Nick Saban: Dolphins & Crimson Tide Continue World's Best Pro Team vs. College Team Feud
The unlikely altercation was of course set off when Nick Saban, then head coach of the Dolphins, told the team, fans, and media that he had absolutely no interest in taking the recently vacated head coaching job at Alabama. He then turned around, and on January 3, 2007 packed his bags full of flaming pants and headed up to, whadaya know, Alabama.
The simmering hate was reignited recently when Saban gave an interview explaining why exactly he was such a deceitful liar, or as NBCMiami put it "Nick Saban Is Sorry His Honesty and Integrity Upset You, Miami."
Here's what Saban had to say about the incident with The Sporting News:
"Well, honesty and integrity is an important part of our character, my character. Those are words that we use all the time. I think that in an effort to protect our team at Miami -- because I had not talked to Alabama and did not talk to them until the season ended -- I express that (character is important) to (Alabama) through my agent and said it was up to them whether they wanted to wait and that I would not make any promises. I would talk to them then; I would only reassess my circumstances and our situation as a family at the end of the year.DolFans did not take this as an apology. Here's just a selection of the comments from a Palm Beach Post blog post on the matter:
"But I kept getting asked about this over and over and over, and in trying to defuse the interest and leave the focus on our team in Miami (long pause)...I had a responsibility and obligation to the players on that team, the coaches on the staff, and I didn't want that to be the focus of attention.
"So would I manage it differently? Absolutely. I would still have the same integrity for our team, but I just would not answer any questions relative to Alabama...I do apologize for any professional mishandling that might have occurred."
- "Why are you even quoting this clown? He left in the middle of the night. Leave him to his sycophants in Tuscaloosa."
- "He couldn't handle real men and can only intimidate college boys. If he had just done his job in Miami instead of working to get another job in Alabama he'd be as popular as Shula. But his fear of failure and larger than life ego was and is his downfall."
- "Saban is a slime. He could not even apologize like a man up-front but instead gave one of those I'm sorry if someone was offended non-apology apologies one expects from a politician."
Miami was a mess when Saban took over. Abominable drafting had left the club with massive holes at key positions, notably quarterback. Searching free agency Saban settled on the then-safer bet of Daunte Culpepper instead of Drew Brees who had just had major shoulder surgery. A mistake he admits to in the Sporting News article. But laying the disaster of the Dolphins at Saban's feet is missing the forest for the tree.This unfortunately is one of those war of words that will never be settled on the field. However, we would settle with any of Florida's big three college teams kicking some Crimson ass as Dolphin proxies.
The team's dysfunctional ownership was much more to blame and the success Bill Parcells has had in the past few years has underscored this point. If Wayne Huizenga had given Saban the control over the club that was later granted The Tuna, I seriously doubt the story would have had the ending it did. This is a coach who has won National Championships with two different college teams - saying the root of the problems the Dolphins suffered lie solely with him is clearly idiotic.