The Sock 'Em, Bust 'Em Board Because that's our custom

It’s good to be Rich…

… if for no other reason than Rich Rodriguez is coaching football at West Virginia today and not at Alabama. You remember that, right?

Regardless, you won’t soon forget what Crimson Tide carpetbagger coach Nick Saban said Monday following an unacceptable-in-Tuscaloosa loss to Louisiana Monroe.

Coach Nick Saban described the humbling defeat in almost apocalyptic terms Monday, mentioning the 9-11 terrorist attacks and Pearl Harbor in talking about how his team must rebound like America did from a “catastrophic event.”

“Changes in history usually occur after some kind of catastrophic event,” Saban said. “It may be 9-11, which sort of changed the spirit of America relative to catastrophic events. Pearl Harbor kind of got us ready for World War II, and that was a catastrophic event.”

 The Associated Press sought an explanation and it should come as no surprise that the University had one, though you’d think that for $4 million a season, Saban ought to know better and not put his administration in that type of a spot.

“What Coach Saban said did not correlate losing a football game with tragedy, everyone needs to understand that. He was not equating losing football games to those catastrophic events,” football spokesman Jeff Purington said in a statement to The Associated Press. “The message was that true spirit and unity become evident in the most difficult of times. Those were two tremendous examples that everyone can identify with.”

I’ve tried rationalizing this and there are moments when  I think he makes some sense. But it’s just a terrible analogy and, in retrospect, completely unnecessary. Saban continued — they always do — and had another analogy. Perhaps when placed next to the 9/11 and Pearl Harbor reference, this seems less offensive when, in reality, it’s still offensive. But he could have said just this and been clear of trouble.

“They talk about alcoholics and people like that who never ever change until they hit rock bottom,” Saban said. “Well, they change because when they hit rock bottom they have an awareness, they have an acceptance and a commitment to change.

“That’s what our players need to do right now because in the past two weeks since the LSU game, I haven’t seen the same spirit, I haven’t seen the same work ethic. That’s something we’ve got to get right.”  

Yeah, that’s something you’ve got to get right. It is not, however, the only thing.