Today In Fun Rumors: The Browns Want Nick Saban
It was inevitable this would happen eventually, we suppose. As his Alabama squad continues dominating college football with no end in sight - and as the abrupt end to his Dolphins coaching stint fades further into the past - someone would throw out an "X NFL team is interested in Nick Saban!" report/shit-against-wall throw. Well, as of this morning, we had our someone (allegedly): Cleveland radio station 92.3 The Fan. The fire-starter:
A report from Cleveland's 92.3 The Fan on Tuesday stated Jimmy Haslam, the newly announced owner of the Cleveland Browns, has targeted Alabama football coach Nick Saban as the next head coach of the Browns.
Now, this was a flimsy rumor to begin with. To say Saban has a good situation going at Alabama is an understatement. He's building something as close to a dynasty as can be built in modern college football. Alabama went 10-3 in 2010 and that was the off year. The Tide churn out NFL talent at a breakneck pace (four first-round draft picks in 2012, and five of the top 35 overall selections), and somehow come back with a team the next season that looks even better. He makes a ton of money. He has the undying support of every person associated with Alabama football and the rabid fanbase that lives and dies with it.
Additionally, remember this about Saban's last NFL stint: he left it by choice. The Dolphins didn't fire him. Saban could have kept going, and decided the Alabama job was better than being in the NFL. And that was years ago. It doesn't seem like it, but Saban will be 61 on Halloween. Little late in the game to start anew, so given how spectacularly well his Alabama tenure has worked out, why would he decide the NFL is better now? Well, unless he got bored in college. And does Saban strike you as the kind of guy who'd get bored with being the Grand Master of everything in his kingdom? Us neither.
But this is a special kind of flimsy sports radio rumor - the kind that's flimsier than even normal flimsy sports radio rumors. How little ground did this one have to stand on? The station in question came out and informed everyone they never really said that:
The program director for Cleveland 92.3 The Fan said his station did not report that the Cleveland Browns are actively pursuing Alabama coach Nick Saban.
"It was a Saturday morning talk show, and two of our hosts were discussing that if the Browns couldn't attract an NFL coach, would they pursue a college coach like Nick Saban," said Andy Roth.
You'll notice that back at the top of this post, we threw in an "allegedly" when discussing the origins of this rumor. "Allegedly," of course, is normally a word you see attached to the information contained in rumors of questionable repute. Actually having to attach it to a rumor itself? This might have less legs than any rumor we've ever seen.
And yet... it was just enticing enough to make you want to think about it. The Browns are under new ownership - new ownership bringing in new people to run things. Might they want a different coach? A coach who went to college in Ohio, was head coach at Toledo for a year, and was once the Browns' defensive coordinator, perhaps?
Well... yeah, they might love to have Saban - if they could get him. But there's no actual evidence to show they will. And that means that, if this rumor comes up at a press conference, either in the form of a question or Saban bringing it up himself, we're either going to get a trademark heavy-handed Saban lecture or withering sarcasm. Which could be more enjoyable? We might find out soon - and any time something similar comes up as long as Sabam remains at Alabama. And despite anything you might hear to he contrary, he's probably staying there as long as he keeps coaching.
Getty photo, by Wesley Hitt
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