Coaches and players around college football are taught to not show their hands when dealing with the media. That typically equates to some real cut-and-dried answers with little-to-no zing from their vocal chords. Nick Saban enters cyborg mode at times.
Ask the routine questions, receive the same format right back. What if coaches and players let it all hang out, though? What if they didn’t hold back from lighting a fire under the behind of their opponents or spewing some serious snark?
We alter the cliché quotes from Week 1 of college football — only a little bit.
“We need to improve as a team. We need to get more guys that can play winning football and create more depth on our team. More guys to contribute on special teams. We’ve got to build around the very good players that we have, but we’ve got to get more consistent execution I think from a lot of the players so we don’t have negative plays, we don’t have some of the things we had early on on offense.”
What Saban probably wanted to say:
“[grinning] Now that [pauses] that was fun, guys. I have to hand it to [offensive coordinator] Lane Kiffin. He told me before the game, ‘Let me just call the shots, and you just stand there and look pretty, Nick.’ I mean, yeah, he wanted to run play action over the top every single play but I let him know this wasn’t an exhibition game of NCAA ’07 on Xbox. Lane pretty much told me he wanted [USC head coach] Clay Helton to rage quit and toss a 100-mile per hour screamer right into his flat screen TV. Oh, well. Who’s next? Western Kentucky? Yeah, the Hilltoppers are a fantastic Sun Bel — Conference USA team, it should be a good week of prep for us.”
“I told them last night that one game does not make a season. We played very well, now let’s put this game behind us. People are going to pat you on the back, but it’s time to move on. If we allow that to happen, then this can become a trap game and it can be very difficult for us if we don’t just get back on pace and making sure that we have the proper preparation from our players.”
What Strong probably wanted to say:
“[jumps up from his chair] Whoa! Sorry everyone, my seat’s a little cold right now. Do any of you media members have a thermometer? It seems to be dipping down to near freezing temps over here on my chair. What’s great about this win over the Golden Domers is that we get to return to Austin to play the Miners of UTEP next week. Make that 2-0 for Chuck Strong [kisses flexed bicep]. [walks away only to return to the microphone] RUDY WAS OFFSIDES!”
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who accounted for eight touchdowns in the first half in a win over Charlotte, when a fan told him he looked like a video game player on the field:
“Nah. Ain’t trying to make it look like that.”
What Jackson probably wanted to say:
“I am very much a video game player, yes.”
“They’re very well coached and made big plays. I thought the quarterback (Greg Ward Jr.), I knew coming into the game, he was really good. He was that and more. I’m not the best at comparing teams or players, but they’re an excellent football team.”
What Stoops probably wanted to say:
“Who keeps making us double-digit favorites? That’s six losses in five seasons when laying 10-plus, guys. Whatever, it’ll be nice when we meet [Houston head coach] Tom Herman in the Big 12 every season. The hashtag H Town Takeover is some serious stuff, I can’t even lie, shaking my head [actually said in verbatim].”
“You can definitely say it was a home field advantage for them for sure. That shouldn’t have to do with anything…The season isn’t over. It’s just one game.”
What Kelly probably wanted to say:
“Neutral site? 62,000 plus and all I see is garnet, gold, and tomahawk chops every time I drop back. Not exactly sure if anyone here is a Social Studies major but Orlando is 3.5 hours from Tallahassee. Tallahassee is where Florida State plays. We play in Oxford. That’s a lot farther. The committee better measure this as a road game once December rolls around. Boost that resume, you know? It’s okay. We’ll be okay. LSU lost. Mississippi state lost to South Alabama [laughs]. The Volunteers should have another really good 8-4 season. I kind of own the Tide. Not a very deep core. Damn, I miss [former wide receiver] Cody Core.”
What a cheap shot by LSU. Wow. https://t.co/V57W1ovMXF
— BIGPLAY.com (@BIGPLAYcom) September 4, 2016
“Josh made a mistake and will serve a one-game suspension because of it. Even though this was done by mistake, a play like this does not belong in the game of football and therefore action must be taken. The play does not define Josh as a person and is not indicative of the type of player he is. We sincerely apologize for his mistake.”
What Miles probably wanted to say:
“I’m not sure if Josh was trying to play real-life Grand Theft Auto IV, but you can’t just run amok and clothesline people. The cops will come after you in GTA and we’re going to bring the law down on him as well. That’s why we’re going to suspend him for one game…versus Jacksonville State…It’s going to be a tough loss for us in Week 2 versus the [puts on spectacles, looks up Jacksonville State’s mascot in the college football almanac]…Gamecocks.”