Happy Birthday, Nick Saban.
Alabama's curmudgeon-like coach turned 60 Monday, and to celebrate, his players threw him a surprise party late last week before the team got into its preparations for this Saturday's epic showdown with LSU.
The team gathered in a meeting room with the lights off and yelled, "Surprise!" when Saban opened the door. There was a report that he actually smiled at the gesture.
"Yeah, he smiled," offensive lineman Barrett Jones said. "He seemed very happy. He was a little taken aback by it."
The team did present Saban with a gift — an Alabama jersey with Saban's name on the back and the No. 60. Saban. While appreciating the act, Saban also took issue with the present in a way only Saban could.
"I held that thing up and said 'Saban and 60,' " Saban said. "First of all, I wasn't thinking about age. I was thinking I'm a skill player. There's no way I can sport this 60. I've got to have a lower-than-50 number of some sort. That's how I feel and that's how I think."
After the initial birthday frivolity, Saban quickly got back to business and the team resumed it's meeting as normal. It is LSU after all, no time for birthday tomfoolery.
Said Saban of this week: "It's hard to think about birthdays."