Yes I know, me, who barely has any interest in football & cringes when the in state rivals play and threatens to leave the state and head to the mountains by myself for two days (the day they play and the day after so everyone can recover) has something to say about football.
For the record, no one considers me a true fan. I am perfectly okay with that label. I like seeing Alabama and Auburn both win. Almost all of our friends are Auburn fans. I like to see them happy. My family’s ties run deep at the University of Alabama. They are all Alabama fans except for one sister-in-law who graduated from Auburn and her youngest child. No need to worry about them in this crimson and white family though. They are still very loved and wear their orange & blue with pride. So yes I like seeing both teams win until they play each other and then I need Alabama to win for the sake of family. Well at least the majority of the family.
(And if you are not from the south and are wondering, yes, football is taken very seriously in this state.)
At first when I heard the news of Kiffin’s hire my first thought was the same as many, “What on earth is Saban thinking?” Is it a good hire when it comes to the health and performance of the team? I have no idea and that will remain to be seen until next season. Kiffin has had a lot of success as an offensive coordinator. For all I know it could be a genius hire.
But several thoughts keep coming to mind since I heard the news:
1. You’ve got to trust your coach. Saban was brought in to turn the football program around and he has done just that. Yes, Alabama lost to Auburn this past November when he took a risk on the last play of the game. Risk is a part of any game. You don’t become as successful as Saban has been without taking risks. Yes, I know it stunk for Alabama fans to lose to their arch rival. I get it. It stinks for Auburn fans when they lose to Alabama, too. But seriously, UA is one of the luckiest universities to have the record and tradition they have, not to mention the coach and staff they have right now. Look back at his record at Alabama. 79-15. Look at his overall college coaching record 170-57-1. Should we really be complaining? Should we really be playing armchair coach? Saban makes the millions for a reason.
2. It isn’t a secret that things are done Saban’s way when it comes to the football team. It’s safe to say that when you sign on with Saban, whether as a player or an assistant coach, you know that up front. You have to choose to trust his process and follow his rules. Kiffin knows this. If he doesn’t tow the line then there will be no line for him to tow at Alabama.
3. Assistant coaches at Alabama almost never talk to the media except for maybe the SEC media days in August and the bowl game. As in there are only one or two times of the season they are allowed to talk to the media. This is a good thing for Kiffin don’t you think? He doesn’t need any more exposure and laying low can not be a bad thing for him. Soon the media will move on to the next big story and he can focus on his job.
4. Lastly, I respect Saban for giving Kiffin a chance. I have only heard negative things about Kiffin since he became a head coach, and the few press conferences I have seen of him I was not impressed. Hopefully he has learned a lot through the college football storms he has found himself in though. Saban sees something in Kiffin. He sees his abilities and must respect those abilities or he would not have hired him. He is willing to give him a chance when many would not. Kiffin can learn a great deal from Saban if he will allow himself.
We all deserve the grace of a second chance, right?