Stephen A. Smith has solution to avoid Nick Saban's outbursts like Saturday night
There may not be three bigger personalities at the cross-section of football and media than Stephen A. Smith, Nick Saban and Paul Finebaum.
But following Nick Saban’s outburst late Saturday night toward ESPN sideline reporter Maria Taylor, Smith has offered a solution to Saban reacting so emotionally to the on-field media: Put Finebaum, the SEC Network host and analyst, on the field with the Alabama coach.
“I’ve got a solution that I’d like to ask to ESPN and ABC — why don’t we ask Paul Finebaum if he wants to do those sideline reports with Nick Saban? Let’s see how Nick Saban enjoys that,” Smith said, according to 247Sports. “I promise you Nick Saban might try, but boy would he be in for some trouble if he tried to roll up on Paul Finebaum like that. See, sometimes when you’re dealing with bullies, you’ve got to be confronted by somebody who doesn’t mind a bully. They’re ready to go toe to toe.
What I would ask is that the networks don’t judge Paul Finebaum too harshly for coming back at him. I’d love to see it, but it won’t happen because Finebaum has other things to do.”
Smith’s co-analyst, Max Kellerman, said it was Smith’s best idea ever, and that when Saban acts like this, he reminds Kellerman of San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich and New England’s Bill Belichik
“They just come off as jerks,” Kellerman said.
Finebaum and Saban, of course, have a long history, and perhaps most notably got into a heated exchange at the 2016 SEC Media Days when Finebaum questioned Saban’s handling of offseason discipline.