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Tim and Hannah Witt showed they are "die-hard fans" of the Crimson Tide by naming their first son Tyde and their second son Saban, after head coach Nick Saban. Reportedly, Tyde thinks Saban is his baby and won't let go. Could the Tide in Tuscaloosa eventually feel the same?
Saban joins Tyde in Bama-fan clan
Couple name sons for team, new head coach
By Deangelo McDaniel
firstname.lastname@example.org · 340-2469
HARTSELLE — So, how dedicated are you to Alabama football?
If you answer that you have season tickets and that you go to every game, that's not good enough for Tim and Hannah Witt.
They do that, too.
But, if you say that you are naming your children after something associated with Crimson Tide football, then you're at the level the couple says separates "regular fans" from "die-hard fans."
As early as mid-January, the Witts knew their second child was a boy, and they knew his name would be Saban.
That's right, Saban Hardin Witt, who was born Tuesday at about 5 p.m. in Decatur General Hospital, is named after Alabama head football coach Nick Saban. He was two weeks early and weighed 7 pounds and 10 ounces.
So, what if Saban doesn't succeed as Alabama's football coach?
"We'll tell our son he was named after one of the highest paid coaches in college football," the father said.
What if Saban Witt turns into an Auburn fan?
"We'll put him up for adoption," his father, joked. "I'm not worried about that. He was bleeding Crimson before he was born, and I'm going to make sure he continues to bleed Crimson."
Older brother is Tyde
The Witts of Hartselle named their first child, who is 23 months old, Tyde Timothy Witt. He's already attended several Alabama football games.
The family will introduce Saban Witt to tailgating and to the Tide nation when Alabama plays Florida State on Sept. 29 at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.
"My parents are going to the game to baby-sit," his father said.
Hannah Witt, a third-grade teacher at Crestline Elementary in Hartselle, was almost six months pregnant before the Witts decided on a name. Initially, they talked about honoring legendary Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.
"We were going to spell it differently," she said, of the name Bear.
But, the father said one of his good friends, who is a coach in Limestone County, has the nickname "Bear" so they opted against that.
Tim Witt, who watched the Alabama coaching search as closely as anyone, said he thought about naming the baby Saban Jan. 4 after Athletic Director Mal Moore introduced Nick Saban as the Tide's head football coach.
Warming to name
"Hannah was at school, and I called and left her a message," he recalled. "She wasn't excited about the name initially, but after about a week, she started to like it."
The mother said she knew they were going with a name with an Alabama theme, but Saban didn't seem right initially.
"I thought he was crazy in the beginning," she said. "I told some people. They said it was unique, and it grew on me."
The father said friends told him he was crazy.
The Witts said both sets of grandparents — Wayne and Inez Witt of Hatton and Joe and Paula Hardin of Falkville — approved the name.
Hartselle Mayor Dwight Tankersley goes to church with the Witts at Fairview Church of God and tailgates with them at Alabama home games.
Although Saban hasn't coached a game at Alabama, Tankersley isn't surprised that the couple selected that name.
"Just about everybody in church knows they are Alabama football fanatics," Tankersley said.
"Their first child is Tyde. I don't think anybody in church is surprised."
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