If you think the YouTube sensationalized version of the honey badger is the icon of an "I-don't-give-a-crap attitude," then think again. At least amongst college football head coaches, that icon is Alabama head coach, Nick Saban.
During the weekly Monday morning press conference, following several appropriate questions and respectful, informative answers from the head coach, a reporter in the audience braved to ask Nick Saban what he thought of the potential scenarios and speculations for Alabama to wind up in the national championship game.
He asked this question after Nick Saban had gone through a brief description of the Georgia Southern offense and how difficult it is to prepare for an opponent that presents a completely different approach to moving the football down field, using the triple option.
Saban had also fielded a few questions concerning the players and how they have developed over the last few games, such as Eddie Lacy fighting through injuries, one question regarding the seniors and their last game at Bryant Denny.
Saban's response to the speculative question was abrupt, but respectful,
"You know what? I don't really care about that, I've been sitting in that room over there for two days watching film, trying to figure out how to get enough of our guys on the pitch guy. You figure it out and come tell me what it is, because I don't know and don't really care."
He went on to explain why he didn't care,
"All I know is, we need to take care of what we can control and what we control is how we play." Saban said, "Aight." "And my contribution to that is we get the team ready to play."
Saban went on to say, "I could care less about that, because I don't understand it to start with."
Saban was as respectful to the questioner as I have ever seen him before. He has certainly mellowed over the years. However, you could certainly get the sense he had a definitive disdain for that particular question and whole topic of bowl speculation.
Moreover, he just doesn't appreciate the distraction from the primary task of coaching. The task that requires his focus to be on preparing the Crimson Tide for its next opponent. Despite what others have suggested on his behalf, he treats every opponent the same and prepares for each opponent the same way and on the same schedule every week.
For Saban, speculation is simply clutter, and he doesn't have time for clutter at this point or any other point in the season. What matters is how he and his team performs in the next game. That, in the end, is all that will ultimately affect the final outcome of this season's body of work.
His approach to his job, as outlined in his book, is to stay focused on what matters. Do your job and do it to the best of your ability. That is how you can become successful. After five years at Alabama, the players are getting it, many of the fans get it and most of the reporters do as well.
But there are just a few who still drift, don't really understand the coaches philosophy and really don't belong in the same room.