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Nick Saban Vetoes Dinner with President Bush

Miami Dolphins head coach Nick Saban politely declined an invitation to dinner with President Bush.

Dolphins coach Nick Saban doesn’t consider himself a fan of politics, but he understands that when the President of the United States invites you for dinner, you oblige. Unless that request comes during training camp. That’s the reason Saban politely declined an invitation to dine with President Bush on Sunday evening at Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant in Miami Beach.

”That [would have been] a great experience, but it’s a personal experience,” Saban said Monday. “My obligation is to these players right now. Once we commit to camp, I’m out of everything. This is what I’m doing, this is what I’m committed to, and I don’t have to make exceptions for anything or anybody relative to what I’m asked to do outside of here.”

That’s dedication right there. Or something.

Of course, training camp is just practice. Not a game. Practice. Not the game. We’re talking about practice, man. How silly is that? (With apologies to Allen Iverson)

Hat tip: DMN’s Todd Archer

OTB Sports

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. [...] OTB [...]

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  2. Sammy says:

    Of course, training camp is just practice. Not a game. Practice. Not the game. We’re talking about practice, man. How silly is that?

    Who cares? People made a similar stink when Ozzie Guillen blew off the White Sox’s trip to the White House.

    Frankly, the hero worship of politicans is something that should be frowned upon. Just because you’re President, it doesn’t automatically mean that everyone is suddenly your “friend.”

    People lead busy lives–why should they jump at a command given by a total stranger? Especially given Bush’s poor table manners that were put on display a couple of weeks ago in St. Petersburg.

    Kudos to Saban!

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  3. John says:

    The key word is “politely”. Someone was polite to the President. Let us be thankful for that rarity.

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  4. the Pirate says:

    Dan Patrick made some comments on this today (or it may of been Colin Cowherd) that related the personalities of NFL head coaches and how obsessive they are over every aspect of their job is and how much time of their life it takes up. Cited divorces among long time coaches (Bill Parcells?) and the fact a younger coaches like Bill Cower are already considering retiring. Simply stated, it would cut into his coaching time, a fact that he didn’t seem that applied to coaches in other pro-leagues.

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  5. Anderson says:

    If last season’s any indication, the Dolphins need their coach’s undivided attention.

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  6. Michael says:

    Ok, besides the fact that Bush is POTUS, there is no reason why Saban would want to take time away from his team to pose for a photos over crab legs.

    Now, some would argue that the fact that Bush is POTUS is reason enough to take the invite, but really, what would Saban gain? A nice autographed photo from one of the least popular presidents ever? Would it help Saban’s career? Or the Dolphins game?

    The only person who would really gain much from this would be Bush, who gets a nice “down-to-earth” photo-op with an NFL coach. Personally I find it offensive to think that everyone should put their life on hold to help the President’s approval rating.

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  7. Joe Katzman says:

    Not silly at all. It’s excellent leadership, in fact.

    Team play as they train, just as soldiers fight as they train. If the training is half-hearted, their play will be. Saban is sending a message to his athletes that ALL of their focus needs to be on preparing for success at the job they’re being paid millions to do… not thinking about endorsements, or any of their other so-called “professional commitments.” And he’s walking the walk.

    That’s real leadership, and I’m disappointed that you didn’t recognize it as such.

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  8. James Joyner says:

    Joe: Mostly just taking an opportunity to bring out the Iverson tirade. I get the message Saban is trying to send here, although it’s not like there’s a lot of training going on during dinner time.

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  9. Stevely says:

    I agree with Anderson… the Dolphins are in sad shape. Hopefully Saban will have something to show for his dedication.

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  10. McGehee says:

    Ok, besides the fact that Bush is POTUS, there is no reason why Saban would want to take time away from his team to pose for a photos over crab legs.

    I’ve never really understood the attraction of hobnobbing with famous people anyway. If I were in Saban’s position and I had something I wanted to say to Bush, I’d certainly accept the invitation. Otherwise, there are more productive uses for anybody’s time.

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  11. madmatt says:

    Saban already gets 6 months a year of down time which is even more vacation than GWB takes…maybe they could work something out in the spring!

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  12. James Joyner says:

    matt,

    Actually, NFL head coaches take very little downtime, what with draft prep, free agency prep, and various mini-camps and “voluntary” events.

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  13. Rita Nelson says:

    I think his decline was very disrespectful. Then on the other hand if I were invited to have dinner with Mr. Clinton, I would decline, I wouldn’t go near that guy, for various reasons!!

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