The legendary voice of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Eli Gold, who was calling Alabama games long before Nick Saban’s arrival, has two schools of thought on Saban’s surprising retirement announcement last week.
During an appearance on the Rick and Bubba University show, Gold talked about the esteemed coach and how he feels about Saban hanging it up.
“As sad as I am personally and selfishly, I’m thrilled for him and for Miss Terry and for the kids and for the grandchildren. I am just thrilled for all of them that they’ll be able to spend time with the coach now. But yeah, I’m saddened that I won’t be working with him any longer — but such is life, huh?” Gold stated.
Gold went on to say that while Saban loves the fact that players are getting paid, he wondered whether the transfer portal and NIL may have had something to do with the timing of Saban’s departure.
“He’s totally in support of that, but the way it’s working and the way the portal works, I don’t know if that might not have hastened his departure just a bit. I hate it, selfishly, I hate it,” he said.
In a separate interview on 105.5 WNSP FM in Mobile, Gold talked about what set Saban apart as a perfectionist.
“Nothing came out of his mouth that was not well thought out and with a definite end game in site. Watching him formulate everything that he did was really something, he was as close to a perfectionist as I have ever seen. I have never seen him caught off guard and even if he was he was equipped to give an answer, he’s just a special guy he really is,” Gold said.
Gold, who was sick in the hospital with cancer last season, also shared personal anecdotes of the character of Saban and what made him truly special.
“He is genuinely a very good man. He cares, when I was sick, he and Miss Terry used to keep tabs on me all the time. When I ripped up my knee a decade ago he was quickly on the phone. He sent me a coaches only sweat suit to help me in my rehab, he’s just a genuinely nice man.”
Michael Brauner is a Senior Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP