When I first noticed Nick Saban griping about students and fans not showing up to games earlier this season, I didn’t think much about it. It’s become an annual tradition. As the weeks have gone by, and questions continue to be asked about attendance, Saban, along with current players, former players, and even TV pundits have essentially lost their minds over the notion that students owe Saban, or his players, a thing.
Saban had this to say last week on the Alabama student section:
“I can honestly say I was a little disappointed there weren’t more students at the last game. I think we’re trying to address that. I don’t think they’re entitled to anything, either. Me personally, I think it ought to be first-come, first-serve. If they don’t want to come to the game, they don’t have to come. But I’m sure there’s enough people around here that would like to go to the games and we’d like for them to come too because they support the players.”
Saban wasn’t done:
“I’ve never seen anything like that before. When I first came here, you used to play that tradition thing up there and everybody was cheering and excited and happy and there was great spirit, now they don’t even cheer.”
Again, the early season script on what Saban chooses to complain about is right on cue. Here’s a quote from Saban on students and fans not staying at games:
“I’ve talked about players playing for 60 minutes in the game and competing for 60 minutes in the game. And, in some kind of way, everybody who chooses to go to the game should stay there and support the team for the game. Maybe if you’re not interested in doing that, you should let someone else go who would really like to go because I have a lot of people who want to go.”
The problem I have with Saban’s entire approach here is that students at Alabama don’t owe Nick Saban or his football team a damn thing. Yes, being a student at a school that has a winning sports program, whether it be football or basketball, is awesome and part of the experience and so on and so forth, but that’s just it, it’s a part of the overall experience. Since when did students begin to owe anyone on campus, besides their professors, any amount of their time?
You expect a college student to show up in time for an 11:00 a.m. game on a Saturday morning just to watch their team go up 21-0 within the first four minutes of the game?
Unfortunately, this is one of the consequences of being the most dominant team in college football. Students have a million things fighting to keep their attention and the third string quarterback playing in the first quarter isn’t one of them.
Current and former players have also voiced their opinion on the situation, agreeing with everything their coach says because, of course they do. I expect nothing less.
The one opinion that really threw me for a loop was that of Tim Tebow, who also slammed students:
© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.