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Saban chides Tide fans who leave games early

Nick Saban AP

Memo to those members of Tide Nation attending football games at Bryant-Denny Stadium: Nick Saban has spoken. And, as evidenced by the photo directly to the right, he’s hoppin’ mad.

OK, maybe not hoppin’ mad in the literal sense, but somewhat irked nonetheless. Or mildly perturbed. One of the two.

In the fourth quarter of Alabama’s romp over Arkansas Saturday, the Tide’s home field looked like, well, The U’s home field as fans made an early exit with yet another victory firmly in hand.  A photo posted on Twitter by‘s Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) showed a whole helluva lot of fans dressed as empty seats in what was apparently an early mock run for some type of Halloween costume contest:

Tide Fans

That scene left an impression on Saban.  The coach, who has talked to his players about “playing for 60 minutes in the game and competing for 60 minutes in the game,” is of the impression that fans should do the same regardless of the score.

And if they’re not going to put in a full 60?

“Maybe if you’re not interested in doing that, you should let someone else go who would really like to go because I have a lot of people who want to go,” the coach said.

In fairness to the Tide’s rabid fan base, the home slate of the team they live and die for 24/7/365 hasn’t exactly been filled with either quality opposition or nail-biters.  Alabama has played four home games this season: Colorado State, Ole Miss, Georgia State and Arkansas.  Exiting the third quarter of those games, the Tide has been up on the scoreboard by a combined score of 123-9.

Aside from pleasing the head coach, what’s the incentive for hanging around and witnessing additional carnage?

If nothing more, Saban says, stay for the kids.  Specifically, the recruits who are in attendance at the game and who may be swayed by the atmosphere — or lack thereof — in the stadiums they visit.

“We have lots of recruits there, we like to see an enthusiastic full stadium,” Saban said. “We have a beautiful stadium and one of the nicest venues in all of college football and I think we all should show our appreciation for it by staying and supporting our team for the whole game.”

And there you get to the root of Saban’s displeasure with those who bolt early.  Recruiting is the life-blood of every football program, and nobody does it better than Saban & Company.

Saban uses every advantage he can on the field; the same goes for the recruiting trail.  If the coach who’s won four BCS titles in his career sees something that could potentially harm what he continues to build in Tuscaloosa, he’s not going to sit on his hands and say nothing.

It’s up to the fans whether they want to heed the coach’s admonition.  And, in that same vein, up to the athletic director to get rid of the Colorado States and Georgia States on the home slate, too.

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37 Responses to “Saban chides Tide fans who leave games early”
  1. polegojim says: Oct 24, 2013 8:53 AM

    Sometimes… Nick needs to just shut up.

    Talk about a God Complex

  2. cometkazie says: Oct 24, 2013 9:01 AM

    People are more interested in the activities around the game so the game itself isn’t as important.

    A sign of the times.

  3. friarjack61 says: Oct 24, 2013 9:16 AM

    In today’s world, of outdoor sports:
    Taligate, before, watch game, post game tailgate, and/or get out of the parking lot early to avoid traffic congestion, while listening to the post game on the radio………” a sign of the times.”

  4. drummerhoff says: Oct 24, 2013 9:26 AM

    Some people are ‘takers’ and have no sense for giving-back for the greater good.

  5. floridacock says: Oct 24, 2013 9:26 AM

    Considering the Bama fans are the ones ultimately paying his ridiculous salary, they should decide when they leave or stay. Nick can’t control that, so that is why he is mad. Control freak.

  6. mgmac says: Oct 24, 2013 9:31 AM

    nick – STFU, the fans don’t play or work for you. next time he will be telling the media what to write…oh, he already has

  7. watermelon1 says: Oct 24, 2013 9:43 AM

    Start paying the fans with all that money. Then they’ll stay.

  8. camdev22 says: Oct 24, 2013 9:50 AM

    Maybe if I had a police escort to and from the game, I would stay the entire time. Ever sit in traffic Nick?

  9. jtinnon2009 says: Oct 24, 2013 9:55 AM

    Nick is right on. If anybody needs to “STFU,” it’s you guys who are non-Bama fans and so envious that it sticks out like a sore thumb. And BTW John Taylor, the coach didn’t “chide” anybody, he suggested that if his players played for 60 minutes, the fans could support the team for 60 minutes as well. That is not “chiding.” That is merely asking for consistent fan support. And, to the dismay of all of you, he’ll get it. Check out the Bama-Tennessee game this week..

  10. hsvrebelsfan says: Oct 24, 2013 10:00 AM

    The only time I left a ballgame early the temp was below freezing, the wind really blowing and I had given my blanket to a child in the row ahead of me. If you are a fan, traffic, and all the rest is part of the day. Support your team or give your ticket to someone who never gets to attend.

  11. MyTeamsAllStink says: Oct 24, 2013 10:02 AM

    aren’t they usually up by 50 when the fans start leaving?

  12. John Taylor says: Oct 24, 2013 10:02 AM

    chide verb \ˈchīd\

    : to express mild disapproval of (someone) : to scold (someone) gently

    chide [chahyd]

    verb (used with object)

    1. to express disapproval of; scold; reproach

    You were saying?

  13. drewsylvania says: Oct 24, 2013 10:28 AM

    Not like, say, leaving teams early.

  14. overratedgators says: Oct 24, 2013 10:31 AM

    And from

    “Chode”: n. Another word for jtinnon2009

  15. thefiesty1 says: Oct 24, 2013 10:51 AM

    Then he won’t like it if he comes to Texas. What was Mrs. Saban doing house hunting in Austin this week? Looking for a vacation home?

  16. longborer69 says: Oct 24, 2013 11:35 AM

    Schedule a home and home with Stanford or Oregon.

    Or Oklahoma or Texas.

    Or Michigan or Ohio State or Michigan.

    Chide your fans if they don’t stay for that.

  17. imaduffer says: Oct 24, 2013 11:49 AM

    I’m sure they will stay for the entire game against Chattanooga St.

  18. Deb says: Oct 24, 2013 12:27 PM

    drewsylvania …

    Leaving teams early? Is there a schedule for how long you are supposed to stay with a team? It’s a job, dude. A job. We are all entitled to change jobs. And yes, I’ll still feel that way if Nick wants to leave Bama for Texas or the NFL.

  19. Deb says: Oct 24, 2013 12:31 PM

    It’s a mystery to me how some stuff becomes controversial. He’s a coach. He has to motivate his kids–including the second- and third-stringers doing mop-up duty. And he has to recruit new kids. It’s harder to do when the stadium is nearly empty in the 4th quarter. I don’t blame him for wanting the fans to stay in their seats. Hope my family did.

    Can help laughing about the Colorado State reference. You could not have pried me out of my seat if I’d been at that game. I’d have still been outside the CSU locker room an hour later just hoping for chance encounter with Joey Porter :)

  20. louforprethident says: Oct 24, 2013 1:18 PM

    I’d stay for the entire game if it didn’t last 3.5 hrs. 1 hr of game and 2.5 hrs waiting on commercials. I’m impressed the players can stay focused that long. I sure can’t.

  21. cameron poe says: Oct 24, 2013 2:10 PM

    longborer69 says:
    Oct 24, 2013 11:35 AM
    Schedule a home and home with Stanford or Oregon.

    Or Oklahoma or Texas.

    Or Michigan or Ohio State or Michigan.

    Chide your fans if they don’t stay for that.


    HAHAHAH! I love this silly logic. You know because it is 100% on Bama who they play each year. It’s not like any of those schools you listed would have to agree to schedule the game also.

    Also you listed Michigan twice. I guess that’s because that game was actually played.

  22. afrancis55 says: Oct 24, 2013 3:29 PM

    Why does $aban care? He’s leaving for Texas anyway, his wife was in Austin looking for houses.

  23. patall24 says: Oct 24, 2013 3:46 PM

    Some people are seriously obsessed and have nothing better to do then to try and hate on bama football. What can you do but laugh. I’d want my team to be that good to.

  24. longborer69 says: Oct 24, 2013 5:13 PM

    @cameron poe

    You got me, I meant to say Michigan State. Could substitute Nebraska, if you’d prefer. Or Wisconsin.

    As you well know, that Michigan game was not at Alabama, they don’t do home and homes with good teams, do they?

    Oregon just completed a home and home with Tennessee that was signed when the Vols were good. They’ve done one with Oklahoma. Just agreed one with Nebraska (2016, 2017).

    They’ve got Michigan State (14, 15). A&M (18,19), Ohio State (20,21).

    Michigan has had home and homes in recent years with Washington, Oregon, and just signed one with UCLA.

    UCLA has one signed with Texas.

    Cal and Ohio State just completed one which was signed when both teams were good. Ohio State has one coming up with Va Tech (14,15) and Oklahoma (16,17). Oklahoma has LSU (18,19) and Nebraska (21,22).

    Seems like these kinds of teams are willing to do home and homes. You’re telling me you think they wouldn’t be willing to do a home and home with Alabama? Really? I bet they’d love it. Sure, they’d risk a loss on the road, but they’d get a chance at that huge headline win that jumps them right to the top of the polls, too.

    In fact, Michigan State WAS willing, and signed an agreement. Someone cancelled. Guess who.

    This post is not about whether Alabama plays any tough teams. They play a legit team on a neutral field virtually every year. Good for them. But they don’t bring good teams in for their fans to see, nor take the risk of going on the road against tough teams. So it’s hardly surprising the fans leave in boring blowouts.

    The loyal denizens of Bryant-Denny have seen one AQ conference team, Penn State, since the start of the 2008 season. Bring in one like that every year or every other year, and give the fans a reason to stay to the end.

  25. skwackquackwoof says: Oct 24, 2013 6:01 PM

    Kudos to longborer for doing that research. I would love for the Ducks to do a home and home with Alabama. It seems as if that is the only way to see a matchup that has been brewing for a few years now.

  26. tony34343434 says: Oct 24, 2013 6:06 PM

    As they say in foul play and it applies to Saban.

    ” Beware of the Dwarf!”

  27. greggatx says: Oct 24, 2013 7:47 PM

    My take on it is, and not just Alabama but any team that wins and wins big all the time, is that it get boring. Another win another rout. Yawn. It is just not that fun.

  28. florida727 says: Oct 24, 2013 8:51 PM

    With all due respect #greggatx, I disagree. Winning never gets old, never gets boring. However, I will say this, correctly pointed out something important: their schedule. 123-9 combined score after Q3? Fans want their teams to win obviously, but they also want them to win in competitive games. ‘Bama can’t play a Top 10 team every week, but Colorado State, Ole Miss, Georgia State and Arkansas doesn’t exactly generate a lot of excitement, at least not currently. Every one of those teams has had periods of great teams, and that raises part of the problem with college football… games are typically scheduled so far out, by the time the games actually get played, what looked great on paper a few years ago, doesn’t look so good today. Besides, games aren’t played on paper. They’re played inside television sets. Everybody knows that…

  29. dcroz says: Oct 24, 2013 8:55 PM

    If the Arky game started at 2:30, more fans would have stayed for the entire thing. As it was, it started at 6:15 and didn’t end until around 9:30. Even for fans who live in Birmingham (about an hour drive in ideal traffic) leaving right at the end of the game would mean they would not get home until around midnight or later after spending a couple hours or so making their way back to their cars and trying to get out of postgame Tuscaloosa traffic. And with the bars on the Strip just a block away (and no booze sold in BDS) then there were more fun ways to spend the second half of a blowout than watching the third string mop up. Sorry, coach, but that’s how it goes.

  30. Deb says: Oct 24, 2013 10:52 PM

    I’m with florida727 regarding the advance scheduling. Have been wondering if emphasizing strength of schedule as a requirement for playoff consideration would result in shortening these long lead times.

  31. tendigitpoet says: Oct 25, 2013 7:29 AM

    longborer69 says:

    “Ohio State has one coming up with Va Tech (14,15) and Oklahoma (16,17). Oklahoma has LSU (18,19) and Nebraska (21,22).”

    The only correction is that Ohio State will play Texas in 2021 – 22. Nebraska is now in the same conference as the Buckeyes.

  32. thermanmerman99 says: Oct 25, 2013 3:50 PM

    king dwarf saban would bail out of any game early if he had an appointment at the salon for his weekly hair dye and tanning booth session. this dwarf and his napoleon complex is on full display and the gump fanbase are too stupid to see it, they are the lemmings who go with whatever king dwarfboy saban tells them

  33. longborer69 says: Oct 26, 2013 5:35 AM


    I was talking about Oklahoma vs. Nebraska in 21/22, not OSU/Nebraska. I probably wasn’t clear enough.

    I didn’t know OSU and Texas had one coming up, missed that. Glad to see it, I love these kinds of games.

  34. phantommp5 says: Oct 30, 2013 11:19 AM

    I’m a rabid LSU fan. But I couldn’t agree with Coach Saban more! LSU has the same problem. Except in reverse!! The students generally stay for the end, BUT, the rest of the fans, who’s corporations pay thousands for their tickets, LEAVE EARLY. Regular fans can’t afford season tickets. I have three kids at LSU and I buy them student season tickets…I just wish I could go! I tell my kids to make sure they stay, out of respect to the players and the band. Those players are still giving their all on the field. They deserve a full stadium. It’s a shame that most of the fans that would love to be there to the end, can’t spend $10,000 for Tiger Athletic Fund so they can buy a season ticket. Thank’s for bringing it up Coach Saban. This TIGER family is in full agreement!

  35. suprmous says: Oct 31, 2013 1:59 AM

    thefiesty1, great point and when he does to Bama what he’s done to LSU, Miami, and other places lets just see how long it takes his worshipers to maintain their love and respect for him. My guess is it won’t be long.

    phantommp5, with your kids bein students now you must not remember the Saban of old LSU fame. He was one who could’ve cared less about attendance from the fans, all he wanted was a game to play where he could intimidate the opposin team and run up the score if he could. Granted it’s a shame not everybody can’t afford season tickets. And yes the players do give it their all or there wouldn’t be the representives of either school in the NFL or they’d be like Jerry Glanville’s said forever “Not For Long”.

  36. phantommp5 says: Oct 31, 2013 10:39 AM

    Suprmous, I remember the Saban years. I’ve been an LSU fan for a while. Believe me, I’m NOT a Saban fan. Like most LSU fans, I don’t like him. But, I was simply agreeing with the statement that was attributed to him…fans should stay in the stands. I don’t expect “everyone” to be able to afford tickets. BUT, to require LSU fans (and I’m sure it’s the same with other teams) to pay close to $10,000 to the athletic fund, to be put on a list for tickets, IS WRONG! That’s why the LSU stands empty out. They’re too elite to sit in their BMWs to sit in traffic. I took the family to the Furman U. vs LSU game last weekend. Tickets were made available for that one game for LSU families. It cost me a couple hundred dollars. We stayed til the end! The money was not “easy come easy go.” We soaked in as much team “spirit” as possible. So I guess, maybe, on a different level, you’re right. The coaches don’t have a right to bitch. Their super high salaries and the school’s greediness causes REAL fans to be shut out. So their left with wealthy fair weather fans.

  37. phantommp5 says: Oct 31, 2013 10:53 AM


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