Texas coach shows his candid side but admits it’s a process
By Michael Casagrande
ANAHEIM, Calif. — There was a pause, followed by a stare.
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Nick Saban’s legs came uncrossed before wiping his hands on his slacks in a silent response to the shortest question of the BCS arrival news conference.
“Are you having fun?” started the sequence of events in the event hosted by Jesse Palmer in the ESPN Zone restaurant in Disneyland.
After the laughter died down, Saban gave his audible response.
“What’s fun for me is practice. I really enjoy practice. I really enjoy being around the players. And some of the other things, it’s an entertainment business.”
On the other side of the spectrum from the constantly intense Saban was Texas’ Mack Brown who held a similar news conference two hours after Saban’s. He spent most of the time smiling and giving candid answers to questions — even making a comment about cringing when he saw an East Carolina kicker miss a field goal when walking past a television in the ESPN Zone.
Brown, too was asked about how much fun he was having this week and his answer was quite different.
“It’s too hard to get here not to enjoy it,” Brown said in summing up his response to the same question that made Saban fidget.
Yes, these two head coaches are certainly cut from different cloths and Saturday’s dueling news conferences left little doubt. Both have played for and won BCS titles in the past decade, Saban in 2003 with LSU and Brown in 2005 with Texas. Most similarities end there.
The two did agree on limiting the hype surrounding the Jan. 7 game in the Rose Bowl. Brown even used one of Saban’s favorite words when he talked about his speech to the Longhorns.
“The Number 1 thing is, you can’t continue to talk about the game — you’ve got to talk about the process,” Brown said Saturday. “You’ve got to do what you’ve done to get you to this point all week and all month.”
The talk surrounding the game only ramps up over the next few days. Coordinators and standout players from both teams will face the mass of reporters gathered in Southern California over the next few days. A Super Bowl style media day is planned for later in the week, so there will be plenty of talking to do.
To close his time on stage Saturday, Saban referred back to that question that originally left him speechless. After Palmer thanked everyone for participating, Saban flashed a quick smile.
“And I had a wonderful time,” he said to a room of laughing reporters.