SDS Exclusive! How Saban (probably) spent Alabama's Saturday off
Just because No. 1 Alabama is idle on Saturday doesn’t mean the Crimson Tide aren’t busy on finishing the punch list for the Nick Saban Death Star. Oh yes … while it is fully operational, even the Saban Death Star occasionally needs some routine repairs and touch-up paint.
And because we are fully dialed in with the goings-on inside the Mal Moore Football Building, SDS’ crack sources provided a worldwide exclusive that we are happy to share with you: Nick Saban’s personal itinerary for Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019.
Feast your eyes…
4:45 a.m.: Daily alarm goes off on iPhone XII
What, you think Saban is rocking an 11 Pro? Just because Tim Cook is a Barner doesn’t mean real recognizes real. So Saban’s alarm cranks Dixieland Delight at precisely 15 before 5 a.m. every day on his next-level device that sports FOUR cameras. No snooze button, either, as he cranks that off well before any offending phrases even get a chance to be sung.
4:47 a.m.: Coffee and Little Debbie oatmeal creme pie
Routines are routines. So after wandering to the kitchen, Saban hits up athletics relations coordinator Cedric Burns for a fresh mug of java and an unwrapped Little Debbie straight from the box. You might know Burns as the man following Saban every Saturday with a cup of Gatorade. Between that task and keeping the Mercedes detailed, Burns has his hands full all the time.
4:58 a.m.: Local on the 8s with Miss Terry
Whether in Tuscaloosa for home games, at some undisclosed location before road games or at the CFP-designated team hotel every year, Saban loves him some Weather Channel. So it is those two minutes beside Miss Terry every day checking what the weather might be like — to determine the cleat length for Tide players and occasionally bemoan the lack of a roof over Bryant-Denny Stadium. Even on off days, the subtle nuances in temperature must be calibrated.
5:01 a.m.: Burns and Saban head to the office
More routine. A quick peck to Miss Terry at the front door, heading over the electrified moat surrounding Chez Saban and across the Black Warrior River, Saban and Burns make the short trip from alongside Lake Tuscaloosa to Bryant Drive. The only possible deviation to the plan is taking a detour down University Drive to gaze lovingly at the Saban bronze statue.
5:15 a.m.: Calling Auburn’s sorry selves
The famous story goes that Coach Paul W. Bryant called the school down the road one morning and asked for the football office — only to be told they weren’t in yet. Bryant’s reply: “No wonder y’all aren’t any damn good at football!” Saban enjoys that secret tradition to this day, updating it to calling Gus Malzahn’s cellphone (after hitting *67, naturally) and giggling with glee when it rings and goes to voicemail.
5:16-9:30 a.m.: Breaking down film will full coaching staff
Just because Crimson Tide players are tucked safely into their hyperbaric chambers and still dreaming of this year’s College Football Playoff swag bag doesn’t mean there isn’t work being done. The full assemblage of on-field assistant coaches and small army of analysts (approximately every former NFL and college head coach not currently babbling for ESPN or Fox …) gather to break down film with Saban.
No deviation from perfection goes unnoticed. For example, at 7:42:38 today, Saban noticed Tua Tagaovailoa’s left shoelace coming untied during the second quarter of the South Carolina game tape. Three analysts and four equipment kids are immediately dispatched to the locker room to replace EVERY shoelace with exclusive untie-proof Nike shoelaces.
9:31 a.m.: ‘Crootin’
As recruiting is just like shaving, in that if you miss a single day you look like a bum, the Saban Death Star dedicates 28 minutes every day to the task. How can they get it all done in less than a half-hour, you ask? When you’ve got 792 analysts and 1,439 “football recruitment” interns on hand 24/7/365, the well-oiled machine can crank out “personalized” notes to every five-star 7th-grader in America in no time. Burns spends the rest of the morning signing Saban’s name.
10 a.m.: Executive time
Somewhat like President Donald Trump, Saban dedicates an hour of every idle-week Saturday ensconced in his office in front of a 120-inch plasma virtual-arguing with Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit during ESPN’s “College Gameday”. Saban cheats a bit, though, in that he is simultaneously texting Alabama alum Rece Davis with zingers for Herbie and Coach Corso.
What does the rest of the Death Star administrative staff do during this hour? Family time, of course! Gotta see the wife and kids sometime…
11 a.m.: Laughing at the Big Ten
Lesser coaches would call this “reviewing possible future opponents”, but it isn’t like Saban and the Death Star don’t already have a comprehensive catalog of every player and team in the Big Ten already. So Saban and his assistant coaches gather around a large conference table and chuckle audibly at how slow Iowa and Michigan look, how low Jim Harbaugh wears his hat, wonder aloud why Gus Johnson is yelling at us on every play … this is bonding time, people, as the men in that room are usually getting chewed out on headsets at this time on game days.
2:30 p.m.: Rooting against Auburn and Florida at the same time
In between showing his phone to assistants and guffawing at how many consecutive missed calls he has from Lane Kiffin, Saban and the staff turn their attention to a lunch delivery from Newk’s and the Auburn-Florida game. Steve Sarkisian touches off a minor argument at one end of the table when he proclaims his offense could throw for 800 yards on Auburn, as there are several other assistants who think it could be closer to 1,000 … Saban interrupts to laugh VERY hard at the Florida Field Turf Monster grabbing an Auburn player rumbling for a clear touchdown during the game’s 38th turnover.
6:01 p.m.: Checking in at the Linebacker Cloning Station
Just because Alabama linebackers seem to have fallen via injury this season at an alarming rate doesn’t mean the Death Star isn’t prepared. In a basement room accessible only via a Clemson-like slide hidden behind Saban’s wall of national championship pelts, the entire University of Alabama biology department is hard at work cloning fresh linebackers for the second half of the season. Saban takes the slide down to observe the process and offer suggestions (strengthening ACLs with more carbon fiber, for one…) before teleporting back upstairs.
6:06 p.m.: Pinging and Zinging with Kirby Smart
Georgia is on the field against Tennessee in the first quarter, but Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart doesn’t even need to devote his whole brain toward beating the Volunteers’ brains in. So Smart and Saban engage in friendly text banter, which isn’t caught by the ESPN cameras until Smart is seen chucking his iPhone 8 angrily toward the bench after Saban ends the silliness with this text: “2nd and 26 much?”
6:08 p.m.: Breaking down 2023 opponent tape
The best never rest, so Saban sets off on a detailed breakdown of the Crimson Tide’s 2023 opponents. Several tendencies are exposed within all the opposition’s current high school seniors, and catalogued accordingly. The voluminous support staff begins to extrapolate the information into data chips that will be prepared for subcutaneous installation when the time comes.
10:31 p.m.: Self-tweaking the Orgeron-to-English dictionary
Saban takes exactly 60 seconds to plug in a Lightning cord into the base of his neck to update his YawYawYaw Lexicon Sensors in preparation for LSU in a couple weeks. Gotta be able to respond to Ed O in real time, after all…
10:33 p.m.: Yelling at Boise State and UNLV to run the damn football
In between mumbling loudly at Sarkisian about the Tide’s inability to run the rock, Saban gesticulates wildly at the late-night West Coast games racking up pinball-style scores. No one in the room dares to mention to Saban’s current offense would look right at home playing on the Left Coast…