on Sports
The Chin, The Shell and the Saban by Stan Silliman


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
The Chin, the Shell and the Saban

   Here’s an NFL football related riddle:
    What do you call two fired football coaches and a liar?
    Hey, … no fair looking at the headline.

    Okay, not a great riddle because one of the above coaches, Bill Cowher aka The Chin, resigned. He did not get fired. Art Shell, the middle guy who coached the Oakland Raiders was fired. The other guy, Nick Saban, did not have sex with that woman.

    Another riddle: What do you call a guy who says he’s never going to leave his team; This is his dream job; Says he plans to retire here; Says other folks are blowing smoke? Dennis Franchione? No. Larry Brown? No. Nick Saban? No. The correct answer is… a coach.

    The bit of irony about Saban’s repeated protestations about not leaving the Dolphins after being asked over and over, point blank, was he taking the Alabama job, is that only a week before former Chilean strongman, Pinochet, died. And we all know what happened with the 91-year-old Pinochet, don’t we? You don’t? All during the week, much like Nick Saban, Pinochet protested that he wasn’t dying. He kept repeating “No, I’m not dying” and then when he finally kicked it they couldn’t close the casket. His nose was too long.    

    Nobody has measured Saban’s nose but he did sign a $ 32 million contract (8 years) and even Gepetto wouldn’t sneeze at that one.
The Chin, The Shell and the Saban by Stan Silliman
    Some say the sports segment of our society is in an arms race for coaches and facilities. And of course when you say arms race, you think ammo and you can’t think ammo without mentioning Shell, as in Art Shell, the latest coach to be discharged by Raiders owner Al Davis.  Davis liked Shell, a Hall-of-Fame offensive tackle, who previously coached the Raiders for five years to a 54-38 record. Offensive, being the key word, Davis expected Shell’s teams to generate an offense. Instead Davis was offended when the Raiders went through eight games without scoring an offensive touchdown with Davis, being a little feisty owner type guy and Shell a 6’8 hulk of a coach, someone had to go. Someone had to take it on the chin. Which brings us to…

    The Chin, Bill Cowher. More Chin than a San Francisco phone book. Old Jutting Jaw himself, certain to win a jut-off even if Kirk Douglas comes out of retirement. Cowher wants to take off a year to be near his family and watch his daughter play basketball near Raleigh, N. Carolina. Good for him. The winters in Pittsburg and Cleveland and Baltimore can survive without the need to slam its wintry forces against a jutting protuberance.  

    Saban’s $ 4 Mil a year contract has shocked many, including Congress, who plan to ask the NCAA how coaches can have the audacity to be making so much more money than congressmen. We suspect some of these congressmen are from Tennessee and Georgia and Florida and other states with schools having Alabama on its schedule. The main item the House Ways and Means Committee is investigating: Whether athletic departments with $ 100 Million plus budgets should keep their tax-exempt status? If that happens, schools all over will be saying “Whoa, Tide, Whoa.”

Silliman On Sports
2405 Wilcox Drive
Norman, OK  73069

Phone #: 405-360-4800
Comments or Suggestions: Email

Copyright © 2003-2007   Silliman On Sports    All Rights Reserved
 Website by Alliance Team