For those of you wondering, no. Alabama football coach Nick Saban is not a robot.

It could seem likely at times with his great attention to detail, dry wit and serious manner. Heck, his android-like precision when assessing opposing offenses and defenses would make any robotics engineer question for a moment Saban's humanity.

But no, Saban is not a robot. In fact, he's just as human as you or me.

But how can we prove this? Well, Saban evidently still maintains the sense of humor of a 10-year-old boy.

Though its true date of origin can't be pointed to on a timeline, former Alabama defensive back Marlon Humphrey has been named as the primary suspect that introduced Saban to his passion, 'deez nuts' jokes. According to Ole Miss head coach and former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, Humphrey's time during 2014-2016 with the program was when Saban began to use the jokes, picking them up from Humphrey.

Fast forward to 2019 when former Alabama running back and current Las Vegas Raider Josh Jacobs revealed Saban's love of the joke. In an interview with radio host Dan Patrick prior to the NFL Draft, Jacobs discussed Saban's joking nature at-length.

“What people don’t understand about him is he’s actually very funny,” Jacobs said. “He’s definitely a players’ coach. I remember one day at practice I was just catching a lot of balls — and you know he works with the defensive side so he’s always on the offensive players.”

“If I was catching a lot of passes that day, he would try to say something like, ‘Hey Josh, you keep catch all these passes, how about you hold deez?’ or something like that. Just something funny for a coach to try and translate and get to know to each player."

The big reveal was later confirmed by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and then finally by Saban himself.

“Well, I like to have fun with the players,” Saban informed Patrick. “I think that it’s good that they see you every now and then in a little bit of a different light. Since I am a defensive coach, and I probably get on the defensive players a little bit more ferociously, it’s a little bit easier for me to be more lighthearted with the offensive players.”

Heck, at this rate Saban's 'deez nuts' sphere of influence is going to surpass his legendary coaching tree of former assistants.

This past Tuesday, Alabama defensive back Jordan Battle once again brought Saban's affinity for 'deez nuts' jokes into the spotlight when he remarked on Saban's favorite humorous antics. The real funny part of the answer to a media member's question was that Battle hadn't been asked about humor at all. Rather, he had been asked about his personal favorite saying of Saban's, who is known to drop a nugget of wisdom here and there.

"He has so many, but there are a few I like,” Battle said. “He’s always talking about ‘touch deez’ or ‘suck on deez’ or all that.”

And there it is. Seven years after Humphrey first stepped foot on Alabama's campus, and Saban is still making middle school jokes.

It leaves me to wonder how Saban's first reaction to the joke went. Oh to be a fly on the wall in that first instance that Saban's humor box was unlocked for the first time. I can just imagine Saban chastising Humphrey for not holding onto a football while trying to recover a fumble in practice, and Humphrey responding with a 'hold deez' joke.

Taken aback, Saban's eyes would glare with fury, but only for a moment. They would then gaze in amazement at the clever wit that he had just witnessed. The corners of his mouth, slowly but surely, curling upwards into a smile of realization as the whole world of childlike humor was suddenly unlocked in the deep, dark recesses of Saban's inner mind.

At least, that's how I would like to imagine it happened. Anyways, let's get back to the main point of today's almost satirical column.

No, Nick Saban is not a robot.

While his track record of winning goes unrivaled in college football history and will be remembered for decades to come, Saban is still too human. When I think of emotional moments with the coach, I think of him after Jalen Hurts came in for Tagovailoa in the 2018 SEC Championship Game. Another great moment is after the 2021 CFP title game victory over Ohio State.

People might view Saban as a tough, intimidating figure. No doubt that he is. It's one of the reasons that people stop and listen to anything and everything he says. It's remarkable how much intimidation is packed into his 5'6" frame.

As someone who has covered Saban for these past four years, it has always amazed me as the presence he brings. Even though physically he's almost always the smallest person in the room, it feels like he's three feet taller than you when he speaks to you. It's that kind of impact that makes people question his personality.

Deep down, Saban is just as human as the rest of us. He has emotional moments, he has a sense of humor. Heck, he and his wife, Terry Saban, have given millions to charities and back to the community through Nick's Kids.

Saban is not only just as human as us, but he — in some instances — is even more so. Maybe that's why so many people question it. How can one single human being accomplish so much and attain so much success?

Maybe one day I'll be able to narrow that answer down. Until then, I'm only human.

For those of you wondering, no. Alabama football coach Nick Saban is not a robot.

It could seem likely at times with his great attention to detail, dry wit and serious manner. Heck, his android-like precision when assessing opposing offenses and defenses would make any robotics engineer question for a moment Saban's humanity.

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