Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Saban Digs His Hole Deeper

Nick Saban, a virtual enemy of the state, has given people in Louisiana another reason to dislike him. He used the term "coonass," and somebody recorded it. Wednesday, Saban issued an apology. My father is from Avoyelles Parish and speaks with a distinct accent. Some of his older brothers had much thicker cajun affectations, and I can easily slip into the distinctive rhythms of South Louisiana-speak myself. As a child, other kids often referred to me as "coonass," and I didnt think much of it. Of course, in the 60's and 70's a lot of other racial/etchnic perjoratives were used without a lot of thought. In the politically correct 21st century, the term seems insensitive at best. Really, it has no positive connotation.
Surely Saban should know better than to use a slur, even in casual conversation. He is alert enough to realize his name is mud among many coonasses because he accepted the head coaching position at one of LSU's biggest football rivals. He accepted the job at Alabama after angrily denying, on many occasions, interest in it. He made his decision on the day his former program, the LSU Tigers, played Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl.

In a place where he was revered, he is now reviled, and this slip of the tongue (or whatever it was) only makes matters worse. I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it. This one will probably blow over. It was a dumb mistake and a stupid thing to say, and even though a lot of people may not like him anymore, most people would believe that Saban simply is smarter than that.

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