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Post Did Saban kick someone’s dog or something?

Thursday January 4, 2007

You know, the one thing really missing from the Alabama coaching search story was unnecessary drama.

Thank goodness ESPN.com’s Pat Forde came through to fill this void. In a world of baseball steroid scandals and NBA brawls, Forde steps up as whistleblower on the lies, misinformation, and secrecy that surround football coaching moves, and Saban is the tipping point. That’s not all, though. It’s such an egregious fault that Saban, by association, taints the entire coaching profession.

So it’s time to rename the American Football Coaches Association the Liar’s Club. I understand that I’m tarring a lot of good men — and even a few honest ones — with a broad brush, but that’s Saban’s gift to his profession.

I’m not particularly impressed by Saban’s choices, but I’m also not going to take them as a personal affront. I’m also certainly no fawning admirer of Saban. If Forde is set off by a bit of hypocrisy and misinformation when it comes to a coaching search, then perhaps covering sports isn’t for him. Politics might be a more sanitary subject.

It’s amusing how quickly the big story became how Saban didn’t do things the "right way" throughout this process. He dared to contradict his earlier claim that he wouldn’t coach at Alabama. He didn’t appear in person to break the news to his staff or players. Forget about Saban the coach or the challenges facing him at Alabama – the narcissistic media had to make the story about themselves and how Saban wasn’t honest with them. You can just see the indignation dripping from Forde’s column. "He lied to us. US!!!" Even the Banner-Herald’s Andy Johnston gets into the act. As if every coaching search until now were conducted with forthrightness and transparency. These guys have been covering sports for years and still manage to write about this with the disillusionment of kids who just found out about Santa Claus.

Am I just numb to it? You’d think from this venom and hysteria that Saban had shot both Mike and Don Shula while looting the Dolphins’ locker room on his way out of town.

And as for those young innocents these coaches will be shaping? If Forde has lost faith in the once-hallowed profession of mercenary football coach, it’s a good thing he hasn’t turned his attention to the world of college recruiting and how 18-year-olds have come up with a unique interpretation of the word "commitment". He might never watch a game again.

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