Nick Saban has given Alabama its swagger back

By Hunter Ford

If Nick Saban becomes one of our exes, living in Texas, all Alabama fans would still owe him a debt of gratitude. We should also wish him well, that is unless we have to face his team on the field.

Saban has exorcised a lot of demons that kept Tide fans awake at night. The University of Alabama and its fan base are accustomed to winning at least one national championship in each decade. It has been that way since the 1920s, with only two exceptions. The 1950s were not “happy days” for Alabama, until Bear Bryant came home to Mama. The 1980s were notorious for parachute pants, thin ties, crappy music, and no Alabama national championship.

The first part of the 21st Century was a dreary time to be an Alabama fan. Dennis Franchione tantalized us in his short two-year tenure. His first team dominated Auburn on the Plains, and his second team ended a long losing streak to Tennessee. Remember how we loved that nasal-toned two-timer? And how that quickly turned to hatred?

If Saban were to leave, we shouldn’t hold the same grudge. After Fran we got Mike “It’s Rollin’ Baby!” Price and then, Mike “Not Rollin’ Anywhere” Shula. Tommy Tuberville was practicing his math skills, showing us his fingers at every opportunity (That’s the way they do that at Auburn you know…there’s a whole major in it. You can double-major telling time on a standard clock.) But I digress. It was an awful time. A national championship seemed as distant as a trip to Mars.

When Saban was announced as our coach in 2007, it was euphoric. A drunk girl met him at the airport and nearly choked him with Jager Meister kisses. We had watched him work at LSU and we knew a coach like that could do wonders at Alabama. Hell, every coach since the Bear, no matter how incompetent, had at least one 10-win season. We could imagine the possibilities with a guy who came to town with the big ring on his finger.

Saban didn’t have a magical first season by any stretch, but we did win a bowl game. Then, in 2008, we rambled through the regular season undefeated, trashing Auburn at the end. Consequently, Tommy Tuberville never learned to count to seven. The SEC Championship and the Sugar Bowl that year were bummers, but we could tell we were on the verge of something really big.

Saban made Tim Tebow cry in the 2009 SEC Championship rematch, and beat Texas (a program Alabama was 0-3-1 against) for the national championship. Alabama had a down year in 2010. That shows you how far we came under Saban. A 10-3 season was great under Dubose or Shula, but it was a disappointment with Saban. He quickly pulled us back up again, winning BSC titles back-to-back… an historic all-SEC affair with LSU, and the crown jewel, a drubbing of the hated Fighting Irish.

Saban will never be “the Bear.” Alabama is not “Mama” to him. Saban didn’t play in the Rose Bowl for the Tide. He hasn’t coached Alabama for 25 years. But he gave us our swagger back. We are 11-1 and headed to the Sugar Bowl and it’s a “down” season. The only team that beat us is in the national championship game. Thanks Nick Saban. We love you man!
P.S. I don’t think Saban is going anywhere except back to work, to win more national championships at Alabama.

5 thoughts on “Appreciation for Nick Saban”

  1. I agree with the Saban tribute and can only hope that he and his wife can find it in their heart ,and his love of football to realize how most of Alabama fans are not like the few that you hear so much about! Thank you Nick( Coach) for everything and its sure does seem the talent is there and needing a coach like you to achieve the unachievable.

  2. There seem to be more rumors than ever this year.

    None of it ever stops me from being happy to call Nick Saban head football coach at the University of Alabama. There are so many kids he’s helped who haven’t ever seen a football game, yet he changed their lives. Frankly, he’s the kind of many who should be celebrated—–work hard, change lives, do good. He fits the University of Alabama and he’s elevated our school and culture to new standards of our own identity. You can’t replace that, and you can’t be anything other than thankful.

    Fortunately, Nick Saban is staying at Alabama. We’ll have a lot more to be thankful for with Nick and Terry Saban in West Alabama.

  3. It just seems like this thing is really for people that don’t know anything about how contracts …. are leveraged for mote money by agents. Texas will be used to get Jimmy Sexton’s 10 percent.

    1. “Saban will never be “the Bear.” Alabama is not “Mama” to him. Saban didn’t play in the Rose Bowl for the Tide. He hasn’t coached Alabama for 25 years”

      agreed. old farts like me get a little heartburn over these new age deals because we remember Coach Bryant.

      there are no more Coach Bryants Coach Bryant loved us because he was us. Mary Harmon would NEVER have involved herself in public contract manipulation efforts.

      and for those of you who think Saban wouldn’t leave for Texas, don’t kid yourself.

      if Iran doesn’t think we’ll bomb them into the stone age to prevent them from acquiring nukes, do you honesty think they’ll consider it at the negotiation table??

      with that said, however it turns out, we’re lucky to have (had) Mr. and Mrs. Saban.

      (i guess)

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