Nick Saban Reminds Players That Title Game is More About Having a Life Experience Than Winning or Achieving Excellence
GLENDALE, AZ — With just a few days left before the 2015–2016 college football national championship game, Alabama head coach Nick Saban gathered his players for a team meeting today to remind them what the game is all about.
“Fellas, you’re going to hear a lot a talk from people about winning,” said the coach. “But the fact of the matter is, there can only be one winner. Winning isn’t necessarily in our control. What is in our control is really making this whole experience special and memorable. This is a life experience. I want you to soak in these moments and savor them. The game is a distant second. If you forget a play or miss an assignment or make a turnover … hey, you’re just a college kid. Don’t worry about it. Have fun out there!”
After addressing the locker room, Saban went to each of his players in the locker room and gave them a hug, pausing after each embrace to look the player in the eyes and say: “I appreciate you.” The coach then called off practice and asked his team two board two charter buses he personally booked for a tour of the greater Glendale area.
“This is the only time some of you guys will be here again in your lives,” Saban told his team. “I’ll be damned if the only thing you see in the area is a hotel, practice facility and stadium. And what do you boys say about going on a hike? There’s a beautiful grove of acacia trees in a canyon near here and the weather is perfect!”
The longtime Alabama coach also encouraged his players to break curfew.
“Look, I’m not enforcing curfew out here, okay?” he said. “You only live once. Are you really going to want to tell your grand kids one day about how you had your lights out every night at 10 p.m. during a week in Arizona? Of course not. Live it up. If you have anything left by game time, great. But I really don’t care.”
The coach then pulled the scholarship of every player who boarded the tour bus or broke curfew.
“You idiots thought I was serious?” Saban growled. “That was a test. And you failed, you pieces of shit,” he added, spitting on them.
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