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Cake is For Closers

Here's a video of Nick Saban brutally shutting down a player trying to give losers of the Alabama spring game a piece of cake

You don’t get to where Nick Saban has gotten to—seven national championships, 10 SEC titles, cult-like status across the sports world—without being a bit of a hardass. Nice guys finish last, and Saban doesn’t finish last. No way, no how, not going to happen. A lot like his NFL counterpart Bill Belichick, Saban has crafted an entire motivational ethos out of a frown, and while there’s certainly more warmth to him than meets the eye (or media, as it were), it’s more flicker than flame.

Saban is 70 now, though. Like whiskey, the longer a person sits in the proverbial cask, the mellower they tend to get. Will Saban still be the monolithic force we know and love in a year’s time? In five? Questions for tomorrow. Judging by this video of Saban absolutely shutting down one of his players trying to give a teammate on the losing side of the Alabama spring game a piece of chocolate cake, however, we have our answer for today.

Turner is damn lucky Saban didn’t swipe that cake from him for even thinking about offering his opponent mercy. Alabama spring game tradition is that the loser gets frank and beans and white bread for dinner. Nowhere does the loser’s menu say “chocolate cake” and Saban was clearly watching those trays like a chocolate cake hawk.

There’s a method to the meanness, however. This isn’t punishment, it’s a lesson. First of all, football is a meritocracy. You want to get better, be better. Simple math. Second, sympathy is weakness. This might not fly in polite society, but when every second of every day from June until September is dedicated to knocking your opponent on their ass, you don't waste all that hard work by helping them back up. Not at Alabama. At Alabama, cake is for closers. Aight?