TUSCULOOSA, Ala. (WHNT) — Birthdays are usually a day full of cake, presentations and celebrations — But not for Nick Saban.
The Alabama Crimson Tide head coach turns 72 on Tuesday, but it won’t be a day of celebration for him. Instead, Saban will spend the day, like most days of the calendar year, working with his football team.
“The game is the most important thing that would be a great birthday present if we could play well in this game,” Saban said. “That’s what I’m focused on and that’s what we’re really trying to do.”
A longtime football coach like Saban knew that celebrating your birthday in the middle of football season and not really being able to celebrate it is just an occupational hazard.
“You know, when your birthday and vacation comes during football season, it’s really not a vacation and it’s really not anniversaries,” Saban said. “You’re getting older but you’re not really partying.”
Although his birthday usually falls on Alabama’s bye week, Saban has coached on his birthday twice.
The first time, in 1998, Saban coached the Michigan State Spartans to a 29-5 victory over the Northwestern Wildcats.
In 2020, Saban coached the Alabama Crimson Tide on his birthday to a victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs 41–0. In this game, Mac Jones threw for 291 yards and four touchdowns. Devonta Smith caught 11 passes for 203 yards and four touchdowns.
This year, Saban’s birthday falls the week of a top-15 game for the Crimson Tide as they take on the LSU Tigers on Saturday.
LSU enters the game as the best total offense in the country and the game has major implications for the path to the SEC Championship Game, meaning a win would be a great birthday present for Saban.
The Alabama and LSU game begins at 6:45 p.m. on WHNT.
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