Yesterday, Alabama’s Nick Saban was asked about the comments Bret Bielema made over the weekend claiming that Saban’s record at Michigan State didn’t match his own at Wisconsin. The man with four BCS championships on his resume claimed the remarks by Arkansas’ coach left him feeling, well, nothing:
“I really don’t have a reaction to it. I’m really concerned about what we do here with our players, how we try to get the people in our organization to pay at a high standard. I really don’t defend anything I ever did any place we’ve ever been. Everybody has different situations they’re in, everybody inherits different situations that they’re in, you do the best you can to try to build a good program in those situations.”
As we told you earlier today, Bielema claimed via Twitter yesterday that he was just joshing around at a Razorback booster club when he compared himself to Saban.
Whether it was a joke or not, the reaction has been predictable. Alabama fans were outraged. Arkansas fans said, “Darn tootin’!” And some in the blogosphere have said college sports needs more of this WWE-style chirping.
Just judging by the television contracts being signed and the massive ratings for games, I’m not sure that college football is longing for much of anything. Saban’s comments are dry and measured yet he’s won three of the last four BCS titles and his program is the talk of the country. Apparently he doesn’t need to jape, insult, or be “interesting” in order to generate attention.
But sports fans are divided into two groups. Those who believe coaches and players should show class and do their talking on the field or court… and those who feel the world of sports needs trash-talkin’, showboatin’, bombasters to make things interesting. To them, slinging arrows can be a good thing.
Personally, I’ll take the guy who wins, says nothing at the postgame presser, and then flaps his gums with his team behind closed doors. The games already hold my interest without the ginned up sideshow.