Why do People Hate Nick Saban??

I gotta ask myself the question above after reading the various columns in the media since the Iron Bowl (Alabama-Auburn game) last Saturday.

A little background…this is one of those rivalry games where the respective records of the teams means nothing. We’ve seen 11-0 teams blow out 4-7 teams in this series…and seen 11-0 teams lose to the same 4-7 team. Neil has been watching this game since he was little and it’s almost always a knock down drag out brawl with very few games won or lost by many points.

Anyhoo; the game was this past weekend and as per usual it was a great game…although the wrong team won. Both sides traded the lead during the game and with about 8 minutes left Bama got a 99 yard TD pass to take the lead, then forced Auburn to punt. Bama got it down to the 13 with about 3 minutes left and (since they were trying to win the game and they only needed a yard) went for it on 4th and 1. Auburn stopped them on a  tremendous play and went on a great drive (even though they aren’t my team) to score and tie the game with 32 seconds left. Looked like over time for sure but Bama’ QB drove them down the field and the running back got out of bounds with 1 second left on the clock at the Auburn 39 yard line. At this point it was over time, a Hail Mary pass, or a long field goal (57 yards but just within the range of their long range place kicker.

Since the likelihood of scoring on a Hail Mary is pretty close to zero, Bama went for the long field goal to try and win outright rather than toss the dice on overtime. Bama’s regular place kicker was having a horrible 0 for 3 game (2 misses and a block) so they sent in their backup kicker. The kick was dead online but about 4 or 5 yards short. Auburn had put a cornerback back in the end zone to run back a miss and after a couple of great blocks he ran the kick back 108 or 109 yards to win the game with no time on the clock.

Ok, great play by Auburn, great game on both sides and Auburn deserved to win. Granted; Bama didn’t play very well…dropped passes, didn’t have their typical power running game, couple of dumb penalties that cost them points…but all those things usually even out in the end so despite them being the wrong team Neil congratulated them as deserving the win and accepted that Bama wouldn’t get their 3rd consecutive national championship. Winning 3 in a row is hard…guess that’s why nobody has done it in 75 years or so since they started voting on those things on some sort of national level.

Next day we start to see the press ramble on about it, pontificate over nothing, and generally open a can-o-hate on old Nick.

He cost them the game!!

Dumbest strategic move ever!!

He needs to leave Bama and go coach Texas!!

And on and on and on.

Seems to Neil and Connie that Nick’s time as the Bama coach has been pretty successful. Six years, 3 championships, 5 bowl victories, 4 10+ win seasons, and worst record was 8-3. Geez, what a loser.

Also seems like he wanted to win the game in regulation…didn’t have much confidence in his normal place kicker after 0 for 3…and figured that the likelihood of a long field goal being successful was greater than the likelihood of scoring on a Hail Mary pass. All of that makes perfect sense to us as well…but not the media. No…they’ve gotta psychoanalyze everything. The only thing we would even think to second guess was not taking the 27 yard field goal instead of going for it on 4th and 1. The field goal would have given them a 10 point or two score lead with 3 minutes left in the game…but then one would think that a strong power running team would be able to pick up a 4th and 1 easily and even though the field goal would have been pretty much a chip shot…the kicker was still 0 for 3, Nick trusted his O-line, and was trying to win the game instead of letting the other team hang around. Nothing bad about the decision at all…and he does get paid the big bucks to make the hard decisions. As fate had it…luck wasn’t on his side on Saturday…championship teams always need a little luck; particularly when going for the 3-peat.

Bama slipped down to 4th in the BCS so they’ll still get a pretty nice bowl outing with Auburn 3rd. All we need now is for FSU and Ohio State to both lose their conference title games this weekend and we can have Iron Bowl II in the championship game. I’m not gonna predict that…but ya never know. OSU definitely isn’t the actual second best team in the country…they gave up 600 yards of offense to a mediocre at best Michigan team; but then that’s their rivalry game as well and a lot of the same rivalry game things are true about it as well. It isn’t as intense a rivalry though…come talk to me about that after somebody from Michigan poisons trees in Columbus OH then brags about it on a talk radio call in show.

Personally, I think Nick is one of the great coaches ever given his overall record at multiple schools, number of championships his teams have won, and his belief in teaching the players to do their job and believe in the process. He’s not quite as revered in Alabama as Bear Bryant is…but it’s close. 

Anyway, rant mode off.

We had a nice weekend. Didn’t do much except watch football but did have a really great dinner on Sunday…Mashed Taters with Caramelized Onions and Jalapeño Cheese and Steak au Poivre. Mashed taters are pretty standard and Steak au Poivre is just a fancy French word for Steak crusted with peppers and then seared in a really, really hot skillet. Once it’s done you put Cognac (well, we actually used bourbon since we didn’t have ay Cognac) in to deglaze the pan then add some Half and Half…then let it reduce to about half so it gets thick and tasty. Here’s a couple pics of dinner.

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Today is Connie’s birthday…she’s (cough, ahem, errr) 59 and Neil is taking her out to Joe’s Crab Shack for diner…I’ll report back on how that was later. We went out and put up some Christmas lights on the house today…I’ll take a shot of that later and you can check out our holiday decorations. While we were out we saw this large flock of birds that turned out to be American White Pelicans circling over the campground…none of us had ever seen that many pelicans together and not near the water. Strange indeed.

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While Neil was editing the pictures for this post…Connie was sitting at the table doing some work for the College and called Neil over to see what this bird was. It had flown into a tree 3 sites down and she thought it had a mouse or rabbit in its talons. Neil took a quick picture and figured out it was an Osprey with a fish. Here is a shot of it in the tree taken literally from our patio.

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Right after this photo two juvenile but almost mature Bald Eagles flew over…only about 75 feet above the house. This is a shot of one of them taken looking almost straight up…Neil had the long bird lens on the camera and had to actually use less than full magnification to get this shot. Sorry about the blown out sky…it’s cloudy here so there isn’t anything but white.

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The two eagles circled overhead for awhile…clearly the Osprey which is sort of sitting underneath the branches hiding from them so they didn’t steal his lunch. Neil walked down the park road a bit and got a few better closeups of the Osprey and his meal. After 10 minutes or so without seeing the eagles any longer the Osprey left for wherever he is nesting. These were taken from 1 site away and the last one from almost directly underneath it about 30 feet away. Can’t tell if this is the male or female…they look the same…but it appears mature and normally takes it’s meal back to the nest to share with it’s mate. Since few ospreys nest other than in man made nesting platforms since they are horrible next builders…and since there aren’t any of them near the park it looks pretty clear that he was hunting and stopped by either to rest from carrying that huge fish that probably weighs 2/3 of what its body weight or to hide from the eagles who would easily steal his catch away as they are larger and more powerful.

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That’s about it…way more excitement than we usually get right in the campground. It’s unusual to spot an osprey with a meal onboard…and even more unusual to be able to get a photo of one from so close.


About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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4 Responses to Why do People Hate Nick Saban??

  1. ronlaubenthal says:

    Jeez, where to begin… ok, simple stuff first. fish looks to be a white crappie (or sac au lait in Louisiana). they average 8″ – 12″, big’un mebbe a pound or so. it would seem to me that the compositionally large wings of an osprey (akin to eagles + hawks) would allow them to lift a larger-than-u-would-think lunch… I’ve seen a redhawk (on Snow Rd.), mebbe 2 ft tall, 3 ft wingspan, lift a 2 lb bunny like it wuz nuthin. I gotta figger dey got very lightweight body structure – that, combined with dem big wangs is what gives ’em the ability to lift as well as soar… make any sense ta yall ?

    watch out fer joe’s crap shack… (yes I spelled it right) – mobile had one a few years back, made me + poo sick… anyway, happy birthday kara… hope + pray ya got many more comin’.

    now to dis other… my honest congradulations to dat other school… I been bama ever since i’s old enuff ta know the difference… one always wants it worse that the other. this year it wuz them – run fer 300 on us ? jus’ shake their hand with yer head up – they played a helluva a game, never gave up, never laid down. first half I still had da warm fuzzies – 2nd half I compare to the tide/lsu game. they played like we did… we played like lsu did… –it happens, ta quote forrest… fsu gonna smoke duke, stuff osu fer sure, syonara bcs, hello playoff system… like Ahnl said, “we’ll be back”… still think aj oughta git the Heisman over famus jamus though… true to iron bowl history, both camps will always wonder about that td pass… home field call, no call ? ineligible receiver(s), 3, downfield ??? see ’em next year, in T-town. ROLL TIDE.

    p.s. – that is a HUGE flock of pelicans – biggest we ever saw at gulf/pcb/destin was 11 or 12… jus’ be glad you wasn’t under ’em…

    • Neil Laubenthal says:

      Yeah, birds can lift a lot of weight relative to what they weigh. Even something like a mature Bald Eagle which is bigger than either a hawk or an osprey only weighs maybe 5 poundsthey have hollow bones and are much lighter than they look. Thats why birds can fly; they have hollow bones with a lot of what looks like cutouts so they only have as much strength as they need. The low weight and large wing size let them fly.

      Joes was actually pretty goodwe sat at the bar and had stuffed mushroom appetizer and then a couple of their boil platters with crab, shrimps for me and scallops for Connie. Mighty tasty.

      It was a good gamewrong team won of course but then Bama didnt really play like Bama normally plays. Too many slightly off passes, dropped passes and dumb penalties killing drives. You knew that AU was going to run for lots more yards than most since thats what they do.

      AJ wont get the Heismanhe doesnt have good enough individual stats and it isnt a lifetime achievement awardeven though hes 36-3 as a starter. Ifn they had won then maybe that 99 yard pass would get him over the top but.

      That was the biggest flock of pelicans we ever seen tooespecially as were probably 15 miles from the ocean. The river is only a mile or two away and it is more of a bay up where we are and is probably a half mile wide where it passes the parkbut you usually dont see too many pelicans in fresh water and its still pretty fresh this far upstream.

      Sorry we didnt get together while we wuz in town last weekendbut Hilary and Jordan were keeping it low key and we were told not to say anything to anybody. They had an awful lot of rules for what was supposed to be a low key weddingno photos at the ceremony and parents were encouraged to leave the reception early so the youngins could party on their ownbut then they were paying for it so that makes it their rules and we wuz ok with that. We did notice Sunday morning down at the Cathedral for Mass that Holcombe Pryor the old band director from McGill is now the deacon at the cathedral. Funny how things turn outhe left the band and was a traveling salesman for years after we graduated and his son eventually was the band director at McGill back in the 90s sometime.

      I wouldnt be surprised if OSU loses to Michigan State this weekend and ends up playing AU in the BCS. Wouldnt be surprised to see AU jump them in the polls if OSU wins barely as well.

  2. Cynthia says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Connie. Hope your day was magical.
    Love ya,

    • Neil Laubenthal says:

      She thanks you and say s her crabs were really good.


      The three kinds of stress…nuclear, cooking and a&&hole. Jello is the key to the relationship.


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