Paul Finebaum’s Honest Take On Kirby Smart’s Low-Blow Shot To Nick Saban

In a recent exchange of harmless banter, Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart took a seemingly lighthearted shot at his rival, Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban.

Smart and Saban are regarded as arguably the two best coaches in all of college football. However, if you read between the lines with Smart’s comments, he thinks he is clearly more committed to his program than Saban is.

Smart recently said in humorous fashion: “My wife wants to go to Italy and the Amalfi Coast, and instead we spent it in Mississippi for five days in Southaven. I enjoyed every minute of that.”

Of course, that was a direct shot at Saban who recently spent a significant (for him) amount of time on vacation in Italy.

Smart’s comment showcased the competitive energy that exists between the two high-profile coaches (even when “joking”).

ESPN college football analyst, Paul Finebaum, swiftly reacted to Smart’s remarks, recognizing the playful jab for what it was.

“Of course that’s a jab. And by the way, I dare say 13 SEC coaches took curious note of Saban going to Italy. Nick Saban approached it very head-on. He talked about COVID putting off their anniversary plans.”

“But I still think – and by the way, I don’t want to take Nick Saban’s three weeks in Italy away from him. He’ll never get them back. But it was curious, especially at a moment like this where another school in the SEC projected to finish higher,” Finebaum said.

Finebaum is very well-connected in the SEC world, so his remarks are interesting to say the least. While it’s not uncommon for coaches to take (short) vacations in the offseason, Saban’s trip overseas was indeed a little out of character for him.

Were you surprised that Saban took an Italian vacation, especially coming off such a disappointing season?

Or is this whole situation completely overblown?