This is the story of how one Quarterback could have changed completely the entire landscape of football as we know it. I’m not just talking the NFL, I’m talking about the College game as well. Today is Halloween and year is 2018, as of right now it looks like the Patriots are going to cruise to another division title, almost completely unopposed. In College Football, Nick Saban’s Alabama Dynasty is ranked #1 and looks like they are going to win Saban a record 6th National Championship. That would be back-to-back titles for a team that’s never missed the College Football Playoff.
Any argument about the greatest NFL coach starts with Bill Belichick. Any argument about the greatest College coach starts with Nick Saban. These men have been reigning supreme as Football’s top tier coaches for a long time now. But way back in 2004 until 2006 Saban and Belichick were head coaches in the same division, the AFC East and long before that Saban coached under Belichick on the Cleveland Browns staff. (Which Saban referred to as the worst 4 years of his life.)
Saban’s NFL success was limited not by his ability as a coach but by never finding a Quarterback good enough to compete in a division with Tom Brady. The thing that people forget is that the Dolphins almost got Drew Brees instead of New Orleans. The doctors in Miami had concerns about Brees’s shoulder and recommended not signing him. The Dolphins ended up going with Dante Culpepper…yikes.
The rest is History, Saban went to Alabama and built a dynasty, Belichick has won the division 14 of the last 15 years and the Patriots are a staple in the AFC Championship game and Superbowl.
Now let’s try and imagine the world where Brees ends up on the Dolphins. The AFC East is now Saban/Brees vs Belichick/Brady. We could have gotten that twice a year…every year. This would have been must-see NFL TV. The post-game press conferences would be magical. Saban and Belichick would HATE each other. They are friends now, but that shit would have gone right out the window. Brees and Brady would be mortal enemies. Even crazier to think about is how Alabama and this insane run they are on would have never happened. The doctors in Miami could have aborted it in the womb. Tua Tagovailoa would probably still be the leading Heisman candidate but he’d probably be playing for the Oregon Ducks or USC Trojans.
I like Alabama because I like Saban, but they have insufferable fans. Fans who poison trees. Fans who will tea-bag you. They are the worst. Can you imagine if they were still trying to find a coach to help pull them out of mediocrity? The entire landscape of the SEC would be changed. Would we be dealing with a Clemson dynasty instead? Or is Dabo the guy that Alabama hires and the waters of history find their level and Alabama has a dynasty after all.
Urban Meyer saw the dynasty being built by Saban in his conference and he faked a heart attack and moved up to Ohio State right away. Maybe if Saban never comes to Bama the dynasty in College Football is still Urban Meyer’s Florida team? That’s a spooky thought. Ohio State fans might have never gotten that National Championship from Urban, and who knows maybe they are still looking for a coach.
Back to the NFL, are the Patriots the dynasty that we all know them as if they have to contend with a division rival that has a coach/QB combo on par with theirs? Just how well would Saban and Brees have worked together? Saban is a great coach but he isn’t the offensive mind that Sean Payton is. If Brees ends up in Miami do we ever even find out about Sean Payton? What if he never found the QB in New Orleans and gets fired? Maybe he then gets hired by the Jets who would be looking for a coach no doubt after going 3-13 because the AFC East is the hardest division in football now?
It’s fun to think of the domino effect, it’s even more fun to think about Brees/Brady twice a year and all the crappy promo’s ESPN and NBC would make to hype a matchup that needs no hyping. I mean look what they just did for the Brady/Rodgers head-to-head.
One thing is for certain, it would have been a war of attrition and perhaps the legacy that both Saban and Belichick have built wouldn’t be so solidified as the “best of all time” Saban especially since he’d probably never go back to college.