Three reasons Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team will compete for the national championship Monday evening against Georgia, should run for president in 2020.
(1.) NEGOTIATION SKILLS: Saban is a master recruiter of top-flight talent. One player (Reuben Foster, who now plays for the San Francisco 49ers) signed with the Crimson Tide even though the tattoo on his arm included an Auburn University logo. Another star (Landon Collins, now of the New York Giants) committed to Bama despite the fact that on national TV his mother indicated she preferred her son attend LSU.
Anyone who can convince an 18-year-old to defy either the ink on his arm or his own mama should have no problem dealing with North Korea or the Middle East.
(2.) MEDIA RELATIONS: Saban has mastered the art of taking on members of the news media during press conferences, something that all successful presidents must employ. He knows when to overwhelm reporters with boilerplate football-speak and when to thunder from the pulpit by scoffing at questions that are so unbelievably ridiculous that all the coach can do is wave his arms, sigh deeply and challenge the rest of the members of the Fourth Estate in the room to ask better questions.
(3.) WASHINGTON NEEDS THE PROCESS: Saban is famous for teaching his players to follow The Process, a mindset that asks everyone on the team to focus on their tasks without becoming distracted by outside factors. “Eliminate the clutter and all the things that are going on outside and focus on the things that you can control with how you sort of go about and take care of your business,” is the description of The Process he offered in 2013. A Congress and White House that could do that would be much better than the dysfunctional mess that’s ruled the day in D.C. for decades.
Three reasons Saban should not run for president in 2020.
(1.) WHO NEEDS A PAY CUT?: Saban earns about $7 million a year, making him one of the highest paid football coaches in the country. The salary of a U.S. president is about $400,000 a year, less than Saban stands to earn in annual performance bonuses. In fact, the Alabama football team’s top assistant coaches earn about triple the salary collected by a U.S. president.
(2.) THERE’S NO SCOREBOARD: At the end of Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship game in Atlanta, a giant scoreboard will display each team’s points. The squad with the most points will hoist the title trophy and bask in the spotlight. In government work, such clear-cut victories are rare. By its nature, the legislative process requires compromise that frequently allows both sides to claim victory. We can’t imagine that sitting well with Saban.
(3.) IT’S JUST NOT HIS THING: History demonstrates that the nation is strong enough to survive in spite of the failings of any one resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Over the past 15 years, Saban’s teams have won five national championships, one for LSU in 2003 and four for Alabama since 2007. A win Monday would make it six, tying the number Alabama’s legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant won.
The evidence before us testifies that Nick Saban was born to coach football, not to be the leader of the free world.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This column has been updated to correct the number of titles won by Bear Bryant.