Monday, July 30, 2007

puff piece writing at its finest

and about a guy who is extremely difficult to "puff", no less. yes that's right. cbssportsline.com's dennis dodd want you to know what a cool guy nick saban is.

i refuse to analyze the entire article piece by piece, because i would spend so much time laughing at some of the ridiculous shit in here that i wouldn't finish the post until next week. instead, i'll offer you some highlights and if you think you'd like to read something really funny, just click on the link above and read the whole thing yourself.

Perfect fit to be with Tide? Saban can slog through the insanity

Cedric Burns knows Alabama coaches. Bear Bryant hired him 27 years ago as athletic relations coordinator. From Perkins to Shula, the humble Guy Friday has quietly observed the ebb and flow of the Tide over the years.

Until now. Today's the day he is about to blow the lid off of college football with an incredible revelation.

Sitting over a modest biscuit and hash brown breakfast Thursday morning at the Alabama football complex, Burns gushed.


"He is one of the most well-mannered people," Burns said. "You can tell he was raised well by his father and mother. He just fits this place."

that's right. let's get the puff piecing started early. alabama's own athletics relations coordinator says saban is a good guy. therefore, you, reader of dodd's article, should feel the same. i mean, would cedric burns lie to you? if i were a diehard miami dolphins fan (i know there aren't many, but there have to be SOME) i would have already punched my computer monitor at this point.

The subject of Cedric's praise pulls up shortly before 7 a.m., an untied tie draped around his neck. He enters the building. No one cringes. Paint doesn't peel. After a quick stop at his office, Nick Saban turns to Burns, his driver today, and a notebook-toting passenger and says, "You ready?"

Whoa, whoa, whoa. This can't be right. Well mannered? The man who "lied" about taking the job at Alabama, has a soul? The bully who made a player cry on the practice field at Miami is just "a country boy who grew up in West Virginia and pumped gas" from the time he was 10 years old?

so basically what dodd is saying with these rhetorical questions is that nick saban is a good guy, because he's nice to a guy who works for him. makes sense. everyone i personally know who is a liar and behaves unprofessionally is also rude and mean to every single person they interact with. it makes them easy to spot. the second i see someone treating someone else with respect, i instantly know that the guy (the first one) is a great all around person who probably pumped gas at a young age.

later-

The cloying adoration of the program that sh-- on Shula, freaked out Fran and Bible-thumped Mike Price out of town has found a man of steel it can't crack.

boy, 6 months or so into his tenure and after playing zero games, they still love this guy! i think we can definitively conclude that he's going to become the joe paterno of alabama and coach here until the day he dies. never before has a "big name" coach been wildly popular with his fan base under these circumstances!

now, let's really get to the good stuff (more anecdotes, please!)-

"He cares about what people think of him (and) it hurts him," said close friend Lenny Lemoine, a Lafayette, La., contractor. "He is a very passionate and compassionate person."

There are Dolphins staffers maybe gagging over that last quote. Reporters who hold him accountable for saying he wouldn't take the Alabama job.

"In no way was I trying to be dishonest," he said.

As if it matters. Saban got out of South Florida. 'Bama got its man.

read that last part again. and again. if you're like me, you can't possibly read it more than three times in a row without holding your head in your hands. are you kidding me? what kind of journalism is that? yes. "as if it matters." look, i don't mean to take things too far in the other direction and imply that saban is a horrible person who should be castrated and thrown in prison just because he broke a promise to his employer. but he's still a slimy, unlikable guy. i don't think that's very hard to agree with as long as you're not an alabama fan. and dodd wants readers nation wide to dismiss this near-fact with the phrase "as if it matters" and some vague anti-logic which basically says the ends justify the means. except that in this case, the ends aren't even indisputably "good". it's not like "sure, saban lied to and quit on the dolphins. but he did so to kick his heroin addiction." instead it's "sure, saban lied to and quit on the dolphins. but he did so in order to take another coaching job." what?

"The first question at every Red Elephant Club is, 'When are we going to win the national championship?'" Saban said, complaining only slightly.

If he stays long enough -- never a certainty -- and Alabama will have him, Saban will deliver because he already has.

write that down, college football fans. saban WILL win a championship at 'bama. how do we know?

Armed with NFL experience, residence in Bill Belichick's coaching tree and the 2003 national championship at LSU, Saban is the new Spurrier.

i know the two programs are very different, but let's just say spurrier isn't exactly threatening to win it all at south carolina anytime soon.

Both more or less flopped in the NFL. Both are back in the SEC. Like the Steve Spurrier of old, Saban is now the one hated everywhere in the conference, except where it counts. Sweet Home Alabama.

That was obvious this summer when, Saban said, an Alabama administrative assistant who used to work at LSU had her tires slashed. She was back in Baton Rouge for a wedding.

"I think we're very aware of the backlash," Saban said, "live it every day."

Saban could have his own ax ready to grind, but chooses not to.

he "could" have an ax to grind about what, exactly? about the fact that lsu fans hate him? as if that's not justified. as if saban is taking the fucking moral high ground by not "grinding his ax". puh. lease. that is pathetic.

ok, here's the puffiest part in this whole puff piece, are you ready?

Remember "coon-ass"? Saban was insensitive but the reporter who gave those off-the-record comments to a radio station was unprofessional.

wow. just.... wow. that's epic. that last sentence is so bold, and yet so insulting, to me as a reader that i'm not entirely sure how to process it. sure, saban may very well be a mild racist... but i think we should overlook it in light of the fact that the guy who reported those comments was being unprofessional. do-over for saban! do-over! what he said doesn't count.

Saban could have flushed the whole profession down the toilet.

i assume he means the profession of journalist who covers the alabama football team. yeah, i bet he could have totally done that. people wouldn't have been upset about that at all.

more puffing later on-

There are also workers near Saban's Lake Burton home in north Georgia who he slips an extra $20 for working on his boat. Back in T-town, there are kids who don't yet realize they are going to benefit from the $100,000 Saban donated to Alabama to start a first-generation scholarship program.

history has shown that all people who give money to other people are not slimy at all, and deserve to be gushed over by the media for doing so.

And for the record, it was after the Dolphins' final game that he decided to talk to Alabama.

somehow this makes his broken promise thing less bad. i'm not sure how... but somehow. and so on and so forth. god, i hate journalism like this. remember that tim tebow article i compalined about earlier this month? ah, SEC football... you gotta love it!

3 comments:

Chris W said...

wow. that was an insipid and mindboggling article. and from dennis dodd? no way!

say it isn't so!

actually i was just being sarcastic. this doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

JD said...

As a proud native of the Yellowhammer State, the reaction Saban gets is only rivaled by that of Mike Shula in 2003. And Dennis Franchione in 2000. And Mike DuBose in 1997. They'll hate him when he leaves 'em high and dry like he did Michigan State, LSU, and the Dolphins.

Heath Brown said...

Hindsight is always 20/20

Saban definitely delivered!