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.