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PAUL FINEBAUM: Back with hour two of the show here this afternoon, where we've been talking about what I think, by any definition, has been a banner month for Nick Saban's Alabama football program. First we had another epic turnout at the A-Day Game, followed last week by Saban singlehandedly revolutionizing college recruiting with his -- did you even know you could talk to someone over the Internet? [pause] No, I know e-mail and instant-message and all that stuff, but did you know you could talk to someone and see their face live on camera, and they could talk to you and see yours? How'd he figure out how to do that? [pause] It's called 'videoconferencing'? Has anybody ever done this before? [pause] No? Well, so not only did Nick Saban invent a way to talk to someone live over the Internet, so far there's been no conclusive evidence that he didn't invent the Internet to begin with. I mean, all due respect to our former vice-president Al Gore, but let's give credit where credit is due.
All right. But now we're gonna get into this press conference he had today, just the usual briefing, you know, spring practice and all that, and maybe some of you have heard this clip already, but I'm gonna go ahead and play it again -- Kerry, run the clip from Saban's press conference.
NICK SABAN: . . . starting to come together OK -- you know, we're looking for playmakers on the offensive line, first of all, and Marlon Davis had a good day, Andre had a good day, but nobody's at a point now where they can just rest on their laurels and assume they're gonna start. A'ight? This is a long process, and I've told them that, and --
[audible passing of gas]
SABAN: -- we didn't do well enough on these fundamentals last year that just anybody's gonna get a pass. We've got a quarterback to protect and some running backs that we can't just leave out there to dry . . .
FINEBAUM: Everybody hear that? Nick Saban cut one in a press conference and just kept right on going. Like it -- like it didn't even happen! Can you imagine this going on at any other school? I mean, can you picture any other coach in the nation, standing up there, on the firing line, all these reporters pointing their microphones and their recorders at you, and you fart and don't miss a single beat? Up until now we'd just been conditioned to expect that if a coach had to let one loose up there, he'd be a gentleman about it, hold it in until the end of the conference, or maybe do that thing where you kind of clench your butt so that you only let a little bit out at a time, not enough to make an audible sound -- Nick Saban doesn't care about that. I mean, this is a no-nonsense guy: He's gonna give you what he's gonna give you, and if that's a fart in a press conference, then there you go. And some people are gonna complain about this, but what they don't get is that Nick Saban is just not going to be kept inside their box. He's not going to be bound by that. And that's why this team has such a bright future ahead of it.
Danny from Oak Grove, you're on with the Paul Finebaum Radio Network. How are you today, sir?
DANNY: I'm great, Paul, how are you?
FINEBAUM: I'm excellent, Danny, thank you.
DANNY: Well, Paul, I just want to say I agree with everything you said. For him to cut one like that and not get flustered, or even pause in what he was sayin' -- that's what we need in a coach, Paul. That's the kind of courage, or composure, or whatever you wanna call it that's gonna win us some games.
FINEBAUM: You're exactly right, Danny --
DANNY: Has anyone ever done somethin' like that before?
FINEBAUM: I'm sorry? You mean fart in a press conference?
FINEBAUM: That's a good question, Danny, that's an excellent question, and I don't know the answer to that. We'll get our staff folks working on some tapes, and listeners, if you have any knowledge of that or if you can answer Danny's question, by all means, call in.
DANNY: Thanks, Paul.
FINEBAUM: Thank you, Danny. Robert in McCalla, how are you today, sir?
ROBERT: Wonderful, Paul, I gotta ask you, were you at that press conference?
FINEBAUM: Was I physically there? No sir, I didn't make it to that one.
ROBERT: Well, I was there, just kind of got to listen in for a while, and I got to smell the fart that Coach Saban cut . . .
FINEBAUM: No kiddin'. How was it?
ROBERT: Paul, I can honestly say I have never smelled a fart quite like it. It was kind of like fresh-baked bread --
ROBERT: Yeah -- like garlic bread, I guess I should say, it was a fart and all, but still, as farts go, it was pretty impressive.
FINEBAUM: And what's interesting is that they say people like the smell of their own farts but hate other people's -- but you're saying this one was nice? How'd the rest of the room react to it?
ROBERT: Well, they all looked like they liked it all right -- I saw a few people sniffin' the air, like they knew somethin' was different, and none of them looked disgusted or anything like that, so . . .
FINEBAUM: You know, I'd be interested in finding out what you've got to put in your diet to make your farts smell like fresh-baked bread. I'm assuming Nick Saban isn't on some macrobiotic diet or having organic food flown in from California or something like that, so whatever he eats is something any of the rest of us can get at the Publix anytime we want, but how does he do it? How has he been able to figure out something that no coach -- to the best of our knowledge -- has been able to do? And again, you're seeing this investment from Mal Moore pay off in ways nobody could've foreseen back in 2007. When you're willing to make a brave move, and you're willing to shell out some money for a top-flight coach, you get farts that smell like fresh bread.
ROBERT: Absolutely, Paul, couldn't have said it better. Love your show.
FINEBAUM: Thanks, Robert. Jerry from Pelham is next. What's going on, Jerry.
JERRY: Hi, Paul, good to be on your show -- been listening for a long time and this is the first time I've called in, so I'm excited to be on today.
FINEBAUM: Glad to have you. What's on your mind?
JERRY: Well, I was thinkin' about how this sets us up for --
FINEBAUM: You're talking about Coach Saban's passing gas, now.
JERRY: -- yessir, I was thinkin' about how that might set us up for a big season but then also a big recruiting year in oh-nine, because even though this has happened pretty early in that recruiting process, I gotta think that there are kids all over the Southeast or even the country who are gonna see that clip or hear that gas and think, 'That's a guy who doesn't care about puttin' on appearances or tellin' the press or anybody what they want to hear, that's a guy who just cares about winnin'.' But I was wonderin' whether you thought that might come into play, so I'll hang up and listen.
FINEBAUM: Yes, Jerry, and I think that's an excellent point, because the personality of a coach has so much to do with the decision that a kid makes when he's coming out of high school. And I would bet there are more than a few kids who are gonna see this tape and be impressed with the fact that his mind was more on the team and how they were doing than on trying to hold in his gas and come off as pretty for the TV cameras. I mean, you can look at it this way -- a kid's got the choice between Nick Saban, national-title winner, coached at the NFL level, not afraid to cut one at a press conference, or Joe Schmoe, no NFL experience, standing up there grimacing and clenching his teeth so that he won't let out any flatulence, just so that everyone will think he's all nice and proper and no one's gonna go, 'Oh, so-and-so farted in a press conference' in their newspaper article. Who do you think that kid's gonna pick? [pause] I mean, I know who I'd pick, I can't speak for anyone else, but yeah, I think that is gonna make a difference, and that's an excellent point to make. Glad you brought that up, Jerry. George in Birmingham, you're up next on the Paul Finebaum Radio Network.
GEORGE: Yeah, Paul, you asked whether anyone had done anything like this before, and you and all the Bama fans are acting like this is the first time it's happened, but heck, Tommy Tuberville burped in a press conference right before the Auburn-Ole Miss game two years ago! --
FINEBAUM: I'm sorry, George, he burped?
GEORGE: Yeah, I remember it clearly, he was doing his Friday press conference and it was right after lunch, I guess, and he burped. Maybe tried to hold it in a little, but he --
FINEBAUM: Now, I don't doubt your story, George, I'm sure that happened, but do you really think that that's on a par with Saban farting in front of a room full of reporters and TV cameras?
GEORGE: It's gas, isn't it, Paul?
FINEBAUM: Sure, it's gas, but do you really honestly believe that a belch is comparable with a -- with flatulence?
GEORGE: One comes out the mouth, Paul, one comes out the other end, it's the same --
FINEBAUM: See, right there, you've proven my point. Go back to that rhyme everyone learned in elementary school: 'Pardon me for burping, it wasn't very smart, but if it'd come out the other end, it would've been a fart.' Even as kids we know that a fart and a belch are on two different levels.
GEORGE: Paul, you're giving Saban all this credit for something that happened during spring practice! Tuberville burped during the season, the Friday before a game, and you're just acting like it's no big deal! You think Tuberville wasn't standing before a whole bunch more cameras and news reporters than --
FINEBAUM: Lemme ask you this, George, how'd Auburn do in that game?
GEORGE: In the Ole Miss game?
FINEBAUM: Yeah. You remember what the score was?
GEORGE: [pause] I know Auburn won.
FINEBAUM: Uh-huh. But you remember by how much? [pause] We're looking it up right now, and I believe -- yeah, they're telling me 23-17 was the final score in that one. A top-ten Auburn team, playing a godawful Ed Orgeron Ole Miss team, and they won by six points. That's what that burp got you, George. You may think it's comparable to Saban farting on stage, but that's all that got you, was a six-point win over maybe the worst team in the SEC.
GEORGE: And what's that fart gonna get Alabama, another loss to Monroe? Another trip to Shreveport for a bowl game?
FINEBAUM: George, did you listen to the clip? I mean, I'm wondering if we even heard the same fart. You're apparently an Auburn fan, and that's fine, but I don't see how anybody could hear or smell that fart and not be impressed by it. And I'll tell you something, George, any coach in the SEC, whether it's Tuberville or Les Miles or Richt or anyone else, they just dismiss this fart as no big deal and it's gonna come back to haunt them. I mean, it may be too early to say just yet, but that little bit of gas that he passed may have upset the balance of power in the Southeastern Conference.
GEORGE: [audible sigh] Well, Paul, I enjoy listenin' to your show, even when it's about Bama, but I think we're gonna just have to agree to disagree on this one.
FINEBAUM: Well, that's fine, and I do appreciate the call, but I'm stickin' to my guns here, that fart could make a lot of people look real stupid by the time the 2008 season is over. And Nick Saban ain't gonna be one of them.
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FINEBAUM: Coming up after the break, we'll take some more of your calls and let you weigh in on Nick Saban's effluviation, plus in the next half-hour we'll have Kevin Scarbinsky from the Birmingham News on to talk about it and -- you know what, Kerry, what that guy said about the fresh-baked bread thing, I wonder if that means Coach Saban's feces might actually not stink. We'll ask Kevin Scarbinsky about it, take your calls, and a whole lot more, after this.
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(Thanks to Stanley for helping to provide the inspiration for this crap.)