21 November 2007

Catastrotragedexpialidocious

In a story that's gotten very little publicity, Alabama coach Nick Saban (aka Little Nicky, aka The Sabanator, aka Nicky Satan) tried to motivate his team following a loss to UL-Monroe by making reference to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor.

According to ESPN.com:
"Changes in history usually occur after some kind of catastrophic event," Saban said. "It may be 9/11, which sort of changed the spirit of America relative to catastrophic events. Pearl Harbor kind of got us ready for World War II, and that was a catastrophic event."

A "Saban spokesperson" commented on the coach's comments:
"What Coach Saban said did not correlate losing a football game with tragedy, everyone needs to understand that. He was not equating losing football games to those catastrophic events," football spokesman Jeff Purinton said in a statement to The Associated Press. "The message was that true spirit and unity become evident in the most difficult of times. Those were two tremendous examples that everyone can identify with."

First, Saban's statement was ridiculous. Regardless of what Purinton said, yes, Saban did correlate the UL-Monroe loss with 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. That's pretty obvious. And it is ridiculous to compare football with events that killed, respectively, 2,998 and 2,466 people.

Second, there's a legitimate argument to be made that neither 9/11 nor Pearl Harbor was a tragedy. Not to say that they weren't terrible events, but a tragedy (according to the classical definition), must be a terrible event provoked or initiated by some flaw in the eventual victim's character or actions. If you don't believe that 9/11 or Pearl Harbor were provoked by the US's actions leading up to them (and not just rational responses to situations, but some sort of predisposition that led the country to act in a flawed manner), then technically they weren't tragedies.

Third... it's just straight-up ridiculous to compare sports to war. I can't think of a single other person who would do something like that.

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