If you haven’t seen Alabama’s head football coach Nick Saban’s press conference rant yet, you are missing out.
To break it down, basically, Alabama football has won a bunch of titles in the time that Saban has been here. Something that obviously makes Bama fans and students, like me, very happy. They are so good that they win almost everything. We lost one game last season, and by the looks of it, might not even lose at all this season.
This sounds like it would be a lot of fun, right? And surely it is most of the time to most people. But there are variables that make some game attendance low. A lot of which added up for last Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Layfette. Cue embarrassing student section attendance. Cue Nick Saban Rant.
Reasons I see where Saban is coming from:
Saban’s play for four, stay for four is a staple at our University, and something I agree with. These players work day in and day out to put on a good show on Saturday’s all while being full-time students, the least we can do as fans is stay to watch them win until the end.
And that about ends what I agreed with within Saban’s rant.
The many reasons I disagree with Saban:
First of all, Saban says “…I don’t think they’re entitled to anything either,” when talking about students that don’t show up to games. Coach Saban, I love you, but we pay your $7.5 million salary. We are students here, we pay hundreds of dollars for our tickets. We sure are entitled to our seats at football games. Every school has a student section, and it’s a student section for a reason. This is a University after all, and our football team is made up of students. Therefore, the student section should also be made up of students.
Second, Mr. Saban, you do realize we are students first, right? We came here to go to school, not to watch football. However, it is a wonderful bonus. It’s something I enjoy doing every Saturday, but not everyone can enjoy that luxury. Some people cannot afford to buy tickets to the game, some students might even be busy studying. The game that you are complaining about as well, fell right in the middle of midterms. Midterms require a hefty amount of studying, some studying that might even have to happen on a Saturday. In order for us to stay here, we must keep grades, therefore in order for us students to be at every other football game, we must pass said midterms. So, if you would like attendence at other games, please let us study.
This game was also Parents Weekend here at the University. This already makes for low attendance at a game. Students either skip the game to spend time with their families doing other things, or they sit with their families. So, although the student section was low, there were plenty of students at that game.
You also said, Mr. Saban, that we, as students don’t cheer. I have missed one home football game in my time here at the University so far. I don’t think I’ve heard a quiet stadium ever. We sure do cheer when the players’ names are announced, there are a handful of cheers that get played after a first down, or a touchdown, or during a kickoff that are always screamed. So, this point I frankly just don’t get.
Also, what college student do you know that wants to get up at 8 am on a Saturday to get ready and get to a football game that kicks off at 11 am on a Saturday when we get up for 8 ams all week? And what ones do you know that won’t be hungover on top of all that?
And lastly Mr. Saban, you picked a crap team. My biggest peeve about college sports, especially our very own Alabama Football team, is scheduling. Tell me why we played Louisiana-Layfette. A team we beat 56-14. We won by 42 points. It was 28-0 at halftime. Our third string was put in in the third quarter. I understand our conference is not at its best. And games like Texas A&M and Ole Miss have to be played, but why does that mean our out-of-conference schedule has to be even worse? Put games like Texas, Oklahoma, Penn State on the schedule and I guarantee you’ll have a record number of students at the game. Why do you think students sell their tickets for hundreds of dollars for games like LSU and Auburn? Yes, they’re rivalry games but they’re also good football teams. So, we get to watch a good football game.
And also, don’t tell me you can’t do it, Clemson scheduled TX A&M this year, Washington and Auburn played, and have you seen Notre Dame’s schedule?
Why Tim Tebow’s rant annoyed me:
First of all, Mr. Tebow, why did you need to comment on this anyway? Make a small comment and move on. You were a fancy athlete with all the entitlement in the world just a couple years ago. You were handed everything. Didn’t need a job, or to actually study.
But I’ll keep my comments to just your speech.
You said we’ve done nothing to win all these championships, really? If we don’t do anything tell me why it’s such a big deal for us to be at games. Oh right, cause student sections win championships, fans win championships. Without us where would team morale be? Who would give the team that extra push in the fourth quarter that Nick Saban wants us so badly to be there to give?
And then there’s the daddy’s money comment. “You spend a little bit of daddy’s money to show up at a game and to go to school there.” Again, excuse me Mr. Tebow, but you have no right. I am lucky enough to go to school here on scholarship, most of my friends are not. My friends all have jobs, some two, and some are barely making their rent. Do you think they have enough money to buy a football ticket? Again, school comes first, so they must work to afford to pay tuition, and then maybe if they have some extra money buy a football ticket. And no, daddy also is not paying to send them to school here.
There are also people that worked their tails off in high school to be here, including me. I went to one party in high school. Took an SAT class and an ACT class twice a week. I got straight As in high school, graduated with a 4.0. Worked so extremely hard I can’t even describe it to get a 32 on my ACT so “daddy” didn’t have to “send” me to school. So, I could make it myself. So, thank you. And, I have to do the same in college. So yes, I might need to skip a football game or two, or watch it from home while I’m doing my homework in order to keep my grades up, so I can continue to go to school here.
And again, just remember you went to school on an athletic full ride, so you have no room to talk.
To wrap up:
Schedule harder teams, Saban settle down, we’re students first, Tebow you’re irrelevant.
How I think Mizzou fixed it:
If you got a glimpse into that stadium Saturday night I think you know. There wasn’t an empty seat in the student section, or really in the stadium for that matter. It was Homecoming Weekend. We were playing a team with a top 10 offense. It was finally a night game. We always have the excitement of watching Tua. And, they freed Dixieland.
Although the first playing of Dixieland Delight in four years was hands down the most electric part of the game that night, the crowd was full, and it was wild. There are many moments I’ll take away from that game as some of the best in my Alabama attendance. Kickoff was by far the best one I’ve seen. We actually made it to a fourth down AND had to punt the ball. Friends in low places was so very cool to hear and watch the crowd enjoy that night. And then there was Dixieland. Played in the fourth quarter for the first time in four years. I don’t even know what words I can use to describe it.
And these are things that I think fixed our problem. I think most students felt these feelings. I think most of them will be back. We were reminded of what it is to be an Alabama football fan. We felt it in that stadium on Saturday night, we got another taste. And I think everyone will be back for more.