Much to my chagrin -- and Mick Jagger's as well -- there is Sympathy for the Devil.
It seems "Nick Satan" got his feelings hurt when Florida offensive line coach Tim Davis -- a former Saban assistant -- jokingly said that Florida's Will Muschamp "coached under the devil himself for seven years… I only did three."
It was a good gag, delivered in the cozy confines of a Space Coast Gator Club gathering earlier this month. Only there are no cozy confines anymore. Not with cell phones, iPads, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and about a zillion other social media platforms.
Word got out, of course. Nicky had his feelings hurt -- boo hoo -- and Muschamp and Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley each called Saban during the SEC's annual spring meetings this week to apologize for Davis' comments.
I hope they didn't feel the need to send flowers and a Hallmark card. Did they genuflect in front of Saban and beg "please forgive us, please forgive us!"
Good grief. And the PC Police win again.
What's wrong with calling Saban "Satan?" Or Steve Spurrier "Steve Superior?" Or Florida State "Free Shoes University?"
College football is all about rivalries, often contentious ones. As long as there aren't any arrest warrants issued, I'm fine with that.
That's why Spurrier remains my favorite college football coach of all time. He loves gags at Florida, and still does now that he coaches at South Carolina.
Spurrier gave us Free Shoes U. He also labeled former Georgia football coach Ray Goff "Ray Goof" and would loudly joke that "you can't spell Citrus without UT" -- a shot at the University of Tennessee's inability to beat Florida and advance to the SEC Championship game.
Spurrier also once joked at a Gator Club function in 1997: "I hear they just hung a new sign outside the Citrus Bowl in Orlando: Winter Home of The Tennessee Volunteers."
I'm assuming if that happened today, ESPN would have an "Outside the Lines" special demonizing Spurrier, and Foley would force him to write "I will be nice to Tennessee" 100 times on the blackboard.
So what's exactly wrong with jokingly calling Saban the Devil in Disguise? Frankly, it should be viewed as a term of endearment because he's made the SEC a personal hell for anybody who wants to compete with Alabama. Three national titles since 2009 defines a dynasty.
It's easy to bust on Saban because of jealous envy. It's also easy to bust on him because of his pretentious "I'm better than you" attitude, not to mention that he lied like a weasel when he denied he was leaving the Miami Dolphins to coach at Alabama after the 2006 season.
"It's unbelievable," former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula once said of Saban. "There were four or five direct statements that were blatant lies. That tells you a little bit about the guy."
Shula is an icon. Put him up there as my favorite NFL coach of all-time. Great guy.
Saban? Not so much.
He preaches about "integrity" at the college level but defected at the sniff of a better opportunity.
So to review, you have a highly-successful, unlikable guy with a shaky moral compass at the top of the mountain in college football.
Is everybody else in the SEC supposed to kiss his ring?
Besides, Saban should embrace this whole devil deal. I have. Check out my column photo. My friends, colleagues, flag football teammates, and even some enemies call me "El Diablo."
"Forget Nick Saban, check out @georgediaz column sig in today's Sentinel if you want to see the devil ...," my colleague Mike Bianchi tweeted recently.
Perhaps Mikey is simply jealous because I am cuter and have much more hair.
But it's all good, my bald buddy. I expect no apologies.
Neither should Nick Saban.