It's getting obvious that it doesn't make much such to mindlessly venerate college football coaches—they're not gods, and when they're treated as such, they often start to believe that standards of human decency don't apply to them. That's why, when Nick Saban made a recruiting visit to an Georgia-area high school this week, students and teachers gave him a wide berth and admired him from a respectful distance. Well, except for those students and teachers that burst into to tears of joy and left class to get his autograph, which was most of them:
When this A-lister walked down the halls, there were people who actually broke down in tears upon sight.
No, this wasn't Lady Gaga or somebody from Hollywood.
It was Nick Saban, probably the greatest college football coach in history.
When you guide your team to three out of four national championships, you can have that type of Elvis-like effect on bystanders.
"Yes, it was unbelievable," Ridgeland High School coach Mark Mariakis said with a laugh, confirming the tears of joy that were shed at his school.
"It was a state of disbelief that Coach Saban was in our school. It was a frenzy. We had to strategically go down the hall at certain times, meeting teachers, and going from Point A to Point B. Coach Saban was as professional and classy, and handled it as well as anybody could've. I know he's used to it.
"Once one kid or teacher saw him, the text messages and tweets started flying. The next thing you know, little heads are poking outside of classrooms. And it was hard to tell the kids not to come out and get autographs when the teachers were coming out and getting autographs."
I'm sure it was a pleasure to watch Nick Saban—a man of limitless charisma and social ease—work the crowd of fawning teachers and ninth-graders. He sends positive vibes out into the world, and they come right back to him.