For at least one more week, Nick Saban is on top of the football world. He is leading an undefeated team into the end of the schedule and a chance to play for a BCS Championship. He also has an adoring wife who was clearly enjoying the moment with him this past Saturday.
Looking around at the beginning of the press conference, I noticed Terry Saban watching her husband start his talk to the assembled media and the look on her face was instantly recognizable to an old romantic. She was smiling at him with that look of a girl who was going home with the hero of the moment, not just Alabama's hero, but her hero.
She was as happy and excited with the win as any of us in the room, but there was so much more. She was enjoying sharing this moment with him. Once I knew where Terry had positioned herself against the right wall, I could see Nick's eyes go to her and even when describing the team's mistakes of that game, there was that hint of a smile when he looked at her.
Sometimes work tears couples apart, sometimes it drives them together.
This is a couple in every sense of the word. Terry considers herself part of 'Team Saban'. She helps with recruiting, she understands the long hours and she's the the person Nick goes to when he needs a friend.
Both come from working class families in West Virginia where husbands, wives, and families were close knit and worked together for the family's best interest.
Saban's father ran a gas station and Nick helped man the pumps, wash the windshields, and air the tires for much of his youth. He idolized his father, and from him learned to give something back even when there was not always that much to go around.
Terry learned the same lessons, and together they are raising two fine children; Nicholas and Kristen. They are also the creators of 'Nick's Kid's".
The two of them started this endeavor as they did their marriage, with a strong commitment from both of them. It was started when Nick made his first 'big' salary at Michigan State. The fund was to help young people have a chance to be successful who might otherwise not ever have the chance.
According to Saban, his mother and family always raised him to believe that if you ever got in a position to help young people, you should.
Together, Nick and Terry have given over one million dollars to deserving youth.
She has also helped in with recruiting athletes to the university. She is a regular when it comes to helping entertain visiting prospects and their families, and last Saturday night, she was helping him enjoy a game win that had more problems than any win so far this season.
The smile she gave Nick told him—and the others that noticed it—that she was there for him, in wins and losses, in good times and bad. That can do nothing but help Nick Saban through the rest of this season and all the ones to come.
The members of the 'Bama Nation should be grateful to have her on their team.