Nick Saban and Peewee from Grand Bay: The famous coach
Dave Wilson, ESPN Staff WriterJan 16, 2024, 07:07 AM ET Close Dave Wilson is an editor for ESPN.com given that 2010. He previously worked at The Dallas Early Morning News, San Diego Union-Tribune and Las Vegas Sun.ON A THURSDAY
night in September, Nick Saban beinged in front of a crowd of fans with a headset on, bracing himself for a concern. The Crimson Tide were coming off a loss to Texas, their very first home nonconference loss since Saban’s very first season in Tuscaloosa way back in 2007.
Even worse, the Longhorns manhandled Alabama in advance, pressuring Jalen Milroe on 49% of his 39 dropbacks and sacking him 5 times. Alabama balanced just 3.1 lawns per carry.Saban knew what was coming. Here was Peewee from Grand Bay, constantly the very first caller on”Hey Coach & The Nick Saban Program,”the weekly call-in radio program. Peewee had a specific interest in the offending line, so much so that he was sometimes called the” line coach emeritus”by Saban.But before Peewee might even ask a question, Saban went on the offensive.”Well, Peewee, I have actually been wishing to talk with you all week, male.
I imply, we got ta firm up the pocket, “Saban states, gesticulating like he was talking with his team. “We’re setting too soft. We’re getting pressed back in the middle. Aight, everybody believes we can’t hold up against the blitz, but they’re sacking us with a four-man rush, one three-man rush. Only one sack came off of a pressure. So I wished to ask you: What the hell’s going on? “”So I wanted to ask you,’What the hell
is going on? ‘”-Coach Saban throughout impressive rant on Hey
Coach while taking call from Peewee #RollTide|@Alfa_Insurance pic.twitter.com/1fZeJdExRE-Crimson Tide Sports Network(@UA_CTSN)September 15, 2023 There wasn’t much Peewee might add.”I think you covered all of it right there, Coach.”The setting for the weekly show, in a restaurant in front of a crowd, always revealed a different side of the fiery coach, showcasing the masterful manner in which Saban managed the pressure cooker that is Alabama football. At news conferences, Saban hammered home his points while in some cases hammering the people who asked the questions. However here Saban was deactivating a fan before he could even get started. The coach showed weekly on the program that he fasted on his feet, self-effacing and most of all, really liked hearing from individuals who liked his team.And for individuals like 65-year-old Elbert” Peewee”Roberts of Grand Bay–” in the very southwest corner of the state of Alabama, 4 miles from the Mississippi state line” he said– it used a direct line to the most essential individual in the state.” He’s always stated when he pertained to the show, that was his very first chance for the whole week to see and talk with individuals outside of the football complex,”Peewee said.”And I’m the first guy that calls. “In November, Peewee made the 250-mile journey to Baumhower’s Triumph Grille in Tuscaloosa to see the show in individual, which he’s done from time to time. As soon as, in 2014, the show’s producers said that Peewee hadn’t hired. That was concerning to Saban, who stopped the show and said,”Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. We’ve won a great deal of games around here with Peewee calling first. “Then, he searched for, saw Peewee right in front of him, and broke out into a big smile.This fall, Saban made it an indicate bring Peewee up and present him to his visitor, broadcaster Brad Nessler.”Peewee is really, for those of you who don’t understand, is really the offending line coach,”Saban stated.
“We get excellent coaching suggestions weekly. … Any info that you provide me that I pass along to them, I inform them, ‘This came from Peewee.’They appreciate that. They appreciate you for all that you’ve done to help them. So we value that a lot. … You understand, when you assist ’em get better and they respect you, then they don’t want to dissatisfy you. So they’re truly out there playing hard for you. “Peewee had actually become something of an understood product around the program, even being called a”unwilling folk hero.”He’s gotten to fulfill Saban and his partner, called Miss Terry. He got in a vehicle accident once en route to the Iron Bowl and broke his leg and was not able to make it to the game, and got a delivery of gourmet apples from the Sabans. Nick Saban’s retirement stunned everyone in college football, consisting of Peewee. “Him and Miss Terry have always been extremely great, very really kind to me,”he said the evening Saban revealed he was hanging it up.” They sent flowers to both of my moms and dads’funeral services when they passed away here in the last couple of years. I’ve enjoyed it. I think he did, too. I simply got along good with the guy. I ain’t nobody, man. I’m just a guy who enjoys Alabama football.”ELI GOLD, THE voice of Alabama football considering that 1988, missed out on all of the 2022 season fighting phase 3 cancer. He spent 186 days in the medical facility. Upon his return in April 2023, Alabama looked for to assist Gold cut down on his work, however there was one part of the job he would not quit.”I stated look, something I ask you not to remove from me is the Nick Saban Show,”Gold said.” It’s instructional for me, things that I find out on Thursday that I can utilize on the broadcast on Saturday.
However I just enjoy being with the guy. I’m learning from him. He is an instructor. “Coaches all over used to do radio programs with live callers, but they’re becoming more and more unusual. Of those that do, a number of take pre-written submissions on social media or through email. Bob Stoops gave up taking hire 2012 after an obnoxious caller asked why he appeared and the group didn’t. Florida State stopped after an in-person guest asked Jimbo Fisher”where’s the commitment to the program, Jimbo?”amidst rumors he was headed to Texas A&M. In 2019, the “Inside Michigan Football”radio show was moved from Ann Arbor’s Pizza Home, where it had actually been for more than a years, to Schembechler Hall on UM’s school where it is now closed to fans. Kirby Smart does not do a radio show at Georgia.But Gold repeated what Peewee stated, that Saban has actually constantly told him that the program was a highlight of his week. He worked the crowd, signed autographs and even welcomed a media member each week to sit between him and Gold and ask questions of their own.
Coach Saban on @Lane_Kiffin -pic.twitter.com/OILD3S4o0r -Coach Johnny Croyle( @CoachCroyle) January 5, 2024″I have actually been told this by his wife, by his secretary Linda Leoni, by other individuals, that he truly loves doing that program every Thursday night,”Gold stated.
“I said,’ you guys do not need to blow smoke up my rear end’and they said no, it
‘s the one day of the week he leaves the workplace at a decent hour and
sees people that he doesn’t work with every day. It is just a breath of fresh air for him.”Gold believes he started doing the program in 1990 with Gene Stallings– which is about two years after Peewee said he began calling in to talk with Expense Curry– and said he’s constantly admired Saban’s capability to accept the fans, even as he won his way into history.” Look, the coach is not as tolerant for bad questions as he is for excellent,” Gold stated.”
However he will never humiliate a fan. If there’s a bad concern from a media guy, he may look at him and it might be a little uneasy. However if Ralph from Sylacauga hires and has a question, even if it’s not a good football concern, he’ll describe it, because they were kind enough to hire.” And Peewee never wished to be the guy that set Saban off, so he ‘d focus on his obligation during games. “I see what happens when individuals ask Coach ridiculous concerns. I’ve seen it for press reporters. So I attempted not to ask a few of them due to the fact that I didn’t desire him going off on me, “he said.”I tried to take note of the offensive line throughout the games. Everyone else wants to try to follow the ball.” That’s a fan after the head coach’s heart. But that’s the level of detail that fans came with for Saban on the show.”We do not get,’What’s Miss Terry’s favorite taste of pudding?’,” Gold stated. “We get great solid football concerns. And Coach respects our fans for wanting to find out. “The fans are major and well-behaved. There are no”Tyler from Spartanburg “incidents, like on Dabo Swinney’s show this year, where a caller recommended Swinney’s $11.5 million wage didn’t make good sense given Clemson’s 4-4 record. Swinney responded by telling
Tyler, “I do not care just how much cash I make. You’re not gon na speak to me like I’m 12 years of ages. … You become part of the issue, to be honest with you.”Gold stated like any radio show, he has a”dump”button to keep any tacky occurrences from making air. However the fans aren’t the problem.”He’s just extremely loose, the coach is,”Gold said.”The only times I have had to utilize it was when the coach himself got a little bit blue on the air. “It remains in those moments, when Saban is excitable, interesting and funny, that Gold said he informed listeners that this was the real Saban. It’s also one of the only times Gold got the eye from Saban
.”So what he’s saying is that during the week, I’m a schmuck?”Saban asked the crowd. Gold responded,’Well, Coach, that’s your words, not mine.” Peewee Roberts, a regular caller on the “Hey Coach & The Nick Saban Show”with Nick Saban and his other half, Terry Saban. Peewee Roberts GOLD UNDERSTANDS THE importance of his voice to a legion of fans who construct their Thursday nights and Saturdays around listening to it throughout football season, and he is grateful that he had a 17-year run with the best coach of perpetuity. The Alabama task brings a distinct concern due to its history, legacy and its role as the biggest program in the whole state, with apologies to Auburn.”We don’t have expert sports here, absolutely nothing in the whole state,” Peewee stated.”All we truly have is college. This sport, football, has actually divided households. It’s caused marriages and it’s triggered divorces. I don’t know if other individuals or other fan bases comprehend. “So Peewee, a season-ticket holder for 30 years, always figured, if he had a question about the program, why not go directly to the man? He focused all his attention on this show and not the others where callers screamed and ranted. And in return, Saban seemed to take a shine to him.” In the last year, [Saban’s] truly relaxed even moreso in speaking with people,”Gold stated. “And in the case of Peewee, this year it’s resembled a funny show, the 2 of them, opening up the program. It resembles Laurel and Hardy talking about the offending
line.”So picture you’re a fan from Grand Bay getting a delivery of apples from the coach after an automobile accident. Imagine the coach and his wife sending flowers to your parents’funeral services. Envision Miss Terry’s assistant approaching you and stating,”Are you Peewee?”and handing you a football signed by Nick and Terry Saban. Envision the Alabama coach asking you why you were at his program in person 2 weeks in a row but missed the week of the Iron Bowl, informing him you had to work, and having him reply,”Well, hell kid, I coulda fixed that with one telephone call.”Then picture hearing it’s all over.” I’m not truly over
the shock of it,”Peewee stated.”We all understood it was coming at some time. However I just didn’t think it would be now and I didn’t think it would resemble this.”However Peewee will not be going anywhere. He’s ridden out the highs and lows and he’ll be prepared to roll with the Tide when again.” When Coach Stallings came in, I spoke with him all the time, “Peewee said, going through the list in his head.” Coach [Mike] Dubose, Mike Shula … I in fact got to go to a couple shows while Fran [Dennis Franchione] was our coach. He simply bailed out on us due to the fact that of the probation and after that went
to A&M and didn’t do nothin’there.
I never ever truly got to talk to Mike Rate because he was an idiot.” So he has actually worked through his emotions today, ultimately writing Saban a letter and emailing it to one of his connections in the athletic department. He thanked him for bringing Bama out of the”dark years” and all that he and his charity had
done for the school, the program, the state and the players who played for him.Coach I can honestly state I will miss out on having the ability to speak with you to ask you concerns or have you turn it around and ask me questions about our offensive line weekly on your radio show. I have actually looked forward to that each and every week over these last 17 years. … The Bama Country loves you and Miss Terry very much!! Forever your friend and offensive line coach Peewee Roberts. Roll Tide !! It’ll be difficult to move forward with the next coach, however Peewee was there before Saban, and he’ll be there for Kalen DeBoer.” It’ll be various, that’s for sure,”Peewee said.” However it will still be about the University of Alabama, right? I’ll be there for the next guy. As long as I can pick up the phone and call, I’ll be there.”