Cocktail Thursday: Beer, Oatmeal Creme Pies, And The Little West Virginian Who Could.

The one on the left is relatively tall for a 15 year old girl, don't you think? - Mrs. MaconDawg

They got a name for the winners in the world. That name ain't Mike Shula, or the Alabama public school system. If you relied on either, you probably need a drink. Allow me to help.

As you know, we here at Dawg Sports have an immense pride of place. And while we may have our differences with our conference coevals, we are SEC fans at heart. That's why we take every available opportunity to reach out to our conference mates and recognize their contributions to the college football landscape.

When we can, we even reach out to opposing coaches to get their take on the upcoming game.

This week is no different. Earlier this week I had the pleasure of sitting down with the hardest working homunculus in college football, Nicholas Roscoe Saban*.

MD: Coach, thanks for joining us. I know you're busy, but I can't tell you how much we appreciate you making time for this shit.

Sabes: You got 3 minutes, kid. I got a pottery class, then I'm taking Jesse Williams to his anger management class.

MD: I'll be brief then. Six years into your tenure in Tuscaloosa I guess it's safe to say you're a hit, right?

Sabes: I know. Like everything else, it was a process getting here. First I had to lie my midget ass off about whether or not I was even interested in the gig. Which was absurd when you think about it because, hey, when was the last time someone ever really wanted to coach the Dolphins? It's like denying you want to quit managing the Wetumpka Piggly Wiggly. But hey, you sign 45 guys a year regardless of how many roster spots you have, and make clear to them that f they don't produce immediately they'll be put out to pasture. It's a simple formula for success. It also helps when you're coaching at the flagship school of a state that collectively thinks Birmingham's a passable city, bingo is an acceptable hobby, and chitlins are a vegetable.

MD: So tell me a little more about the Alabama fanbase. Because the perception outside of the Yellowhammer State is that they can be a bit . . .needy.

Sabes: You mean in the sense that most of them dwell below the poverty line or in the sense that they're crazier than an outhouse rat?

MD: The latter. I live in Georgia. I don't get to make trailer park jokes. Except at the expense of Auburn fans. That's a freebie for everyone.

Sabes: Gotcha. Yeah, these folks are different. I mean, LSU fans were sort of novel. (Audio link). But what's great about Alabama fans is that they think they know more about football than any other fan base. It's adorable. Really, just talk to one and you'll immediately get the impression that the guy spent 14 years hiding in Bear Bryant's crawlspace. In fact they spent years watching Franchione and Mike Shula stumble around like a blindfolded fat guy at the Golden Corral, and apologizing for Mike Price and Mike Dubose. Now they're like some guy who saw Die Hard one too many times and thinks he's a SWAT team sniper.

MD: So it sounds like you have a bit of a love-hate relationship with them.

Sabes: Not at all. I love 'em, just like that weird cousin back in West Virginia we had to keep away from the matches and kerosene.

MD: Ah. I see. So, enough about the fans. Let's talk about Nick. Your work ethic and attention to detail are legendary. But every robot has to power down eventually. What does Nick Saban do to unwind?

Sabes: I don't tell a lot of people about this. And this, you can't put this in the thing, but there's this movie. Mean Girls. After a 70 hour session of breaking down film of Minnesota on the off chance that Jerry Kill eventually takes the DC job at Ole Miss, I like to put on my comfy robe, pour a glass of cabernet, and sink into the couch to watch Mean Girls. It's a cautionary story of a girl who has it all, but allows herself to get sidetracked by her inexplicable need for genuine human relationships and her weakness in trying to befriend a clueless outsider. At 'Bama we don't have time for that crap. It's a good reminder that everything would have been peachy if Regina had just pounded on that loser Katy until she gave up and took a medical scholarship.

MD: And the movie relaxes you?

Sabes: It's not just the movie. It's the whole process. Each element works together. That's the key. And sometimes it doesn't work the first time, and I have to watch it over and over again. Hell, sometimes I can't stop and Kirby Smart has to come over and slip me a tranquilizer to get me to stop.

MD: Coach have you ever heard of something called OCD?

Sabes: Onside Coverage differential? Yeah, it's one of my favorite special teams stats.

MD: Great. So Coach, is cabernet gonna be your recommendation for a cocktail?

Sabes: Nah, man. While you guys are watching this game I recommend that you kick back, grab an oatmeal creme pie, and a bottle of Laughing Skull Amber Ale from Atlanta-based Red Brick Brewing. It's a crisp ale with just enough hops and a nice malty sweetness. It's great with a cheeseburger, or the entrails of grayshirted offensive linemen who just didn't cut it.

MD: Thanks Coach. Here's wishing you the best of luck in your new gig coaching the Longhorns.

Sabes: Son, I guess I have to say it again. I'm not going to be the Texas coach.

MD: Sounds perfectly clear to me.

*Saban's middle name is actually Lou. I know right? How could a guy that exciting have such a boring moniker?

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