Nick Saban, College Football’s Uncharismatic Conservative

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Men who spend a great deal of time on television tend to cultivate hair styles that look ridiculous in any other setting. This is true of game-show hosts and chatty morning anchors; it is equally true of college football coaches. The iconography of coach hair styles has been varied: Jimmy Johnson’s silver side part, concretized by gel, at the University of Miami, or Pete Carroll’s happy-dude pompadour, at the University of Southern California. But today the essential coif in the game is the imperturbable brown tuft of the University of Alabama’s Nick Saban, which appears on CBS just about every Saturday during the fall, the individual hairs pulling up and away from the coach’s face, as if keeping their distance.

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