Looks like Nick Saban is happiest at this moment before the Alabama football games

It doesn’t get more intense than Nick Saban on Gameday. Before and after his team’s competitions, you might see him a few times: his pre-match interview with ESPN, his Walk of Champions, and his post-match press conference. Throughout, Saban is still focused on getting the job done, but there’s a moment of agility from a very serious trainer that you can spot just minutes before Tide takes off.

We have seen Saban break up many times, not to suggest that man is incapable of experiencing joy. Alabama fans know better than anyone that Coach is a very funny guy via his weekly radio show, annual lake parties or hilarious mic clips. It’s just when it’s time to put sanitary pads on for games or improve training that he dials in intensity.

But over the years, we’ve put together several pre-match photos of Saban seemingly in his most accessible moments before kickoff, when everything is on the line on his show. Focus on midfield as Saban seems really happy to have a short chat with another head coach and usually shares with a big smile on that day’s opponent. Saban seems more relaxed to him during those conversations, even when he’s with a perceived opponent or the coach of a “cupcake” team. Peek at two head coaches sharing experience leading their teams to competition after a week of preparation. Maybe he just loves talking ball with someone who does what he does, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Before the 2021 Alabama-Ole Miss game, Lin Kevin gave Paul Feinbaum And the world of college football watching an explanation of what is actually said during meetings on the field and before the game and greetings between coaches. “They really don’t matter,” Kevin said of the pre-match conversations with the rival coaches. “They are both game ready. It’s really just a tradition they have.

He said of his conversations with Saban: “Go in there and he’ll say, ‘Hello.'” Talking about the weather. How’s it going? (I will ask) How is Miss Terry? That’s it.” He continued, “I mean what do people really think we’re talking there? “Hey, we’re really going to work on your safety with some double-whammy today.” I mean, there’s not much to say.”

In the gallery above or the photos below, take a look at photos that document the celebrity-focused trainer taking a moment to relax and enjoy what he and his contemporaries do for a living.

For starters, we’ve already seen this from Saban in 2022, with opposing coaches like Steve Sarkisian (his former assistant) of Texas, or Terry Bowden of Louisiana Monroe.

Texas coach Steve Sarkissian, left, and Alabama coach Nick Saban, right, meet on the field during team alliances before the college football game, Saturday, September 10, 2022, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Rodolfo Gonzalez)AP

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Louisiana Monroe coach Terry Bowden, left, talks with Alabama coach Nick Saban before an NCAA college football game, Saturday, September 17, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)AP

He might have a hundred cameras on him at all times on game day, but Saban managed to break free before kickoff, even with former assistant and Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher. The two privately exchanged views on how the NIL affected recruitment, with Fisher particularly heated, but both insist it’s water under the bridge. We will be looking for a similar friendly on October 8, when both teams visit Bryant Denny Stadium.

Nick Saban coaches opponents

FILE – Nick Saban, coach of Alabama, left, and Jimbo Fisher, coach of Texas A&M, right, shake hands during a pre-college football game Saturday, October 9, 2021 in College Station, Texas. Alabama plays Texas A&M on October 8, 2022, in Tuscaloosa. (AP Photo/Sam Craft, file)AP

Who wouldn’t share a laugh with Lynn Kevin, former Saban offensive coordinator and new contender at SEC West? As previously mentioned, Kevin insists the coaches don’t discuss anything particularly important during the pre-match meeting, but what makes Nick Saban break down like this is? Just maybe Kiffin, one of the funniest characters in college football.

Alabama

Mississippi head coach Lynn Kevin, left, and Alabama coach Nick Saban laugh as they talk before a college football game, Saturday, October 2, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)AP

Even Saban’s biggest “rivals” paint a rare sparkle in their eyes, with coaches like Gus Malzahn, Gene Chizik, Les Miles, Hugh Freeze and Ed Orgeron laughing with the famous coach.

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Auburn coach Jose Malzan and Alabama coach Nick Saban speak in front of Iron Powell on Saturday, November 28, 2015, at Jordan Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala. (Julie Bennett / jbennett@al.com)AL.COM

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Alabama coach Nick Saban and Auburn coach Gene Chezek share a laugh during the preliminary game at Jordan Hare Stadium at Pat Day Field in Auburn, Ala, Friday, November 27, 2009 (The Huntsville Times/Robin Conn)HV White

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Alabama coach Nick Saban welcomes LSU coach Les Miles before no. 1 Alabama vs. no. 13 LSU NCAA football games, Saturday, November 9, 2013, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Vasha Hunt)AP

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze and Alabama head coach Nick Saban speak before the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. , Saturday, September 28, 2013. (Mark Almond/malmond@al.com)

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Alabama coach Nick Saban greets LSU coach Ed Orgeron before the Alabama vs LSU SEC football game, Saturday, November 4, 2017, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Vasha Hunt)AP

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Alabama coach Nick Saban talks with Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen before the Alabama SEC soccer team’s game with Mississippi State, Saturday, November 12, 2016, at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Fasha Hunt)AP

He doesn’t seem to bother Saban if and when another coach gets his best on the field, the way Dabo Sweeney did (twice) at Clemson’s biggest party or Kevin Sumlin when he brought Johnny Football to Bryant Denny. .

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Alabama coach Nick Saban and Clemson head coach Dabo Sweeney speak before the College Football National Championship football game in Alabama with Clemson, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (Vasha Hunt)AP

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Alabama coach Nick Saban greets Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin during the warm-up before the Alabama football game with Texas A&M, Saturday, October 17, 2015, at Kyle Stadium in College Station, Texas. (Fasha Hunt)AP

What is really on display is the level of respect that Saban and his rival coaches have for each other, no matter what his resume. The coaches have a lot in common and can share stories for days, each knowing what the others are experiencing on a daily basis in building a program and leading a group of young people through critical periods of their lives. But you see Saban’s respect for coaches like David Cutcliffe, Frank Beamer and Marc Richt. Or the joy it might feel to compete against former assistants like Jim McElwain and Will Muschamp. Or the parallels he can draw with leaders of smaller programs like Mark Speer in Western Carolina (or Terry Bowden in Louisiana Monroe above).

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Duke coach David Cutcliffe meets with Alabama coach Nick Saban before the game Saturday, September 18, 2010 at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina (Press-Register, GM Andrews)press record

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Alabama coach Nick Saban and Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer greet each other for a pre-game match during Alabama’s #1 soccer game against Virginia Tech, Saturday, August 31, 2013, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. (Vasha Hunt)AP

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Auburn coach Gene Chezek greets Alabama coach Nick Saban during the Alabama football game against Auburn Iron Bowl NCAA, Saturday, November 24, 2012, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Fasha Hunt)AP

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Georgia coach Mark Richt and Alabama coach Nick Saban meet in midfield prior to Alabama’s game against the Georgia SEC Team NCAA Football Championship, Saturday, December 1, 2012, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia (Vasha Hunt)AP

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Alabama coach Nick Saban and Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain meet before Alabama’s No. 1 soccer game against Colorado State, Saturday, September 21, 2013, at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Fasha Hunt)AP

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Alabama coach Nick Saban and Western Carolina coach Mark Speer speak before the Alabama game against Western Carolina NCAA, Saturday, November 17, 2012, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Fasha Hunt)AP

Nick Saban coaches opponents

Alabama coach Nick Saban and Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muchamp speak before Iron Bowl on Saturday, November 28, 2015, at Jordan Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala. (Julie Bennett / jbennett@al.com)AL.COM

More on football in Alabama:

8 “Hate Rivals” Who Helped Define Football in Alabama Under Nick Saban

Mike Price, Lynne Kevin and the shortest SEC football coaching periods of the modern era

10 ugliest football victories in Alabama under Nick Saban

How Alabama fans so hilariously interpret Nick Saban’s smile

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