If you’re an eighteen-year old kid who’s used to running his mouth on the field a little bit – or maybe more than a little bit – do you really want to play for a soulless robot like Nick Saban…
“We have a rule on our team that our players are not allowed to talk to players on the other team,” the Alabama coach said. “We have guys who violate that occasionally, but by having the rule probably minimizes it. We haven’t had a whole lot of it.”
Talk takes away from focus, Saban said.
… or somebody who’s a little more flexible?
Georgia’s Mark Richt: “Some of it’s kind of funny. Football is a very physical game. There’s a lot of hand-to-hand combat. … Every time the ball’s snapped, somebody’s winning a battle. Sometimes feelings get hurt. Sometimes guys get mad and they’ll say this or that and another guy will come back and say something back. If he thinks he’s getting into somebody’s head by talking a little trash to him and getting him out of his game, that’s all part of it. Now, if it’s really foul … There’s some truly unsportsmanlike trash talk – I guess the term ‘trash talk’ makes it bad as it is – but I don’t think it’s awful. It’s almost inevitable that guys are going to say things to each other and try to get in their heads. I don’t worry too much about it. But if a guy’s also doing that and putting your finger in somebody’s face or doing something stupid with it, I don’t think it’s very good. If it keeps a guy from staying focused, that’s not good either. But I can’t sit here and say that I would ever have some kind of rule to say you can never talk to the opponent during the game.”