- Dec 26, 2001
- Reaction score
Good stuff!IGNORE QUOTES: Yes, this will take some getting used to, since we tend to use a lot of them. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s our crutch, and we must fill a certain amount of daily space, so they wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t disappear entirely. But a frightened player is a dishonest player, at least for publication purposes. And since Saban has preached the "One Voice" philosophy, you can assume heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a ventriloquist throwing his voice to his puppets. What they say means little, because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not what some would say if their words werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t being monitored. (If they start using a lot of metaphors that include their wives, or better yet, SabanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wife, then you know the cloning is complete).
BEWARE THE RETRACTION: Occasionally, a player will slip into (gasp!) honesty. He will be scolded. And the next day, he will backtrack and apologize, and turn over his first born. Treasure this blessing. And, whatever you do, be sure to ignore the apology.
SHOP AROUND THE PRESS: Since there will be greater use of anonymous sources you would be wise to keep a scorecard of which reporters are getting what right. If a reporter is often off-base, hold that person accountable. Stop reading. Stop watching. Stop listening. Look elsewhere. We certainly would deserve that.
FIND PERSONALITIES ELSEWHERE: The Heat has some compelling players, including the two biggest stars in town. The Marlins have an eclectic, interesting, winning mix. If itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s individuality you want, Davie wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be the place. Restrictions on access will make it harder to get to know players and tell their personal stories. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s inevitable that they wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be portrayed as human beings as often anymore, just football players. SabanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s subjects, to be more exact. Many fans say they only care about what players do on the field ("I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t subscribe to People magazine," is an e-mail that frequently finds my in-box), so they wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind this much. But this will bother some players, who are concerned about their images, and want fans to get to know them as more than blocking, tackling slabs of meat.
COACHING ERROR? GO STRAIGHT TO THE TOP: Spite, you say? Hardly. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just the way Saban has set it up. If heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not allowing the media to speak to assistants, including the coordinators, then we must assume they have no role in whatever occurs on the field, unless we just take his word for it. (If Saban were President, Donald Rumsfeld would never hold a press briefing; "Hey, just ask Dub-ya," Rummy would say). Saban seems to have assembled an excellent staff, but apparently, it is not a particularly eloquent or responsible one; otherwise, why canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t they be allowed to explain their activities? This is sort of a shame, especially for the staffÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s many African-American assistants. The league says it is intent on promoting minority coaches, who arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t as well-known to owners. It is difficult to promote someone who essentially does not exist.
MASTER THE METAPHOR: Saban uses them all the time, and if they sometimes go over your head, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry - some of us feel 3-foot-2 these days. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re revealing just the same, in the things that he references, notably cars and family, if not in that order. When asked about acquiring Edgerrin James, Saban said, "When you ask me a specific question like that, ever is a long time. Will my wife ever leave me? She has had several opportunities and probably should have a long time ago. I am happy that she didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t." When asked about Ricky Williams, Saban said, "My wife once said, 'IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll never speak to you again.' But sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s here, right in the room up there.' People make emotional decisions and judgments about things." When asked about changing the draft grading system, Saban said, "If yÃ¢â‚¬â„¢all went to my cottage right now in North Carolina, we've got no mustard and 15 bottles of ketchup in the pantry because every time my wife goes to the store, she picks up a bottle because she doesn't take a list. She doesn't know what she wants. She just goes to the store and buys stuff. So we end up with lots of ketchup, no mustard and sometimes no mayonnaise, so everybody has got to eat ketchup."
CALL FOR TERRY SABAN: Because she sounds interesting in all those metaphors. And in time, you're going to be tired of hearing only from her husband.
EDIT: I should have added that this is Ethan's "Saban Survival Guide" for the fans.