Alabama Sports Anchor Lectures Fellow Media Members After Someone Dropped ‘Hi, Saban’ During Presser

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Rick Karle, a Birmingham, Alabama sports anchor, was so completely triggered by how another member of the media addressed Nick Saban during an Alabama Zoom press conference that he dropped a 700-plus word rant about the matter on Facebook.

During the Rose Bowl press conference, someone addressed Nick Saban as “Hi, Saban,” sending Rick into a rage that resulted in a massive lecture on how the greatest college coach in the history of the game should be addressed.

Rick could’ve made his point in 240 characters, but he got a little long-winded and ended up with what you see below.

Never forget that media people, specifically the sports guys, tend to be the worst people you’d ever want to be around. They’re typically miserable humans who want you to be miserable right there with them. Sure, there are some gems floating around, but there are hundreds of Ricks with huge egos. If you ever want to see how important some of these people consider themselves, especially the Insiders®, watch how they act during Super Bowl week. It’s some of the best mall watching known to mankind.

Anyway, let’s get to Rick’s rant. It’s a long one.

From Rick Karle:

Dear my media brethren,

I hope you are doing well.
I know it’s a hectic time for you, as you are working harder than ever, fighting deadlines, and spending time away from your families.
You are facing pressure from your bosses, criticism from fans and yes, even more deadlines.
Whether you are a writer, a radio announcer, a podcaster, a blogger, a social media expert or a TV reporter or anchor, I appreciate what you do.
I get it.
I’m one of you.

But something’s been eating at me for… well… about thirteen years, and it came to light again today as I listened to Coach Saban’s pre-Rose Bowl news conference, which was held virtually today as the coach fielded questions from across America while he was stationed in Tuscaloosa.

You see, I have a problem with reporters calling Coach Saban “Nick” when asking the coach a question.
I have heard this since the coach arrived in Tuscaloosa in 2007.
Questions like, “Nick, can you tell me about the progression of your quarterback?”
Or, “Nick, what have you learned about your team this year?”
Today I even heard a young reporter get on the call and start her question with, “Hi, Saban!” (yes, it could have been nerves- understand if it was).

I’ve come up with a proposal for all of us media people to follow as we move into a new year.
How about simply calling the head football coach at the University Of Alabama, “Coach Saban?”
I think the man has earned that much respect.

Oh, I get it.
Some reporters call the coach “Nick” in hopes that the coach perceives himself and the reporter on equal footing.
The problem? The footing is not equal.
Nick Saban is Nick Saban.
We are not.

Who, in my eyes, can call Coach Saban “Nick?”
Miss Terry can.
Lifelong friends can.
His current assistants can.
Perhaps a few in the media world can call him “Nick”:
Chris Lowe, perhaps Finebaum or Rece Davis or Tom Rinaldi.
But the last time I checked, none of the above are any of us.

Think about it: Why does almost every person in our state refer to Paul “Bear” Bryant as “Coach Bryant?”
Calling him any name other than Coach Bryant is showing disrespect.

Can you imagine a reporter attending a Coach Bryant news conference back in the 70’s and saying, “Hey Paul, can you update us on that injury to Barry Krauss?”, or “Hey Bear, can you give us an update on Steadman Shealy?”
And if Coach Bryant ever heard a question that began, “Hi, Bryant”?
Katy bar the door!

And if a reporter asked a question to Coach Stallings after he won the national championship in New Orleans starting with, “Hey Gene…”
Coach Stallings would have given the reporter that Coach Stallings look and Heaven knows what would have happened.

I have had Coach Saban sit in my kitchen and in my living room.
He’s stood on my front lawn and sat in my dinghy.
In my house, Nick Saban is always “Coach Saban.”

I have stood in the Saban’s living room, kitchen and recruiting room.
I have stood on his front lawn to receive coaching wisdom.
I have sat next to Miss Terry to watch her play the piano.
At the Saban house, he’s always “Coach Saban”.

I have interviewed the coach at A-Day, picture day, after national championship games, on the golf course, at his car dealership- heck, even at the Mercedes Marathon.
He is always “Coach Saban”.

So how about we make a New Year’s resolution to address the greatest coach in the history of college football as “Coach Saban” (and yes, simply “Coach” will do)?

It’s the most proper, most classy and most respectful thing to do.

Thanks again for what you do, my media friends.
I know that you will be making your own decisions on how to address the Alabama football coach, but I hope that you will consider my proposal.

Keep up the great work and keep grinding, and let’s all look forward to 2021 when we stop addressing the man who has won six national championships as “Nick.”

Oh, but there is some good news:

You can call me “Rick”.


Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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  1. I don’t think that guy understands that most coaches and athletes have a disposition towards the media that resembles on one of silent contempt and annoyance.

    all the media wants is someone to say something dumb so they can get a bunch of clicks out of it. A disingenuous game played by disingenuous “reporters”

  2. I’ll put it this way….I didn’t like the fact Bobby Knight was an abusive tyrant to his players…however fact he was also an abusive tyrant to the media was always a thumbs up in my book.

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