columnist Tim Dahlberg raised an interesting question in this column (see it all below) on police and sports, “And how about the state troopers who shadow college football coaches across the South like they are working protection for the president? Is Nick Saban so important to the people of Alabama that he needs as many armed guards as the state’s governor?”

The answer is no. No! Alabama’s Nick Saban needs more!

The governor handles a variety of unimportant tasks. He leads economic development efforts to land corporations like Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai and EADS. Sure, it creates jobs, but it isn’t as important as what happens on the Gridiron. Besides, I heard Artur Davis declare that tax breaks for these out-of-state companies was a bad thing.

While the governor is unimportant, you can’t say that about Nick Saban. What Nick Saban does for the Alabama Crimson Tide matters throughout the state. He plays on a larger stage—you don’t go a week without seeing Nick Saban on national, regional or local television. When you compare television time, Saban is a celebrity and Gov. Bob Riley isn’t. Nick Saban affects people’s lives. How can anyone compare the two?

Dahlberg shows his ignorance of the south when he asks this: “Just what are they protecting him from?”

Have you seen the crowds SEC football coaches attract? Did you see the drunk woman who kissed Nick Saban when he arrived in Tuscaloosa? Some people need protection—not only for themselves, but for the safety of everyone attending these events.