Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Why Do We Bother?

A confused Nick Saban is told that, no, Alabama is the team that was the highest bidder.

Nick Saban is getting some sort of guaranteed contract in the vicinity of $32M to leave the Dolphins and take over the football program at Alabama. That's all well and good, and not entirely unexpected. Wave $32M guaranteed in front of most folks, and their knees certainly will at least buckle...if not completely hit the ground. The reality is, there is nothing wrong with him leaving the Dolphins after only two years. The question is: Why do we bother ASKING coaches what their plans are before the season is over? And...why do the coaches bother answering?

'Bama probably has been having wet dreams about Saban from the day the Tide first lost this year. They were like a kid in third grade with his first pitched tent in his pants. Afraid to get up out of his seat for awhile. But eventually, passing notes and trying to catch the eye of his first love.

Saban was bombarded with questions about his interest in 'Bama. Was he going to take the job? Had he interviewed? Was he staying? And on and on. And on and on. In an effort to make the noise go away, Saban predictably said he had no interest and wasn't going anywhere. But in this case, and 'Bama being 'Bama, the noise didn't go away. The administration at 'Bama made it clear that they wanted Saban regardless of what he said. The press corps in Alabama never let the story die down. And of course, everyone has their price. It's doubtful that ANYONE batted an eye at Saban leaving. Regardless of the "I'm not going to be the coach at Alabama" mumbo jumbo that came out of his mouth previously.

But, WHY all the media storm from the day Shula was fired until today? We are all reasonable people (HA, just kidding) and know that a coach is not going to give us details in the middle of the season as to what his plans are for future jobs. We have seen (too many times to count) coaches say they are staying; and leave. Now, of course many stay, but we don't get the hard, naked truth until the schedule is complete. So, why bother? Why even ask when we KNOW damned well that chances are we aren't getting the full story? Logically, what coach is going to say (in the middle of the season), "I'm planning on leaving for a different job." We have never been a coach, but we do guess that saying such a thing might get you fired. And you might not be ready to go, just yet.

Understanding that the media loves to throw gas on a fire and never let such things die down, why do the coaches allow themselves to be turned into liars?

Why not just say: "I'm not addressing anything that doesn't have to do with THIS season." Now, obviously, that leaves the door open for speculation and for the media to continue to hammer the issue. But, at least it doesn't turn the coach into a liar. And, as we have seen, if the coach says he isn't leaving...that doesn't seem to slow down the media speculation either. So again, why bother?

We know damned well the answer to whether a coach is staying or going (unless he is fired mid-season) isn't going to be answered until the season is over. But it seems the sportzaratzi media is no different than the folks that follow Britney and K-Fed. The story simply becomes the proliferation of the story.

(Here is a column by Dan LeBatard in Miami's paper...see, this is what happens when these coaches stand by their pat "I'm not going anywhere" answers during the season and then jump ship without looking back when it ends...apparently, SOME people believe them and get their feelings hurt)


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