Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Nick Saban’s most memorable moments in the media

CW/ Natalie Teat
Former Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and quarterback Jalen Milroe (#4) speak at the post-game press conference after the team’s loss to Michigan in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, CA.

During his time as the head football coach at The University of Alabama, Nick Saban instilled his unique philosophy in every aspect of his program, including the approach he took in interviews and press conferences. Saban’s time in front of the microphone provided some memorable media moments that college football fans will never forget.  

Rat poison 

Today, players can wake up in the morning and immediately see video clips and articles with one click. They may buy into the media’s high praise and listen to the media instead of their coaches. This is Saban’s description of “rat poison.” 

“I’m trying to get our players to listen to me instead of listening to you guys,” Saban said in 2017 after a close road victory over the Texas A&M Aggies. “All that stuff you write about how good we are, all that stuff they hear on ESPN, it’s like poison. It’s like taking poison, like rat poison.” 

One of his best rants 

One thing that Saban stressed to the media is to not overlook any opponent on the schedule and to take things one game at a time. In 2015, the Crimson Tide was getting ready to face off against Charleston Southern. During a press conference, Saban addressed the members of the media who asked him throughout the week about how much playing time his backups would get.  

“What makes you think you can just assume they are going to get to play?” he said. “Because you are assuming the other team is not very good?”  

He reminded everyone of Alabama’s 2011 game against Georgia Southern, when his star-studded defense allowed 302 rushing yards. 

“You all don’t remember the Georgia Southern game, do you? I don’t think we had a guy on that field that didn’t play in the NFL, and about four or five were first-round draft picks. I think that team won a national championship, but I’m not sure.” 

Saban capped off his rant with one of the greatest one-liners of all time.   

“And they [Georgia Southern] run through our ass like s— through a tinhorn, man, and we could not stop them.”  

Talking football with Peewee 

Saban has had his share of rants before and after games, but he produced plenty of wholesome and humorous moments throughout his career as well. He does a weekly in-season radio show called “Hey Coach,” where he gets the opportunity to hear some comments and questions from fans. After the South Florida game in 2023, one of the show’s frequent callers, Peewee, was caught off guard by Saban flipping the script on him. 

Peewee called in and asked how Saban was doing, and the coach’s answer showed how well he handles his passionate fan base.  

“Well, Peewee, I’ve been wanting to talk to you all week, man. I mean, we’ve got to firm up the pocket. We’re setting too soft. We’re getting pushed back in the middle,” Saban said. “Well, everybody thinks we can’t hold up against the blitz, but they’re sacking us with four-man rush, one three-man rush. Only one sack came off a pressure, so I wanted to ask you, what the hell’s going on?” 

Even Saban couldn’t resist cracking a smile after that. Peewee laughed and said, “Well, I believe you covered it all there, coach.”  

A wholesome moment with his leaders 

After a heartbreaking loss to Georgia in the 2022 national championship, Saban shared a special moment in the postgame press conference with 2021 Heisman winner Bryce Young and 2022 Chuck Bednarik Award winner Will Anderson Jr.  

As the two players prepared to head back to the locker room, Saban motioned for his guys to stay put.  

“These two guys that are sitting up here, they’re not defined by one game,” Saban said. “These guys played great for us all year. They’re great competitors, and they were great leaders on this team. Both of them contributed in a lot of ways in a positive way, giving us a chance to win and a chance to be here to have an opportunity to win. I just want to thank them for that and let everybody know how proud I am of these two guys.”

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