Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban often seems to be looking for something to motivate his players, and he decided to take aim at the media this weekend, saying after Alabama’s 27-19 win over Texas A&M that media praise of the top-ranked and undefeated Tide is “rat poison” to his players.
Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin, who famously was Saban’s offensive coordinator last year until he was let go days before the national title game, decided to riff on Saban’s comments with a tweet of his own Monday:
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) October 9, 2017
It probably feels good for Kiffin to get some shots in at Saban and the #process tag (a favorite Saban philosophy) is particularly well done. After all, Saban left Kiffin behind after the Tide’s 2015-16 title win (and again after a 2016 Peach Bowl media session), yelled at him “all the time” in Alabama practices, and later said “I don’t recall a happy moment. I just recall the ass chewings.” Kiffin’s also differentiated his own approach from Saban’s in plenty of interviews, saying in April “I’m not really big on humiliating assistant coaches in front of everybody.” And this was a funny way for him to react to the outrageousness of Saban going after media members for saying the Tide are good when they are.
This also continues Kiffin’s streak of having a surprisingly enjoyable second act, especially on social media. And maybe he learned some lessons from Saban about being a successful head coach. But maybe Saban could learn from Kiffin that you don’t have to take everything so extremely seriously all the time, and that it’s okay to sometimes be entertaining on Twitter rather than just mad at the media.