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Only The Timing Is Off In Saban Statue Tribute

Much has been made of Alabama’s plan to quickly erect a statue of Nick Saban for their Walk of Champions path on campus.

Across the Southeast folks have laughed at Bama’s audacity.  Jeff Schultz of The AJC wondered last week if Saban’s birthday had been made a state holiday yet.

Kevin Scarbinsky of The Birmingham News was apparently moved by a recent sermon and now believes Tide officials are rushing too fast toward idolatry.  His word, not mine.

“Shouldn’t someone draw a line between instant gratification and instant deification?”

My question is this: Would things be different if UA simply hung oil paintings of its title-winning coaches somewhere on campus?  Most schools in the SEC have a wall of photos or artists’ renderings of their past All-American players.  Is that not idolatry, too?

And how about Georgia fans who mourn their beloved UGAs with funerals and eulogies.  No, really.

Aside from the size of the marker, I don’t really see much difference in a statue, a painting or a name etched onto a wall or walkway.



At the heart of this story is tradition.  Alabama has a statue of every coach that has led them to a national football crown.  By winning last season’s BCS trophy, Saban made sure that he too would be honored with a statue.

Perhaps the folks in Tuscaloosa should have just waited a bit.  Let Saban finish up his reign and THEN put up their statue.  If they’d done that, folks across the SEC wouldn’t be saying much about it.  But to do it while Saban is still coaching… and still has to walk by the thing… well, that probably wasn’t the best idea.

To me, the timing is the issue, not the statue. 

(I just hope the statue shows Saban in a real gameday pose… like the one at left.  Now that’d be a statue.)

 




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