You know the old saying: teabags come in three. Well, that certainly holds true this week, as there are a triumvirate of teabagable head coaches.
First up, Jason Kidd (how much longer can we call him coach?) for his drink spill timeout (see below). I’ve seen better acting on the CW (don’t hate on The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural). Kidd was fined $50,000 for his antics but his real penalty is continuing to be coach of the Nets
Next up, Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, on Thanksgiving Night, for his inexplicable entrance onto the field, which coincidentally (wink) just happened to be the exact moment Jacoby Jones was running down the sideline returning a kickoff for a touchdown. Tomlin explained he was trying to get a better view of the jumbotron. Really? Were they doing the Kissing Cam? Is there a better seat in the house than on the sidelines? The NFL has yet to hand down a penalty, but we all know RGI doesn’t like when people mess with the integrity of the game. Machine’s guess: $100k fine (no loss of draft pick) and that’s taking into account Tomlin’s solid reputation.
But the real teabag winner this week is Nick Saban, head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide. We’ve all seen the highlights; those of us who watched it live are still in awe. Here it is again:
This entire college football season (until Saturday) was summed up as: what team will lose to Alabama in the National Championship Game? There was this feeling of inevitability. Saban is the Bill Belechik of College Football (circa 2003), and Bama was just going through the motions on its way to a third straight national championship. But who knew Saban was actually Bill Belechik circa 2007 (18-1, bitches!). Make no mistake: Nick Saban lost that game for Alabama, with a series of questionable coaching decisions. Late in the fourth quarter, with the Tide up 7, Saban decides to go for it on 4th and 1 from the 13 yard line, instead of kicking a (short) 30 yard FG. Sure, his kicker had already missed two, but being up 2 scores is worth it. FYI, prior to Saturday, your kicker had never missed a FG shorter than 40 yards, so chances are good he hits from 30…or, how about you decide to switch kickers then, instead of bringing the new guy in to try a 57 yard FG when he’s only made one FG in his entire career, which was 20 yards, btw.
Knowing that there was a good chance that the FG would be short, Saban should have put some players on the field that would be able to defend against a potential return. He didn’t, and The Machine ventures to guess it’s because of his extreme arrogance and feeling of superiority. That arrogance and superiority has helped Saban to build his program into what it is (they’re still the best team in the country). But when that ego grows too large, you begin to think that no one can beat you, no matter what. Therefore, any decision you make will be the right one. Sorry Nick, enjoy your big fat piece of humble pie.
What’s even worse was his comments after the game, where he basically threw his players (read: college kids) under the bus. On Auburn’s touchdown tying drive with 32 seconds left: “The corner is suppose to stay with the guy. The corner did not stay with the guy. You have to have tremendous discipline to play against this offense. We made a mental error in coverage that cost us a touchdown.” Way to stand behind your players. On Adam Griffith, the redshirt freshman who missed the 57 yard FG: “Griff makes them from 60 yards in practice so there was a shot.” Great, so now Griff’s a choker who can’t kick when it counts. On Cade Foster, his kicker that missed 3 FG during the game: “The fact of the matter is that we did not make plays when we needed to. Whether it was a made field goal with a penalty or a missed field goal after that.” Thanks, Coach, you know that kicker is receiving death threats, right?
The fact that Saban, instead of standing behind his players (how about highlighting the fact that Cade Foster had made 11 consecutive FG and had only missed one all season) and instead of putting the blame on his shoulders, blamed his 18-22 year old players for poor execution is pathetic, and shows that there is no end to his arrogance (he couldn’t possibly have contributed to the loss, right?). Saban may be revered as God-like in Tuscaloosa, but he showed his true colors in the aftermath of Saturday’s game. And make no mistake, crazy obsessed Alabama fans: Saban will bolt as soon as he feels his status as God has been diminished, and will go somewhere that will put him back to God status. Hello, Texas.
But for now, just live with the fact that he, and he alone, is responsible for ruining your season/life (and McCarron’s chance at the Heisman). But at lease now you and Nick Saban have something in common: you’ll both be watching the National Championship on TV this year.
Enjoy your teabag.