Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Fandom - ESPN Playbook [Print without images]

Friday, August 31, 2012
Nick Saban updates us on 'Boat Jam' 2K12

By Dave Wilson

Nick Saban
Nick Saban is probably wondering if Big Al is more of a "Boat Jam" or "Soft Boat Jam" kind of guy.
All week, we've been rolling out portions of a questionnaire with each of the 14 SEC coaches.

We try to cover territory not traditionally covered by the myriad interviews they do across ESPN.com and on TV or radio. So we tend to focus on a little lighter fare.

You never quite know how some of these rather accomplished coaches will react to answering questions about food, hats or uniforms during a busy lineup of interviews.

And some of them don't always project a warm, fuzzy demeanor, anyway. Like, for instance, Alabama coach Nick Saban.

So it was a pleasant surprise when, in 2011's version of the questionnaire, Saban was a good sport. In one section, he discussed his musical taste:

"I'm a big Eagles fan. I've seen them in concert three or four times. I have their concerts on tape that i watch at home. I have about four DVDs that I play on my boat, in my car, at home. And the only other artist I spend any time listening to is Michael Jackson. 'This Is It' really kind of rejuvenated some of his talent to me. And I really enjoy listening to that."


Even more surprising? Saban was scheduled to eat after this year's interview, so we wrapped it up, ready to send him on his way. But Saban seemed bewildered.

"No boat jams this year?" he said. "I mean, I've completely changed my whole musical repertoire. And you don't even acknowledge. I mean ... "

Playbook: Oh yeah? Well, let’s go. What are we listening to this year on the boat?

"We have gone to the Apple [iTunes] system of 'Boat Jam.' And one of the things that you young 'uns don't understand is that when you are my age, you've lived through probably the best musical era of all times.

"We had Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and everybody in between. So now I've created, or my friend created for me, what we call 'Boat Jam.' It's what we listen to on the pontoon boat. And if it doesn't make you stomp your feet, it cannot be there."

So what’s on there that makes you stomp your feet?

"We've got Hootie and the Blowfish, we've got Marvin Gaye, we've got the Rolling Stones. ... We also have some very good music, like some of Elton John, that doesn't quite fit the 'Boat Jam.' So we had to create a new category called 'Soft Boat Rock.'"

Oh, like "Yacht Rock"?

I don't know what that is.

That’s like the old Christopher Cross, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins stuff.

"Oh yeah. That fits in with the 'Soft Boat Rock.'

"OK, can I eat now?"