Early on in the week leading up to the Rose Bowl, a ton of conversation has been started revolving around Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
But it’s not the traditional Xs and Os surrounding the game, but more along the lines of how to address the six-time national champion.
At around the 11:30 mark of his press conference on Monday, a young reporter addressed Nick Saban with “Hey Saban” ahead of asking her question.
On Tuesday the topic returned when WVTM 13’s Rick Karle critiqued the reporter.
His name is Coach Saban.
— Rick Karle WVTM 13 (@RickKarle) December 29, 2020
Karle’s tweet was met with push back and his own criticism from the college football world.
His name is Nick Saban and nobody has to ask you what to call him. Get over yourself, Rick.
— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) December 29, 2020
Rick, I don’t think it’s fair to make a public example out of a young “up and coming” journalist like this. A young woman who is a UA grad, served on the spirit squad, seemingly loves Bama and probably was a little nervous to ask Saban a question (likely for the first time)…
— Simone Eli (@SimoneEli_TV) December 29, 2020
Yeah, it's not the biggest deal. People misspeak. First question I ever asked a college coach in a press conference I think I nearly passed out from fear. Was 19. Have had some funny moments through the years. Once addressed Joe Torre as "Coach" LOL. Huge faux pas in MLB.
— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) December 29, 2020
I counted at least 8 other veteran reporters who called him "Nick"…but let's teach the new girl a lesson. Gotta get those facebook likes somehow…https://t.co/E5HyGAgVBL
— Laura Goldman (@GOODasGOLDman) December 29, 2020
Rick this is sad. I know it’s been awhile since you were a young reporter but hate to break it to you it can be nerve racking interviewing Nick Saban. He has been known to go off on a reporter or two. So instead of tearing down a fellow reporter down why don’t you build them up.
— Bri MacNaught (@BriMacNaught) December 29, 2020
Nope. Sorry, Rick.
I'm an adult. Nick is an adult. If I have occasion to address him in a presser, conference or more personal setting, I shall address him by his first name.
His title refers to his job description, not some honor bestowed upon him (i.e. – Lord, Sir, etc.).
— Norm Wood (@normwood) December 29, 2020
His name is Nick. He does not coach media.
— Jenna Fryer (@JennaFryer) December 29, 2020
Check the birth certificate!
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) December 29, 2020
I would bet that Nick Saban found this less offensive coming from a young reporter than a 24 Time Emmy Winner asking him to get into a dinghy for a local TV morning show hit.
You and I have made a lot of money off of “Coach Saban”, I say we give her a shot at a payday or two pic.twitter.com/lv1my5a19r
— Jim Dunaway (@jimdunaway) December 29, 2020
I bet the young reporter was nervous. Slip-ups happen.
When I was in college sitting in a CNS presser, I chickened out in asking my question about Luther Davis. @CregStephenson asked for me.
Nerves happen. So do slip-ups. So do adults calling adults by their first name. https://t.co/rOI1DGVKB6
— Gary Lloyd (@GaryALloyd) December 29, 2020
I demand to be called “Reporter Patrick” starting right now. https://t.co/4twDw4tQxs
— Patrick Engel (@PatrickEngel_) December 29, 2020
In 99.5% of situations, there is absolutely no need for a reporter to call someone "Coach." https://t.co/Mw3AONZ9Uv
— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) December 29, 2020
Why stop there? Why don't we just refer to him as God? https://t.co/XjTb72cxQH
— Ari Wasserman (@AriWasserman) December 29, 2020
this reeks of pretentiousness, cowardice, and ass kissing.
this screams “but IM coach’s biggest fan!!!!” https://t.co/kOE1hPukf3
— bee ✨ (@bulbasaurss) December 29, 2020
This tweet would be embarrassing coming from anybody. Coming from a media member it’s much worse than embarrassing. https://t.co/LgQ2JC9UAQ
— Justin McGuire (@JMcGuireMLB) December 29, 2020
This tweet reads like it’s from The Onion. https://t.co/3yW4LUAugv
— Moneybagg Yo(hannes) 🇪🇷 (@AronYohannes) December 29, 2020
— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) December 29, 2020
This is literally so dumb. https://t.co/YZemM6KIKl
— Clack (@joshclackler) December 29, 2020
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77