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Saban Interview on "60 Minutes"

Santa Gertrudis

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For those of you that didn't see it last night, I tuned into the "60 Minutes" interview with Nick Saban wanting to get an "up-close & personal" view of what our next Head Coach (hopefully!) is all about. What makes the guy "tick."


During the segment dedicated to Nick Saban and his success, the folks at "60 Minutes" showed Nick's hometown in West Virginia where Saban grew up. He met his wife in school there and have been elementary school sweethearts ever since. They have been married for 42 years. Their success as a couple together truly IS an American success story and what makes this country what it is today. Nick and Terry are both involved with "Habitat for Humanity" where they are helping rebuild I believe it was 6 houses of the victims to folks that lost their homes with the tornado that his Tuscaloosa a couple of years back.


As a youth, Nick's father owned a gas station in their small home town in West Virginia where they would wash cars as part of the services offered to their customers. If there were ANY streaks on the washed cars, Nick's dad would make him was the entire car all over again. Nick quickly learned to dislike Black and Dark Blue cars due to their susceptibility to streaking. It was these lessons in life early-on that made Nick the detail-focused person he is today.


Nick's father started a Pop Warner Football Team in that small town and they had a 3 tiered hill that old man Saban would make the team run up after practice in the dark. Being that this running took place in the dark and you couldn't see from the bottom of the hill who actually ran all the way to the top, to ensure that every player ran up the hill, old man Saban would make each player bring down a leaf from the trees on the top to prove they had run the hill.


Nick later went on to Kent State to play football and attend college. After playing football and graduating from Kent State, Nick went to his dad and told him that he wanted to be a football coach. Nick's dad never saw the success that Nick achieved. His dad died a couple of days later at the young age of 46.


As a coach, Saban has bounced around quite a bit just as every young coach does to keep the bills paid. Was with Glanville in Houston. Was with Belichick in Cleveland. Later got a gig as the HC at Michigan State. From there Nick moved on to LSU and won a National Championship in '03. At that point the Dolphins came calling and he jumped to the NFL. While at Miami things weren't really going well and a mostly irrelevant University of Alabama Football Program decided to court him to come back to the collegiate ranks and the rest is history. He went on to say that his biggest regret was lying about not leaving Miami for Bama. Those words haunt him to this day.


Saban was asked about what makes his program so successful and what he replied with is "the Process." In Saban's mind, it's not about winning or losing. IF EVERY player completes "the Process" on EVERY play then the wins will follow. Now, what is "the Process?" "The Process" is every individual committing to performing their specific task/duty during each play to perfection. Think about that for a minute: if everyone on the field adheres to that philosophy on each play then truly the score no longer matters. Blow-outs of the opposition happen because of the pursuit of perfection- there simply is no "taking a play off" by anyone on the field because if that player does so then they are not "committed to the Process!" If you're winning 42-14 as Bama was in the National Championship against Notre Dame this past January and players aren't still "committed" to "The Process" then they are held accountable for their actions. Need proof? How about AJ McCarron and the starting Bama Center getting into a shoving match on the field DURING THE GAME UP 42-14 because they weren't on the same page?! Saban was asked about this and he replied it was awesome because these guys are STILL committed to "the Process" even at that stage of the National Championship Game when the outcome of the game had been LONG determined prior to that event happening! Again, it's about accountability at ALL times.


Details matter and Saban is a detail NAZI. The entire time I am watching this I am amazed at how intense Saban is and how he knows where EVERY player is supposed to be on the field at any specific time. Can anyone imagine Mack being that engaged and knowledgable with X's & O's as it pertains to our program today? If he were, we wouldn't be talking about his departure right now I can assure you.


Speaking of details, one of the Bama players showed-up to a meeting late because they were "taking-out their earrings." Saban told the guy that "apparently his earrings seemed to be more important to him than football was to him!" Saban holds these kids accountable to the Process. You're either in or your out. Mediocre players want EVERYONE to be mediocre or it makes THEM look bad. GREAT players want EVERYONE to be great or it makes the team look bad. What type of players would you prefer to have in your program? So do I.


Finally, if Nick Saban REALLY likes a recruit, he will watch EVERY play of theirs' during their HS career. The guy is a football junkie! What does the guy do for fun during the off-season? Watches game film. This guy isn't a "good old boy." This guy isn't a "politician." This guy isn't a "salesman." This guy is a freaking unapologetic "football coach!" Oh, and might I add, his wife Terri KNOWS that is about winning as well! This woman GETS IT. Make no bones about it, with the Sabans is all about winning. The only thing that did concern me a bit was when his wife Terri was interviewed she was asked if Nick has mellowed any. She replied that even though you see Nick throwing his straw hat and screaming a players, his coaches have told her that he is mellowing. Maybe he's bored? Maybe he's got the program as far as he can get it to perfection? Maybe he's losing his edge? I doubt it- like I said before, the guy is an un-apologetic football coach. It's what he loves. It is what he lives to do. If your team is doing the right things then there is no reason to rant and rave like a lunatic- it becomes disingenuous and it loses its effect with the players and coaches after a while.


At the end of the day, after all of the pomp. After all of the fluff. After all of the smoke and mirrors. After all of the superfluous, ancillary, superficial crap surrounding our football program over the past 4 seasons, don't you think it's time that the University of Texas has an actual football coach running our football program?


So do I.



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