Ever since Lane Kiffin arrived at Rocky Top, the Tennessee head honcho has been making his case as the kookiest coach in the SEC. (Ripping off recruits’ shirts, warning other recruits they’ll end up pumping gas for a living, that sort of thing.) And it seems Lane is well on his way to leap past the previous king of SEC lunacy, Nick Saban. (Comparing a loss to Louisiana-Monroe to 9/11 & Pearl Harbor, threatening recruits that he’ll turn them in to the NCAA, that sort of thing.)
But we should all know well enough that you can’t keep the Crimson Tide coach down for long. Sooner or later, Saban will do or say something silly once again to reclaim his crown as the SEC’s top screwball. And he doesn’t disappoint, as Nick knows who to blame for Alabama’s poor performance in last season’s Sugar Bowl:
Ian R. Rapoport of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS hikes up news that Saban was chatting with the media after Alabama’s A-Day spring game (attendance: 84,050), when the subject of the Sugar Bowl came up. (If you may recall, Utah rolled all over the Tide, 31-17.) How did such a crushing of the Crimson seem so easy in the Big Easy? It’s because you Alabama fans didn’t care enough:
“I want our fans to understand that when they don’t have positive passion and energy for what we’re trying to accomplish, then it affects everyone,” Saban said. “Last year’s team was a great example of that.“
Bad karma, dude. Negative vibes. That’s what tore down the Tide. You Alabama fans should have been more supportive. You should have gotten more fired up about facing the Utes. You should have funneled more positive energy into the Superdome.
But, no, you all dared not to care:
“There’s very little interest from our fans, our players or anybody else to play in the Sugar Bowl, which to me is a tremendous opportunity,” Saban said. “I tried to tell everyone, you’re only going to remember one thing about this game and that’s the outcome. So there’s no interest, there’s no passion and everybody is embarrassed because of how we played. Well, it’s because you didn’t have any passion for it, you didn’t have any interest in it, you didn’t have any enthusiasm to do it, and that’s across the board. And that’s not right. We go to a BCS bowl game, everybody ought to be positive and enthusiastic about what we’re doing.“
Saban then concluded his press conference by taking a sip of herbal tea, followed by a chanting of the I Ching. But before that, Saban wanted to clarify that he wasn’t just blaming the fans, but blaming everybody:
When he said “across the board,” he meant himself, too. He clarified that “the fans have been great,” but said there should be “an appreciation for what is accomplished.”
In other words, Alabama fans, it’s still your fault. So you better be packing the Georgia Dome to the rafters on September 5 when the Tide faces Virginia Tech. And you better get twice as riled up when mighty Florida International makes it’s way to Tuscaloosa the following week. Or you’ll only have yourselves to blame for another Sun Belt setback that will be more destructive than the Great Depression & Civil War combined.