23 September 2011
Dear Coach Saban:
I'll admit, I wasn't listening at the end of Hey, Coach! last night. I've had to read about your outburst on AL.com this morning. And I totally get it. You want it to be what it oughtta be. You've said it before.
But it's not quite that simple. Check out the rest of the note and the original outburst after the jump.
Yes, I know you don't give a shit who we're playing. And you're basically saying that again. The money quote from your last night tirade is this:
"You want our players to our players to play every play of the game, compete for 60 minutes in the game. Well, you know, I don't get any hot dog at halftime. I don't. I don't even drink a Coke. I coach the team at halftime. You get your little halftime break, and then you have your little ... back in your seat ready to go when the next half starts."
Well, there's a couple of things I want to talk about here, Coach.
First and foremost, the folks in the stadium paid big bucks to be there. Tide Pride is a not insubstantial commitment. Lousy seats on StubHub this week start at $67 as of the time of this writing. The folks in the stadium, by in large, paid their hard earned cash to be there.
So, forgive me if your guilt trip about a lack of a hot dog or coke falls on deaf ears Coach. You're handsomely compensated to be there, and I'd bet you dollars to donuts, if you wanted a hot dog at halftime (or a filet mignon, or authentic Beluga caviar), someone would fetch one for you in a moment's notice. You wouldn't even stand in line for it.
And no, I suppose you don't get a Coke, but there's that big ole tub of Gatorade just feet behind you. And again, a boatload of lackeys to fetch it for you.
On Saturday, most folks will be in their seat ready to yell like crazy when 2:30 arrives. And just after 4:00, when halftime ends, most of us will be in our seats ready for the third quarter. It'll likely be a competitive game against a big time opponent.
And we get that we're part of the "home field advantage". We relish that. If, at some point Saturday, Tyler Wilson turns to the official and asks for a timeout because his lineman can't hear an audible, we'll take great pride in it. You'll know that because it will get louder in there.
But here's the thing coach. I'll confess - I left both of the previous home games early. When we're up by 30+ on Kent State or North Texas, there's not much left for me to do in the crowd noise area. Frankly, if late in the North Texas game, it was as loud and intense as it is can get in Bryant-Denny, it would have been silly. And it wouldn't have been very sportsmanlike really. It would have just been dumb.
However, if we're beating Tennessee like that later this season, nobody is going anywhere.
And they wouldn't be headed for the exits late in a game versus Texas or Notre Dame or USC. While you famously "don't give a shit" who we're playing, we, as fans, do. And no matter how many lectures we get from you, it's not going to change. And it's the same everywhere.
We, as fans, love it when the Tide schedules to play Michigan or Penn State or another big name foe. It's great fun. And if you want to see those stands packed late in the fourth quarter, schedule those type teams. And Tide fans will be there in droves - early, late, after.
Because you can bet that very few Bama fans will pass up an opportunity to shout "HEY IRISH! WE JUST BEAT THE HELL OUT OF YOU!"
As always, thanks for all you do.
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