Nick Saban: The "Road House" Analogy

Ingram WorleyCorrespondent INovember 30, 2008

Writer’s note: If you haven’t seen the 1989 classic Road House, starring Patrick Swayze, this will make absolutely no sense to you. It may not make sense to you anyway. What comes next are the ramblings of a truly giddy Alabama fan…

Imagine this. Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore looks over the sawdust-covered dance floor from the office of his rowdy honky-tonk called the Double Deuce. He is nervous. His bar has spiraled out of control. The evil Urban Meyer and his band of thugs have taken over again. Meyer has terrorized the once-peaceful townsfolk with his gangland beatings and extortionist tactics. Once again, the bar has broken out into an all-out melee.

However, Moore is hopeful. Tonight, the new "cooler" he has hired is on duty for the first time. This is the bouncer against which all others are judged. Rumor has it, he cleaned up messes like this in Lansing, Michigan and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Although slight in size, Nick Saban is an intimidating presence.

From his lofty perch, Moore sees Saban order his coffee (black) at the bar while bar stools fly all around him. Meyer has just finished beating up an old man in a Florida State sweatshirt with a pool cue. As the man’s crumpled, bloody body is carried from the dance floor, Meyer makes eye contact with Saban.

Meyer motions for Tommy Bowden to take the first shot. Saban smiles as Bowden throws a roundhouse right hand at his face. Saban catches his fist in mid-air, pins Bowden’s arm and smashes his face into the bar.

Bowden slumps to the floor, his face broken. From his right, Mark Richt smashes a chair over his back. Saban is dazed, but manages to come from underneath with an uppercut to the jaw. In a swift motion, Saban throws Richt over the bar and into a mirror.

Houston Nutt and Bobby Petrino then attack him together. Saban deftly evades two punches, and then cracks their heads together. Meyer than dispatches his dopey, large-headed henchman, Les Miles. Miles pulls a switchblade and slices Saban’s arm. Saban locks his arms, and smashes his knee repeatedly into Miles’ ribcage, and finally lands a knee into his face. Miles collapses to the floor.

The fight spills outside the bar. Tommy Tuberville is next. Saban issues a violent beating. Thinking better of ripping Tuberville’s throat out, Saban drags his lifeless body by the ears back onto the porch of the bar, screaming MEYER! MEYER! But Meyer has fled. Saban retreats to the bathroom and stitches his arm with no anesthetic. Moore sees Saban and says "Doesn’t that hurt?" Saban looks up, smiles, and says "Pain don’t hurt, aight?"

Moore knows that Saban is worth the money. In one night, he has turned the Double Deuce back into a reputable establishment. With the Deuce back under control, Saban is free to hunt down Meyer. He has tracked him to Atlanta, to a bar the called "The Dome." Most think that Saban can’t win a one-on-one fight with Meyer. The people who witnessed the bloodletting at the Deuce think differently.

If you’ve seen the movie, you know how it ends.