Wednesday afternoon, the University of Alabama announced that head football coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19. The news comes days before a highly-anticipated matchup with No. 3 Georgia. Saban will self-isolate to keep his family safe while assistant coach Steve Sarkisian will lead the team into Saturday night's game, provided it takes place as planned.
"I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19," Saban said in a statement. "I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis. I informed our team of my positive test at 2 p.m. today on a Zoom call and let them know offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will oversee preparations at the complex while I work from home."
With the news of his diagnosis, Twitter users immediately began arguing. Many said that the head coach would be fine and compared coronavirus to the common flu. Others strongly disagreed and said that there is no reason for the football season to continue. The arguments continued throughout the afternoon and into the evening, as politics also became a talking point.
Nick Saban got the Covid....
i dont think NCAAF is gonna run the full season— Thee Filthy Cent AKA Kyrie Perving (@DonPaterfamili) October 14, 2020
Sooooo, if Nick Saban has the COVID,wouldn’t that make it a bad idea for the Alabama/Georgia game to take place on Saturday— Ryan S Pumpkins 👻🎃 (@TheChewDefense) October 14, 2020
With multiple teams having COVID-19 outbreaks, there are concerns about the football season. Florida and LSU had a game postponed, as did Baylor and Oklahoma State. The goal is for the season to continue as planned, but fans doubt this will happen with even more positive tests.prevnext
Nick Saban gonna beat coronavirus 67-3 and not pull any of the starters until the last drive of the 4th quarter— Brennan (@bemerky) October 14, 2020
So sorry to hear Nick Saban tested positive for COVID. Praying for a quick recovery. Get well soon SIR 🙏🙏❤— 🔴⚫Dawg Pound🔴⚫ (@Dawgs47) October 14, 2020
When football fans heard the news about Saban, several reacted with two very different comments. One portion of Twitter users simply said that they hope Saban will be healthy and able to return to the sidelines in the near future. Others, however, made jokes about Saban's coaching career and an unwillingness to "go easy" on opponents.prevnext
Hate to see the news about Nick Saban. Hoping for a speedy recovery.— Hunter Fallin (@huntercfallin) October 14, 2020
My classmate said “Pray for the coronavirus cause Nick Saban gonna beat it by 50.” 💀💀💀 https://t.co/Y0bjejSz7C— Pablo (بابلو) (@crrPablo) October 14, 2020
Jokes about Saban's coaching style were very prevalent on Wednesday afternoon, which provided a respite from the arguments about political views. Many football fans entertained each other by joking about Alabama beating a lesser opponent. Although several did have to take some time to sit back and think about Saban's age and overall health.prevnext
But revenue to the athletic department is paramount. Those bonuses to administrators MUST be paid.— onlinesavant (@onlinesavant) October 14, 2020
Cancel every season across the western hemisphere— Ron 🌹 (0-16) (@ronoIogy) October 14, 2020
Many fans took time to send well-wishes to Saban or joke about his coaching style, but these were not universal responses on Wednesday. Several other people wanted to strongly criticize the NCAA and schools across the country for continuing to move forward with games. These Twitter users expressed the opinion that the college season needs to end now, along with the NFL regular season and MLB playoffs.prevnext
Well done— eliminoP (@eliminoP) October 14, 2020
Or he’ll die, it could go either way considering his age. People “calming down” is why this won’t ever go away until there’s a vaccine.— Bruisermoore (@bruisermoore) October 14, 2020
A common argument that takes place when discussing the coronavirus is whether it's as serious as described. Some people have expressed the opinion that there is nothing to worry about while others have taken a different approach. The two extreme viewpoints surfaced on Twitter after Alabama announced that Saban had tested positive despite showing no symptoms. Although some Twitter users still tried to ease the tension with some jokes.prevnext
Its just the flu— Jason (@SportsNerd1734) October 14, 2020
“We want Bama”— DeAnte🐝 (@ThiccPapaSIZZLE) October 14, 2020
While many Twitter users continued to argue about the seriousness of coronavirus, many others made jokes about college football history. A common theme throughout the years is that an under-the-radar team will have a big performance and fight to an undefeated or one-loss season. The players and fans will then proclaim on social media and to reporters that they "want Bama" due to Saban's team being the best in college football seemingly every year. According to some fans, the coronavirus made this same request.prevnext
He’s not “sick”— Chuck Williamson (@chuckdubya) October 14, 2020
He tested positive. What exactly is there to take seriously?
We now go to the doctor’s office where Nick Saban has just learned he’s tested positive for #COVID19 and his requests to have the test results reviewed and overturned were denied. pic.twitter.com/vOSn5zJERV— Joe Porter’s Brother (@joeportersbro) October 14, 2020
When Alabama made the announcement about Saban's positive test, Twitter users began asking about what this really meant. The head coach said that he didn't have any symptoms, so some fans said that there was nothing to express concern about. Others, however, said that the state of Alabama needs to take coronavirus seriously.prev