Ivan Maisel gets the Barbara Walters shot at Nick Saban in a piece producing two shining details worth framing on the wall of "things we will wear into the ground through comic repetition this year. "
One: Saban hates your gangsta huggies.
On the practice field in the early days of spring practice, the Saban you don't know decided he had had enough of his players wearing their pants too far below their waist...
"He pulled his pants down," Caldwell said, "and said, 'This is how some of you guys look. You're showing your ass. And I'm going to be the only a--hole showing around here.'"
Proof positive there's a Patton DVD somewhere floating around the Saban household, most likely sandwiched between musty copies of the original Walking Tall and Snap, Pop, OH MY GOD WHY?: Quarterbacks in Pain, Vol 12.
The other grand tidbit here: Saban's rage fuel, allowing him to work those famous 20 hour days and still reduce underlings to tears with ease, is readily available at your local gas station or downmarket grocery store:
The Saban you don't know may have a Manhattan income, but his tastes remain rooted in his native West Virginia. Given his druthers, Saban would be watching practice video, a cup of coffee on the table and Red Man Golden tucked in his cheek. Toss a package of Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies (the original size, not the big ones) next to the coffee and you may not hear from Saban for hours.
Them's some druthers right there. Saban's snack tastes run roughly parallel to Britney Spears, something we wouldn't have predicted given a decade's worth of guesses. In our darkest moments as a fan--say, when the 2009 team is pounding the hell out of Florida's quarterback in the SEC championship game--we'll just go to a happy place where Nick Saban is yelling at his players, waddling around a practice field with his pants around his ankles and an oatmeal cream pie in his hand. Laughing makes the sad fly away at times like that.
That visual could be handy for SEC fans over the next few years, actually.