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At Last, The SEC Will Be Competitive Again!

Alright, so its Saban-Gate right now on ESPN and sports radio talk shows across the nation. Is he scumbag? Is he a liar? Should the Dolphins sue? How long before Saban leaves for Notre Dame? Who would win in a knife-fight, Nick Saban or Bear Bryant? I don't know for sure that these questions are being asked but would you be surprised? (And by the way, the correct answer is, and always will be, Bear Bryant)

Lost in all of this I think is how fired up LSU must be right now. The guy left because he had supposedly accomplished all he needed to in college football and then two years later he returns, in conference, to a rival and says he always had the college game in his blood. Oh man, that's gonna be a fun week leading up to that game.

To sum up my thoughts on Saban (since you asked), I was watching ESPNNews when it was announced yesterday that he was taking the job. Joe Theisman said, and I'm paraphrasing, that Saban owed him an explanation for why he lied about Alabama and then took the job (Yes, Joe Theisman, was asking, nay, demanding a personal response from Nick Saban). Meanwhile there are articles being written calling Saban a
liar, a monster, a desperate phony and a more or less blaming him for the downfall of society as we know it.

Okay, lets for a second forget that Nick Saban is a football coach. Let's assume he's an accountant. He's working for the accounting firm of Nunes, Patterson and Anderson. He came over a few years ago after interning at Arthur Anderson and parlayed that into a sweet gig at NP&A. His track record has been decent if not spectacular but you're still convinced this guy is gonna turn dividends soon. Speculation begins when he shows up late one day, rumors of a meeting with a big accounting firm in the city. Nick is asked point blank if he's looking for another job but he denies it, saying that everything's fine, just another day at the job. Then, the other shoes drops and Nick comes in one day and tells his boss that Deloitte & Touche made an unbelievable offer, he needed a few days to mull it over and he decided to take it. The boss is bummed, big-time. I mean Saban was his rising star. The boss asks if he can match it and Nick says no, he wants to be part of a different kind of firm and he knows that's where he fits. The boss and Nick shake hands, the search for a new accounting begins and a couple months pass and everyone forgets that Nick was ever there to begin with.

That scenario is what happens every day in the American workplace. Who hasn't been in a situation where they are job-hunting or approached by another employer and decided to keep it secret from their boss while finding out all the details? What kind of idiot WOULD tell their employer or admit to it in a place where their employer would find out? Is it just me? Are most Americans totally upfront with their current employer when a new job opportunity, one that is much more lucrative, comes along?

And what of Pat Forde's column? That this is all part of the evil that is being a college football coach. Wake the fuck up Pat, do you think coaches woke up one day and decided being sneaky and telling some lies in order to get athletes to come to their school over other schools in order to make millions of dollars for the program and the institution while not giving a cent back to the players? You want to punish college coaches for being underhanded? As if those actions aren't directly related and caused by the way the NCAA runs itself, like a monopoly from a bygone era that makes gobs of money off these kids and gives them none in return? It's part of the way things want to punish the effect, I say worry about the cause.

Is Nick Saban a liar? By the standard definition, yes, he is a liar. But you know what, so is 99% of the American workforce. So is every accountant, marketing exec, athlete and sports reporter who ever looked for another job while holding their current one. You, I, Pat Forde, Ivan Maisel, Scott Shosnick, Nick Saban...we are a collection of liars of the highest order.

If Nick Saban is due comeuppance for his treachery, he'll get it in the form of an SEC schedule with a mediocre football team where boosters and alumni will never ever let up on him unless he wins the SEC Championship and competes for the National Championship ever single year of his 8-year, $32 million dollar deal. If you feel personally hurt (like Joe Theisman, who never lied in his entire life) by Nick Saban's actions, I'm sure you'll find plenty of reasons to say "You got what you deserved, harlot!" next year. Good for you. You'll have won. And then you'll go to work and you're boss will ask you if you work hard every single minute of every single hour of every single day and whether you ever consider leaving the company and you will tell him "Working hard all the time, boss, wouldn't leave for anything" and the irony will be lost on you and I'll still be here talking about Greg Robinson.

Now don't get me started on THAT liar...