Mostly, we think of Alabama's Nick Saban as a football coaching robot. And he plays it up many times.
There are always those weird attempts by certain media outlets to portray him as a normal happy-go-lucky guy, and Saban awkwardly grits his teeth and gets through it. Then he'll answer another question about how he refuses to take any days off or sit through another feature on how he didn't smile through the Gatorade bath at the title game, and move on.
He's not a secretly joyous practical joker. He's a focused, intense individual. That's how he presents himself in just about every setting. It works for him and his profession. But, this week we are seeing a bit of his human side.
Florida assistant Tim Davis referred to Saban, who he worked under for three years, as "the devil himself." And even though Saban never likes to show emotions, having a former assistant say that clearly hurt him.
"It's just disappointing," Saban said, according to The Sports Xchange. "If somebody has a problem with me, I'd appreciate it if they'd tell me. If I'm doing something to offense somebody, I'd certainly like to do whatever I have to do to fix it. It's not our intention. It's not what we try to do. We're in a tough business. It's very competitive. Sometimes you've got to demand that people do things that maybe they don't want to do, but it's not personal."
Saban appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday and again expressed disappointment that a former assistant would say something like that about him.
Nick Saban on @dpshow "Everybody always remembers the way you make them feel."
— Pete Roussel (@coachingsearch) May 17, 2013
So now we know that while Saban comes off as unfeeling, there are some lines not to cross with him.