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Monday, May 21, 2018
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Fennelly: Saban/Satan talk is unseemly but flattering

TAMPA - Nick Satan.
It’s all the rage, comparing Alabama’s head football coach to you know who.
The latest to call Big Nick an underworld boss is Florida offensive line coach and former Nick Saban assistant Tim Davis, who, speaking at a Gators booster club meeting, referred to Saban as “the devil himself.”
Saban could not be reached for comment. He was in two-a-days, causing pestilence and a flood.
Actually, he wasn’t, and was reached for comment. At a Crimson Caravan stop in Atlanta, Saban, with feeling, said he found Davis’ remarks, “a little terribly disappointing.”
I love that: a little terribly disappointing.
It’s only May, and already we have bulletin-board material for next season’s SEC title game. Yippee!
Davis joins Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, who a few months ago called Saban “Nicky Satan” at a high school sports banquet.
First of all, it’s inappropriate. Second, Davis and Franklin are foolish if they don’t think what they say at booster meetings or banquets is going to get out and go absolutely viral.
Third, this Saban-Satan talk is flattering.
I mean, would anyone compare Saban to Satan if the former hadn’t made scorched earth out of the SEC and college football?
Right now, there’s hell to pay when you play Alabama.
Steve Spurrier was un-beloved when he first began fun-and-gunning the SEC into submission. But it has reached a new level with Saban.
Going down. Basement.
It’s a tad unseemly. Tim Davis has been hired not once, but twice by Saban, at Alabama and at the Miami Dolphins, and for good money. That’s gratitude for you.
I’m not saying you have to send Saban a Christmas card (imagine the postage to that place), but you’d think the bare minimum he owes Saban is not calling him … the devil.
We all know that Saban doesn’t come off as the warmest, fuzziest stuffed bear on the bed. Remember when Alabama players dumped Gatorade on him at the Rose Bowl after the Tide’s first national title, over Texas. Remember that menacing Saban glare?
I was watching on TV and had to look away. I was losing feeling in my legs.
And there are legendary Saban stories from his days with the Dolphins, where underling employees were reportedly instructed not to make eye contact with the head coach.
But this is too much.
“Twice. On two occasions,” Saban said Thursday. “It’s just disappointing. If somebody has a problem with me, I’d appreciate if they’d tell me.”
That sounds reasonable enough.
“Coach, I have a problem with you. I think you’re the devil.”
“That’s a little terribly disappointing. Have you talked to Human Resources?”
You see, it’s that easy.
Nick Saban, whether you like it or not, and a lot of people like it not, is one of the greatest college football coaches in history. I mean, he has won four national championships when you throw in the one at LSU. It’s an ungodly roll.
Strike that last sentence.
And one last thing:
Don’t you wish Alabama played Florida and Vanderbilt this season?
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