Perhaps you’ve seen Nick Saban’s latest bout of hollerin’. It’s pretty good and a worthy addition to the genre, with digressions and subplots stemming from a question about the team’s offensive coordinator hire, Brian Daboll from the Patriots.
He objected to the question’s premise, that Bama’s inability to hold onto a lead against Clemson in the National Championship drove him to hire a more ball-control-minded OC.
Philosophically, I don’t know where you came up with where we need to go to ball control. That’s not what we do. I mean, the New England Patriots threw the ball over 60 percent of the time, which is more than we threw it. So where does that assumption come from? Or do you do what everybody else in the media does: just create some shit, throw it on the wall and see what sticks, which is what I see happening everywhere? People who scream the loudest, they kind of get the attention.
Publicly, Saban has a hate-love-hate relationship with those who cover his pressers, often thanking them for the interest they help generate in the sport while scolding them for this or that. Here, he’s going in on the scourge of our times, the dreaded Fake News.
Say, do you remember a few months ago, when Bama created some shit and threw it on a wall ahead of the Playoff semifinal against Washington? This photo from Bama meeting rooms was tweeted and deleted by ESPN’s Holly Rowe on Dec. 30:
"Or do you do what everybody else in the media does, just create some sh** and put it on the wall and see what sticks." — Nick Saban pic.twitter.com/HoAn3r5hiP— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) March 22, 2017
There isn’t really an outlet called “The National Media” that covers college football.
It’s not easy being the overwhelming favorite almost every time you play. Based on group picks posted by CBS, ESPN, SB Nation, Sports Illustrated, and USA Today, the Tide were nearly unanimous media picks to win that semifinal.
After the game, Tide players seemed to agree The Media had assumed Bama player overconfidence:
"We knew from the get-go media was saying we were overconfident and things, but we really don't listen to the media, anyways," defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson said. "We just came out here and played Alabama football."
"We felt like the media was kind of downplaying Washington and felt they were putting Washington in a bad situation," star defensive end Jonathan Allen said. "We knew Washington was a good team and told our guys not to listen to the media. Just play your game."
Here was a screenshot we took at the time:
The closest thing to that quote anyone could find was a Seattle writer saying, “the sense is fans and media around Alabama are already looking past UW,” which is different from saying players and coaches are already looking past UW and therefore UW will win.
Saban was on record praising the Huskies’ back end, though. He compared them to the Seattle Seahawks.
The “knock off Alabama” quote is Half True on the Facts-O-Meter; the quoted lineman said, “Why not us?” rather than, “That’s going to be us.”
But Washington fans did indeed make WE WANT BAMA signs that’d later turn into Playoff punchlines, so we’ll give the Tide’s wall-creators that one.