Alabama head coach Nick Saban is often thought of as a control freak, a man who holds total control over his program and all who are somehow associated with it. Such is life when you are among the highest-paid coaches at a program with an overflowing trophy case. As it turns out, Saban not only wields his power over the Alabama football program and the surrounding Tuscaloosa area, but he also calls the shots during a Hollywood production.
During the filming of 2009’s The Blind Side, Saban was asked to re-enact his encounter with Michael Oher during the recruiting process. At the time of the filming of the movie, Saban was the head coach at Alabama, but the film’s timeline occurred while Saban was the head coach of Alabama’s division rival, LSU. As such, Saban made sure he would not be seen wearing LSU colors and there were no exceptions to that demand. Saban was asked about this during his regular weekly radio show by an Alabama fan.
“I did no acting in The Blind Side. It was not considered acting,” Saban explained, according to SEC Country. “They gave me a script, the director gave me a script. I didn’t want to be in the movie because I was the coach here (Alabama), and I was the coach at LSU in the movie so I thought the fans here would all get mad at me if I was the LSU coach in a movie.”
Saban was right about that one. Imagine being an Alabama fan and seeing Saban wearing LSU colors, even in an accurate recreation of an actual event that actually occurred in real life. The calls to Paul Finebaum’s show would have been nuts. But there was more to Saban’s taking on the role of director during the filming. As he mentioned, Saban was handed a script and refused to recite it.
“Then the director comes in and gives me a script and says ‘OK, here’s your lines. Here’s what we want you to say,’” Saban recalled. “I said, ‘Hey buddy, I was there. I did this.’ I said ‘Why can’t I just do what I did? I’ll just say what I said when I come to the front door, I’ll say what I said when I sat down and talked to the player, Michael, and the little boy that was there. I’ll just say it, and if you don’t like it, I’ll do your script.’ So, I did it that way and he liked it so I never did the script.”
This sounds like typical Saban from head to toe. Nobody tells Saban what to say. He’ll say what he wants, thank you very much. No Hollywood director is going to get in Saban’s way.