No. 3 Alabama beat No. 1 Georgia 41-24 in the SEC championship game on Saturday, a result few expected.
Even less expected: Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban uttered the word “delicious” after Crimson Tide’s win over the Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
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The venerable coach broke out one of his most famous comments after Saturday’s win, thanking the media for the rat poison he gave Alabama before the SEC title game. Saban acknowledged that, most of the time, his team receives glowing praise. But this type of rat poison simply served as motivation for a team viewed as a long shot, at best, of beating the top-ranked Bulldogs.
“You guys gave us a lot of really positive rat poison,” Saban told reporters after the game. “The rat poison that he normally administers to us is fatal. But the rat poison you put in this week … it was delicious. “
Here’s Saban’s comment, in all its strange splendor:
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Saban’s comments, of course, were a throwback to his post-game press conference in 2017 following Alabama’s 27-19 win over Texas A&M. Saban said at the time:
“I’m trying to get our players to listen to me instead of you (the media),” Saban said. “Everything you write about how good we are, everything you hear on ESPN, it’s like poison. It’s like drinking poison. Like rat poison.”
Hearing Saban reverse his stance on the media “rat poison”, which has become something of a college football meme since he blurted out the phrase in 2017, is a bit unusual. On the other hand, this Alabama team has not been like their previous teams, even with their 12-1 record and the SEC championship. Crimson Tide has not been as dominant as some of its previous iterations, suffering a loss to Texas A&M and close calls to Florida, Arkansas, LSU and Auburn.
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In fact, Saban’s team was also considered a loser for the first time in 93 games. (Coincidentally, the last time Crimson Tide was underdog in a game was in 2015, when Georgia was favored by 2.5 points after Alabama’s loss to Ole Miss.) That clearly served as a motivator for Alabama, which generally tries to exclude what Saban considers to be “noise.”
“We have probably had to overcome more adversity and this team has had to endure and have more resistance from a competitive point of view than probably most of the teams that we have had,” Saban said.
“I’m very proud of them for that. The competitive nature that they have. Last week in Auburn to go back to Auburn, to come back and win the game. They came to this game that nobody thought we had a chance to win.” and really go out there and play well in the game against a really good team. “
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.