Nick Saban went off on “self-absorbed” Crimson Tide fans on Wednesday night, and he didn’t hold back.
The lengthy rant called out entitled Alabama fans, and ended with a heated Saban unhappy with certain Crimson Tide followers who think his team isn’t winning games by a big enough margin.
“How do you keep the rat poison from the media, how do you get the team to tune it out?” Roy, a fan, asked Saban. “For example, with Arkansas, we were supposed to blow them out, then you don’t do it. And it’s because you have created such a game atmosphere that we go to the games knowing we’re going to win, but we just don’t know by how much.”
The caller was referencing Alabama’s 42-35 win over Arkansas on Saturday, which was much closer than many had anticipated. The Crimson Tide were double-digit favorites heading into that contest, which was tight into the fourth quarter.
Though they got the win, and Alabama is still ranked inside the top four in the College Football Playoff rankings, that apparently wasn’t good enough for some.
“When I came here everybody was happy to win a game. Now we’re not happy to win a game anymore,” Saban said. “We’re not happy to win a game at all. We think we should win games by whatever, and I don’t think that’s fair to the players either. Because our players work their butt off to be the best they can be. And to get criticized for what they work hard for to do so that you can be entertained, so you can enjoy and have pride and passion for what they accomplish and what they do.
“And they’re not perfect. They’re just college students. They go to school every day, they have to study, they have to run extra after practice when they miss study hall.”
Saban continued his rant, getting upset because “this is not professional football” and his players aren’t paid to play in the way that NFL players are.
“You should be proud and happy to support them, and appreciate what they do and have some gratitude,” Saban said. “You know what else? Nobody wants to win worse than they do. Not me, not you. I don’t care what kind of fan you are. Nobody wants to win more than the players that play. Nobody.
“So for all you self-absorbed folks out there that can’t look past your own self to appreciate what other people are doing,” he added, before his voice trailed off.
Though he’s built one of the best programs the sport has ever seen, and they’re seemingly always favored to win games during the season, Saban didn’t hesitate to make sure his point was delivered loud and clear.