The Loop

Bizarro World

Wait, wait, wait—did Nick Saban just thank the media?

July 21, 2021

Nick Saban is always a fascinating interview. Partly because of his insight, sometimes because of his cantankerousness, and always because of his general dislike of the media. Whether he’s blaming reporters for controversies he’s created or using his pulpit to rant on the evils of pre-ripped jeans, there is an undercurrent menace to the Alabama ball coach’s every interaction with media. Here’s a little something from the evidence room, should you need it.

Despite Saban’s rich legacy of jounralist abuse, however, something incredible happened at his SEC Media Day on Wednesday, where he emphatically—some might even say enthusiastically—thanked reporters, saying, “I’d like to thank the media and all you folks here for all that you do to create interest in college football … you’re appreciated more than you know.”

Come again now?

Has the old man gone soft? Is he slipping? Maybe he's just exhausted by four straight years of morons shouting “FAKE NEWS!” at every report that doesn’t exactly align with their own narrative. We don’t know. We may never know. But it’s clear that what amounted to an apology for years of churlishness and cheap shots was earnest, namely in how uncomfortable it made Saban, tapping his fingertips together anxiously while stammering out his gratitude.

Could this mean we see a kinder, softer Saban this year? Don’t bet on it.