University of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa talks with the media before fan day on the Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on Saturday August 4, 2018.

I won’t pile on Nick Saban’s well-earned criticism for unleashing unnecessary hostility toward sideline reporter Maria Taylor on Saturday. That was widely addressed before my turn at this space.

I will, however, try to channel my executive editor, Anthony Cook, and gently explain my profession to folks who are not raised in it and don’t live it. I hope to match his grace.

The elephant in the room, throughout Alabama’s football offseason and Saturday’s season-opening rout of Louisville, was the battle between Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts to determine a starting quarterback. We’re paid to ask about the elephant in the room.

We’re paid to ask about the elephant today.

We’re paid to ask about the elephant tomorrow, in case the elephant’s status has changed. Most major college football programs don’t let us see practice, so we have to ask.

We’re paid to ask for the exact height, weight and every nuance of the elephant, and the implications of the elephant’s existence.

We’re paid to ask respectfully, but not meekly.

We’re paid to get answers. Lack of definitive answers from the source means we have to keep asking, until we’ve achieved answers for our readers.

Our readers will loudly support their favorite program’s winning coach in run-ins with us, seemingly no matter what the coach does. The same readers will then ask us for answers about the elephant and expect us to know.

So we ask. If we have to, in order to get answers, we ask more. Anything less, then our bosses give us the Saban stank eye … or worse.

In the world of human endeavors, the humans who sign our paychecks expect us reporter humans to not quit asking humans we cover about the elephant in the room.

Sports Writer Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter: @jmedley_star.