Living Up to that Expectation
Everybody's got such a high expectation for what our team should be. I was just happy to see our players be happy about playing a game and winning. It really sort of, if you want to know the truth about it, pisses me off when I talk to people that have this expectation like they're disappointed that we only won the game, 14-13, and in the way we played. Really, that's frustrating. You want to talk about something that's frustrating. That's frustrating to me. (University of Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban)
I grew up an Alabama fan. But when I arrived at The University of Southern Mississippi, I committed to the idea that I would support my university and my university only. So, since then, I haven't worn anything UA for two years. (Honestly, it's really great not wearing anything crimson)
Now I still love Alabama (sort of). But this kind of crap, Nick Saban, pisses me off.
While it is true that people should understand that these are just college players who are trying their best, fans very much should have "such a high expectation" for UA football. After all, it's the vast majority of Alabama fans whose tax dollars are paying your lavish $6.9 million salary. (For those of you who didn't know, Saban is the highest paid public employee in the state of Alabama)
Moreover, in my opinion, it is really stupid for you to claim that the players on your 2014 team have a lot of heart. To show you why I think that's stupid, we'll use a little comparison. See, people are disappointed that Alabama barely beat unranked Arkansas by one point, correct? Well let's compare that game to the Oct. 24, 2009, matchup between then-No. 1 Alabama and unranked Tennessee (whose head coach at the time, ironically, was Lane Kiffin) since that was a very close game too.
UA vs. Arkansas (2014) and UA vs. Tennessee (2009)
- First Downs: 10 (2014) --- 16 (2009)
- Net Yards Rushing: 66 (2014) --- 136 (2009)
- Net Yards Passing: 161 (2014) --- 120 (2009)
- Total Offensive Yards: 227 (2014) --- 256 (2009)
- Possession Time: 25:47 (2014) --- 27:42 (2009)
The stats from 2009 appear to be just slightly better, but here's the real difference: Alabama barely staved off a mediocre Arkansas team, but the '09 championship team won a real thriller that is still cherished by diehard fans. The first of Saban's championship teams really did have heart; but this year's squad is just going through the motions.
Last Saturday's game against the Razorbacks was an atrocious "contest" - I could barely stand to watch it. Honestly I kept flipping the channel to check on the Auburn-Mississippi State game and anything else on. The Bama game bored me so much that I checked to see what was on History Channel.
But on Oct. 24, 2009, my ears were practically glued to the radio as I listened to announcer Eli Gold tell me what happened. Defensive lineman Terrence Cody blocked TWO field goals in the fourth quarter to preserve a 12-10 win for Alabama.
This picture of the Tide blocking Tennessee's last-second field goal? That's a picture of a team poised to win a national championship. That is a team that has heart.
Nick Saban, you've spent years building up a dynasty. There is no doubt that you are one of the greatest football coaches in history. You, your staff and your team have to live up to the high expectation that you created. Fact of the matter is: When you make a program so successful, victory is expected of you. And at nearly $7 million per year, you better be delivering.