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Former Florida State and NFL wide receiver P.K. Sam took to Twitter today to celebrate, according to him, the ten year anniversary of Nick Saban cutting him from Dolphins for skipping out on the team… to go hug his dying dad one last time.
Is there a part I was supposed to be surprised at? I’m certainly not shocked by this news. We’re talking about Nick Saban. This isn’t Jim Harbaugh here, who I assume would have joined P.K. on the trip and personally dug his father’s grave for him. (Shirtless, obviously.) I can’t imagine that death is something that registers on Nick Saban’s radar (and not just because he is an immortal dark prince). If it does, it is at best an “excuse” in his mind.
“Oh your dad is losing to a disease? Well have fun with your little pity party. Your teammates and I will be over here trying to actually win something. A FOOTBALL GAME. Against the Bills.”*
*They ended up losing 21-0 to the Bills after P.K. Sam was cut.
Nick Saban would view the U.S. going to war with Russia as a recruiting inconvenience. One man dying isn’t going to make him flinch. This is a man who, according to The Ringer, makes Bill Belichick seem pretty nice.
Louis Riddick, a former NFL safety and now an ESPN analyst, said he saw a big contrast in coaching styles on his mid-’90s Browns teams, when Belichick was near Nick Saban, then the defensive coordinator. The picture Riddick paints is that of a barely believable buddy-cop movie, Saban screaming at everything and Belichick softly twisting the knife.
Riddick remembers Saban and Belichick teaching quarters coverage, which they called “box.” When Riddick was lined up incorrectly, he remembers Saban screaming, asking if Riddick had ever seen a “box” in his life. “Belichick didn’t have to yell,” Riddick said.
Saban also once made a Dolphins player cry like a child.
P.K. Sam might actually want to walk back this complaint. Saban may have done him a kindness by even allowing him to go see his dying father one last time. If Saban had thought he needed Sam that week, he might have flown to wherever Sam’s dad was and smothered him in his sleep before Sam could even leave to visit.
“It’s alright P.K. You go out there and play this one on Sunday for your dad, and then get home and be with your family. We’re all with you,” Saban would say to him, a few hours after catching the red eye from the murder scene back to Miami.
Nick Saban really is one of the greats..