Paul Finebaum takes somber tone in describing Tua Tagovailoa's injury as 'collective tragedy'
The weekend took a different tone following the serious hip injury to Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, and it brought plenty of concern from college football fans who were saddened to lose a star and a face of the sport.
SEC Network host Paul Finebaum tried to summarize what the national mood around college football was this weekend following Tagovailoa’s injury at Mississippi State. He made his regular weekly appearance on the WJOX-FM program “The Roundtable.”
“I cannot remember anything quite like it,” Finebaum said. “I don’t want to overstate it because I realize there’s so many other serious things going on, but it was a collective tragedy for the sports fans of this country because there were just so many unfortunate and heartbreaking aspects of it. The questions that have been asked since early afternoon. Should he have played, should he have been in there, why did it happen? I mean these are all things that we can’t answer, and I think for the most part fans have reacted properly. Praying for Tua, hoping for the best, and not playing the blame game. Because I can tell you, as all of us are in similar positions, and it is so easy to blame.”
Finebaum added that it is in some ways reckless to blame someone when no one wanted or expected the injury to happen. Finebaum was asked if the same injury happened under a different coach, is the reaction today different?
“Probably different, and it’s a fair question,” Finebaum said. “I think we all tend to give Nick Saban the benefit of the doubt. … I think what hurts Saban the most in the moment was the way he handled the halftime, and I think that created an immediate reaction and overreaction that eventually calmed down once that people realized the severity of it, not that anyone doubted how bad it was in real time. But for the first time in observing Nick Saban over 20-some odd years, he looked shattered and fractured and shaken and he really didn’t handle the situation well at halftime, and quite frankly, he didn’t handle it a whole lot better after the game.”
Finebaum added that Saban tried to coach a game and find the right words, and there were no words to describe what happened.