Should coaches say whatever they want at SEC fan events?

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Ah, the humanity of coaches rallying hoards of fans at speaking events, vowing to end streaks and calling other coaches – whom they have a personal relationship with – the ‘devil himself’. Then, the Internet explodes.

What’s the big deal anyway?

If you’ve been living in a cave in the Deep South over the last few days, Florida OL coach Tim Davis, who has previously worked under Nick Saban for three years, jokingly called Saban ‘the devil himself’ during a Florida fan event.

“I’ve always wanted to work with (Florida coach) Will (Muschamp),” Davis said. “Will’s got a plan. Will coached under the devil himself for seven years. I only did three. He did seven. And his DNA is not any different than Nick.”

The apparently height-challenged Antichrist has been accused of being ‘the devil himself’, ‘Nicky Satan’ and the ‘Prince of Darkness’ all over the span of the last few months. It all stems from a play on words with Saban, and I’d venture to say championships have something to do with it, too. That’s it.

Then, ESPN’s Mark May called Davis a ‘classless backstabbing coward’ yesterday on the Mothership.

“I don’t know Tim Davis, but my opinion, he’s a classless backstabbing coward,” May said on ESPN. “You’re talking about a guy in Nick Saban that gave you an opportunity to coach. He gave you an opportunity to move up the coaching ranks, so you could support your family, put food on the table, clothes on their backs. Not for one year. He gave you the opportunity for three years on his staff.

“If you have a problem with Nick Saban, pick up the phone, put your big-boy pants on and man up and say ‘Coach, I got a problem with you and here’s why.’ You don’t go out in front of some group of friendly fans out there and say that about Nick Saban, a guy that gave you an opportunity to be a coach.”

Mark May apparently didn’t get the same tongue-in-cheek tone from Davis as 90 percent of the country did. What a radical and outlandish approach by Davis, trying to energize and stir up fans at rallying event. Saban probably takes it as a compliment. After all, if no one is gunning for you or talking about you, you’re irrelevant. And Saban certainly isn’t irrelevant.

A few days ago, Will Muschamp vowed to end Georgia’s two-game winning streak, and UGA OC Mike Bobo assured fans the Bulldogs would be ready for South Carolina.

Many boosters and fans don’t want to hear about the Xs and Os of college football. Hell, many can’t tell you the difference between a center and a guard. Especially at fan rallies and events, they just want to hear about how they’re going to be able to brag at the water cooler on Monday mornings come fall, not how you have the best pulling guard in the conference.

Simple tongue-in-cheek statements meant to rally crowds shouldn’t be taken so seriously.

What Davis, Muschamp, Bobo and Franklin said was meant to rally and rile up home crowds – nothing more, nothing less. It’s funny and entertaining and gives us something to talk about in May, when college football is essentially dead to the world.

As long as coaches don’t pose any death threats or attack the SEC, we’re all good. Intra-conference shots are allowed and welcomed.

After all, isn’t it a coach’s job to rally fan bases?

Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/CFA-pr via USA TODAY Sports

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  • I understand that it’s crucial for coaches like Tim Davis and Will Muschamp to make their fans more excited for the upcoming season. Obviously every coach wants their fanbase to feel relevant in their own conference. But in the grand the scheme of things, this has little effect on Saban’s process to ready his own players to win football games.