It’s not easy being a control freak.

You know, I don’t doubt this story for a minute.

“Well, the day I landed in Miami and went to the first press conference,” Saban said. “I started to realize the difference between the NFL then and what the NFL was like before when I was in it with Bill Belichick from 1991-94 in Cleveland, before we had free agency, before the media had infiltrated sorta everything that was happening. I guess right then.”

Saban left LSU to coach the Dolphins in 2004. He stayed two seasons before famously leaving for Alabama in January 2007.

There was a second Miami moment that drove him the need for change. The well-documented story of Drew Brees failing his physical with the Dolphins was discussed. Of course Brees went on to win a Super Bowl and Miami signed Daunte Culpepper.

It didn’t work.

“When that happened, I said I can’t control my destiny here,” Saban said. “I can’t control my destiny here. There’s too many things that, no matter how hard I work or no matter what I do, I can control my destiny better in college by working hard and making good choices and decisions and creating a good program for players. I think that happening made me lean back to coming back to college.”

Of course, that makes these denials even more bullshit now than they already were, but what the hey, as long as Saban’s happy it’s all good, right?



Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Nick Saban Rules

19 responses to “It’s not easy being a control freak.

  1. Hardcoredawg 93

    In 2006 I spent a day traveling in a car with a guy that is employed by Nick Saban. This guy is not a football guy but works with the team in a different capacity. The guy worked for him at LSU, the Dolphins, and now Bama (I still see him occasionally). He was wearing an LSU BCS Championship ring then and still wears it. He told me two interesting things that I won’t forget:

    He was reluctant to continue to work with Saban because he was difficult to work for. Told me a story how Saban sent out a memo in Miami to all players and coaches asking that they not speak to him in the halls so he doesn’t lose his train of thought.

    The other thing was that Georgia was Saban’s dream college job because it was a sleeping giant and he had a lake house in the state. He talked a good bit about that since he knew I was a Dawg.

    That was the week before our Cocktail loss with Stafford as a freshman.


  2. Jeff Sanchez

    “I can control my destiny better in college by working hard and making good choices and decisions”

    For example, medical hardships, oversigning, etc etc


  3. Mad Mike

    I know it wasn’t your point, but to me the funniest part of that article was, “….since Alabama stupidly fired Mike Shula.”


  4. The same reason why Trump is so upset about the whole process, he cannot control the media and talking heads as well as his opponents vs those in his show the Apprentice.


    • Russ

      Man, can’t we have one thread without politics? Let’s go back to the discussions on whether Richt’s religion made him soft, or if calling Kirby by his first name undermines his authority. You know, substantive topics.


    • Sides

      The same reason why Hillary and the Democrats are so pissed about the Wikileaks. They cannot control this form of media vs those in the mainstream media.


  5. Macallanlover

    You don’t have to be a total control freak to be frustrated by Saban’s position at Miami. I recall a conversation with Spurrier about the exact same thing with Snyder’s interference with the Redskilns. I realize the owner has every right to do what he wishes with his his own team but why would a person with no/limited football experience over rule the HC he hired to be the football expert? There are degrees of interference and involvement but if the owner is a strong “my way or the highway” guy, I can understand why I wouldn’t want my reputation tied to a person who wouldn’t let me decide what players I could bring in to implement my plan (subject to some reasonable financial limitations.) The college game does let you control the coaches and players you bring in to do your job.


    • 92 grad

      I agree. If we can accept the bottom line here, it’s completely reasonable if you’re truly uncompromising with how you wish to run the show. In college, situations can be manipulated to ensure that you’re the only one that can afford to be uncompromising. If there’s two of them it won’t work.


    • Russ

      I get what you’re saying Mac, but if you somehow could make Kirby (or Richt) do what you wanted on gameday, could you hold your tongue? I couldn’t. I’d probably be like Ted Turner and have my own jersey printed up and would sit on the bench. I’d be a terrible owner (except in my own mind).


      • Macallanlover

        But the comparison is not about what we want to do but the difference between the autonomy of a college coach versus an NFL HC. A successful college coach will have no terms dictated to him, who he recruits, what offensive scheme forced on him, and who he prefers as a coordinator. The Governor couldn’t tell Saban what to do, nor Spurrier, nor Corch, and down to many lesser achievers. Remember Gee saying he had no control over Tressel, said Tressel might be able to fire him. Huge difference in control.


    • The college system really doesn’t allow a coach to control what players you bring in. Only a select group of programs have access to the blue chip players. If the NFL system of talent acquisition were like the college system, Green Bay would never be able compete with New York for top talent.


  6. Sides

    I don’t blame him one bit or hold it against him for walking out on Miami and I think it is fine the way Petrino left the Falcons. NFL franchises will cut players and fire coaches without notice. It the nature of the business. Those franchises deserve to be treated the same way they treat their employees.

    I also will defend him for putting out a statement through an agent and doing something different. These reporters write false stories and manufacture controversy and then expect the subject of these stories to treat them with honesty and respect.


  7. If I recall correctly (and perhaps I don’t), Saban rattled off his infamous words after being hounded for a while and basically said, “You want me say I’m not leaving? Ok, I’ll say it…” and then the words that come after are what we remember.

    Was he lying? I don’t know. Depends on stuff I don’t know. Do I care? Not really. I feel bad for him and wish he hadn’t done it, but so be it. Do I think it impugns his character forever? Not any more than ours has been damaged by what we do.

    As they say, “haters gonna hate.”


  8. Saban was 15-17 in the NFL, which is designed for everyone to finish between 7-9 and 9-7.

    He didn’t set the world on fire, but he wasn’t clearly out of his depth like Spurrier was–where he simply wasn’t organized enough and wasn’t going to put in the work.

    The NFL draft is set up so that the worst teams get the best players. College football is he exact opposite: the best teams get the best players each year.

    Saban realized he could bring NFL organizational skills to an environment where he would have more talent than everyone.

    In retrospect, in 2007, everyone should have seen this monster coming.


    • Everyone did see it … Pete Carroll had already created the monster using an NFL model in Los Angeles. It was too bad for him that he couldn’t keep the lid on the Reggie Bush situation with the NCAA. That’s the difference … the NCAA just hasn’t been gift wrapped a reason to visit T-town.


  9. SouthGaDawg

    At the college level, the head coach is the coach, general manager, and director of football operations. Probably the only place this isn’t true is Wisconsin where Barry still runs the show. Everywhere else you’d have that autonomy that you wouldn’t have in the NFL.