124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Donald Trump crediting Tommy Tuberville for “Lou” Saban’s career might have Alabama voting blue



Tommy Tuberville is running for US Senate. If that doesn’t have you adequately concerned about the state of the American political machine at current, then perhaps what comes next will. On Monday night, less than 24 hours before Tuberville’s runoff with Jeff Sessions for Alabama’s seat, Donald Trump hopped on a call with reporters to officially endorse the former Auburn coach. It was all going smoothly, with Trump expressing his pleasure to be speaking to a place where, and we quote, “they like me, and I like them.” But soon the subject, as it always does in Alabama, turned to college football, and that’s where the Presidential motorcade wheels came spectacularly off.

“Really successful coach,” Trump said of Tuberville, mistaking an ability to bully 18 year olds for competency in America’s highest law-making office. “Beat Alabama, like six in a row, but we won’t even mention that. As he said … because of that, maybe we got ‘em Lou Saban. ... And he’s great, Lou Saban, what a great job he’s done.”

Ah yes, Alabama’s Lou Saban. What a great job he’s done.

Obviously crediting Tommy Tuberville for Nick Saban’s career—which included a National Championship with LSU four years before he ever set foot in Tuscaloosa—is a classic bowl of Trump spin soup. We all know the Miami Dolphins were responsible for that. The glaring issue here is not remembering the name of the guy your entire point hinges on. Calling Nick Saban Lou is like calling Bear Bryant Possum. Not only is it college football blasphemy, but it’s the exact sort of cognitive dissonance 45 is about to spend the next four months blasting his equally senile opponent for. Wake us up when November ends.

None of this should be terribly surprising, of course. Donald Trump and sports have been a bad mix from the very start, when he ran an entire football league into the dirt and launched a massive lawsuit against the NFL that paid out one whole American dollar. This is just the latest—and to be totally honest, least consequential—sports gaffe in a decades-long deluge of them, and if Alabama votes blue for the first time in human history this fall, we now know why.