Home > Uncategorized > Nick Saban’s Plan To Get Back At The Media: Disseminate False Information?

Nick Saban’s Plan To Get Back At The Media: Disseminate False Information?

You can't believe everything you hear

You’ve probably heard the adage about today’s media that it’s not about who’s right; it’s about who’s first. It’s a race to be “that guy” to break a story, even with the slimmest of details.

Just in the past week, I wrote on a fantasy football website about Matt Leinart joining the Seattle Seahawks and Brandon Stokley singing with the Washington Redskins. Looking past the fact that Leinart and Stokley hold absolutely zero fantasy value, and I probably shouldn’t have written a note about them in the first place, I went on what was being widely reported by some credible people.

Both reports turned out to be wrong. Leinart stayed with the Houston Texans. Stokley still hasn’t signed with a team. But that’s what you get sometimes these days.

That lack of certainty in reporting certainly bugs Nick Saban. But really, everything about the media bugs Nick Saban. I’m pretty sure he views some of them like curious, unsatisfied children, always asking for answers to a never-ending question. And the rest of the bunch are conniving yellow journalists who are looking to twist any phrase of his into something more controversial than what it is in actuality.

Or something like that, I’m just assuming. At the very least, he’s just a jerk sometimes.

Anyway, Saban had a bone to pick with the scribes on Friday regarding injury reports on two of his Crimson Tide players that he deemed be untrue. He met with the media after practice, and since injuries are usually issue No. 1 at any football press conference, Saban got right into his frustration with no questions asked.

You know, guys, we don’t really have any injuries. I don’t know where you guys get all your information. Every time somebody posts something on a message board — I’m gonna start messing with you. I don’t know to do that, but I’m gonna start doing it. And every day I’m gonna post something that’s just total BS.

So you all can go crazy out there on all this misinformation and bad information, and have no professionalism to try to find out if it did or didn’t happen; just create some you-know-what. Anything that you can. Just create whatever.”

Three things: That’s pretty funny. You try to understand his anger, but then you just end up laughing after the message board threat.

Secondly, I need coaches to stop with this old-man routine, as if technology just took a shit on their doorstep and they have no idea what to do about it. Saban doesn’t know how to use a message board? He must also have someone who dials the phone numbers of recruits for him, because these phones today are mighty tricky.

And, to steal a word from Sarah Palin for the first and hopefully last time on this blog, that’s Saban’s “gotcha” scheme against the media? In an effort to prove that the media feeds on false news, he’s going to produce false news? Well, I hope he has the decency to at least post using an alias.

This sounds like something very similar to what The Washington Post‘s Mike Wise actually did last August.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had been suspended for six games by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, but people were awaiting word on a decrease of the penalty. It was expected that Goodell would knock it down from six to four games.

The first man with the news was Wise, who used Twitter to say Roethlisberger will be suspended for the first five games of the upcoming season. The only problem was the report was false. And Wise knew it was false. He openly acknowledged that he lied during an appearance on a radio show later that day. He said he made up the tweet in order to prove that “anybody will print anything.”

Well, yeah.

If you are a credible source, people whose job it is to report the news will print anything. Wise had been working at the Post for 20 years; no one had a reason to question his sources. So Wise’s words were sent around the Web as he laughed at everyone’s gullibility.

Wise ended up being suspended by the paper for a month for the fraudulent report.

But back to Saban, what he’s planning to do — quite possibly in jest because I know he is much smarter than this — is no better. Granted, it’s not his sole job to provide information, but it’s part of his duties. He has an obligation to speak to the media about his team. Then they use what he says to do their work. But if all of a sudden the head coach gets a lark by publishing a blatant lie on some message board, it doesn’t make him righteous if the journalists turn around and print it as the truth.

Beat reporters can rely on as many sources as they want. But the alpha source of a sports team should be the head coach. Yes, they stretch and smudge the truth all of the time in the name of gamesmanship. But to intentionally lie in an effort to prove a misguided point doesn’t make Saban the bigger man. It just makes him what he’s always been with the media: a jerk.

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