The year was 2006. The day was December 21. Dolphins coach Nick Saban, amid persistent rumors that: (1) he was done with the NFL; and (2) he was bound for Alabama, Saban repeatedly insisted at a press conference that he won’t heading back to college football.
Although he surely regarded it as a must-lie situation, his lie could have been more subtle. Instead, he declared, “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach. I shouldn’t even have to comment on this. I think I’ve said this over and over and over again.”
No matter how many times he said it, Saban did indeed become the Alabama coach. And he’s been the Alabama coach since 2007. To the delight of the University of Alabama.
Dolphins fans still feel differently. Saban’s periodic efforts at revisionist history that downplay his control over a program that passed on Drew Brees as a free agent in exchange for sending a second-round pick to Minnesota for Daunte Culpepper only make it worse. Saban blames the doctors for not signing Brees. If Saban truly wanted Brees, Saban would have had Brees.
Indeed, the Saints wanted him. And their doctors didn’t stop coach Sean Payton from getting Brees.
Although Saban continues to be wildly successful at the college level, his surely continues to be tormented by his failure in the NFL. It’s likely far too late for him to return. At least he can take some solace in the fact that he lasted a lot longer than Urban Meyer.
15 years later, Nick Saban is still the Alabama coach originally appeared on Pro Football Talk