Friday, February 02, 2007

Nick the Slick or Nick the Dick?

Was Nick Saban's "coonass" comment a racial slur? Depends on the source. Baton Rouge Advocate columnist Scott Rabalais, a Louisiana State grad of Cajun descent, says "this is a pot that boileth way over the top." But he also adds that Saban "has all the personality of chain-link fence" and shouldn't be telling jokes. Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote points out "the irony of Saban, a self-confessed West Virginia 'hillbilly,' calling other people 'coonasses.' Suggestion to Nick: Open your next news conference with a derogatory tirade against Alabamans. And throw in a line or two making fun of the way Bear Bryant looked in those silly houndstooth hats." ... In fairness to Saban, his recorded comments were off the record, yet they found their way onto the Internet. Miami Herald reporter Jeff Darlington came forward to say he shared the audio file with WQAM radio host Orlando Alzugaray, who aired the comments. To his credit, Darlington publicly apologized to Saban, which we might point out, is something Saban has yet to do to Cajuns. He was asked about his "coonass" comment again Thursday night in Montgomery. "Down there, it's a term of endearment," he said before pointing out — once again — that his comments were off the record. Come on now (and regardless of your opinion), is it really that difficult to say you're sorry? Until Saban issues some form of apology, the hits will keep coming. Palm Beach Post columnist Dave George writes that "the running count of places where Saban has worn out his welcome, accordingly, continues to rise. He's hated in Louisiana, where he once was king, and he's despised in South Florida, where he repeatedly lied about not going to Alabama and then went anyway, and he's demonized by Auburn fans, too, well, just because." Yes, Saban is hated, especially in Louisiana, where they are counting the days until Louisiana State plays Alabama.
Update: Darlington reportedly will be disciplined by the Herald, but will not be fired. He has been pulled from the newspaper's coverage of the Super Bowl. Thanks to the Midwest Correspondent.


Anonymous said...

Now I've been to diners in Louisiana that had Coonass Stew on the menu. So how is it a slur?

You don't see entrees at a soul food restaraunt with the N-bomb in the title.

Coonass = Redneck south of I-10 in Louisiana.

G said...

Aren't there 2 issues:

1. 'Off the record'. Sabin thought he was off the record. Anymore everything, and anything in public is 'on the record' these days. He should know that.

2. Sabin's poor judgment in using such words, or retelling a joke. He is not an ordinary citizen. He is a highly highly paid very public employee. He needs to recognize that.

G said...

'Coonass' may be used in some backwoods cafe, but is not fitting for the 5 mil a year (or whatever the rate) head coach of a prominent football program.

Anonymous said...

if blacks can use the N-word, then why can't a white guy use coonass to describe creole rednecks? oh the hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

"Now I've been to diners in Louisiana that had Coonass Stew on the menu. So how is it a slur?"

Go on any LSU fan site to see the number of "coon" usernames . Go to Lousianna and check out how many places you can buy coonass hats , shirts , stickers and coffee mugs . The long and short of it is a group of self righteous and pretentious folks with an axe to grind are trying to manufacture a dumbass "controversy" to slam the man with .

Cool Hand Mike said...

Scott Rabalais - The Advocate

Saban’s slight?

It’s been amazing, though pretty predictable, to see LSU fans’ long-distance love affair with Nick Saban transform into jilted lover-like rage during his first month at Alabama.

First, Saban tried to lure LSU coaches. Then, LSU commitments. This week, he admitted (but didn’t apologize, being Nick means never having to say you’re sorry) being caught on tape telling a story that referred to a Cajun character in it as a raccoon’s posterior.

Some LSU fans are outraged. Some Cajuns are outraged. ESPN’s Skip Bayless is outraged and called for Nick’s job Thursday, but his neck veins bulge out 24-7.

Frankly, and speaking not only as a writer but an LSU grad and a person of Cajun descent, this is a pot that boileth way over the top.

Sure, Saban told a crude and crass story. He was trying to ingratiate himself with reporters in Alabama. Saban has to work overtime at being warm — the man has all the personality of chain-link fence.

But a show of hands please from anyone who never said something off color or improper and wished they could take it back.

Here are, I think, two sound pieces of advice: For Nick, never try to tell a joke again. “A priest, a preacher and a rabbi” — just say no.

For LSU fans: Stop this Saban obsession. It will prove him right about your “catastrophe syndrome.”

Clifford said...

cajun rednecks, not creole.