The honeymoon is over. That little lovefest they were having in Alabama has ended. The question is, does anybody outside of two media members care?
Nick Saban, Alabama's $4-million-a-year man, cancelled an interview last weekend with CNNSI's Stewart Mandel, and he did it with style. Mandel reported that in canceling, Saban barked at an athletics department official, "I don't have time for this shit."
Mandel then called Saban a "jerk" in his article before smoothing things over by saying Saban is "exactly what the doctor ordered for the Alabama football program." Mandel and Saban have since worked things out.
Montgomery Advertiser columnist Josh Moon was not as kind to Saban after the coach refused to make players available to the media last week. Wrote Moon: "Let's be real here, Nick Saban's reputation is mostly hype. He was overrated at Michigan State, overrated at LSU and rated about right in Miami. He's an average coach who, through mostly media attention, has garnered this reputation of being a great coach."
Moon continued: "The worst part of it is Saban's unjustified sense of self-importance, as if he somehow isn't just a football coach. Oh, he can spin that and say he's molding young people, shaping youth or whatever. But the bottom line is that he's not saving the world out there on a football field. He's coaching a game."
Mobile Press-Register columnist Paul Finebaum defended Saban and said fans don't give a hoot about the media. "Newspapers are not held in nearly the regard of yesteryear. Besides, with talk radio, the Internet and everyone on your block having their own blog, there are myriad ways to get information faster than your daily newspaper. It may not be nearly as accurate, but hungry fans don't seem to really care anymore, as long as they get something, anything."