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ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 17: Nick Saban, head coach of the Miami Dolphins, stands on the sidelines in the fourth quarter of a 21-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills on December 17, 2006 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
There are a lot of Dolphins fans who've never forgiven former head coach Nick Saban for his "I'm not going to be the next Alabama coach" act on the eve of his becoming, in fact, the next Alabama coach.
So many that even with a staff held together by chocolate candy, the question is still being put to Tony Sparano just in case, and Saban was voted the no. 9 most-hated person in sports last year on the strength of the lingering stink.
So when word came Saban had finally apologized for lying in an interview with the Sporting News, it seemed for a brief moment like this might be finally put behind the Dolphins.
And then we read it:
"Well, honesty and integrity is an important part of our character, my character. Those are words that we use all the time. I think that in an effort to protect our team at Miami -- because I had not talked to Alabama and did not talk to them until the season ended -- I express that (character is important) to (Alabama) through my agent and said it was up to them whether they wanted to wait and that I would not make any promises. I would talk to them then; I would only reassess my circumstances and our situation as a family at the end of the year.
"But I kept getting asked about this over and over and over, and in trying to defuse the interest and leave the focus on our team in Miami (long pause)...I had a responsibility and obligation to the players on that team, the coaches on the staff, and I didn't want that to be the focus of attention.
"So would I manage it differently? Absolutely. I would still have the same integrity for our team, but I just would not answer any questions relative to Alabama...I do apologize for any professional mishandling that might have occurred."
Did you hear that? Nick Saban is sorry his honesty and integrity upset you, Miami, and in related news BP would like to apologize for any technology failures that "might" have occurred in the Gulf.
It's just five letters, but "might" demonstrates that even now, in the midst of a supposed apology, Saban still won't actually acknowledge that there was any professional mishandling at all. Just that the possibility exists.
By any definition of "apology," that isn't one. But there was also this, and it's even worse:
"We didn't have a quarterback the second year, and it affected our ability to be successful. But we made improvements as a team; we made improvements on defense. So I don't really feel like I took one on the chin. I don't really feel like we failed."
The 1-15 aging bog that ate Cam Cameron begs to differ, but whatever. Obviously, Miami will never, ever get the apology it still wants, or any acknowledgement for that era that could remotely redeem it.
So the sooner fans realize this, the better: Nick Saban lied, but all he got was Tuscaloosa. Karma's a bitch, and she knows the back roads.