I was very fortunate to have recently been able to sit down with the reclusive, and enigmatic, head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raider football team – Mike Leach. Long famous for his high flying offense, weather forecasting, and penchant for sweet, sweet liquor, Leach has not spoken to the media in over 3 years. The silence dates back to an incident in Stillwater, OK where Leach drove his Vespa through a plate glass window and punched a midget who was eulogizing someone apparently unconnected to Leach. Leach has never given his account of the occurences that day, and as of this writing the motivation has never been determined.
I ran into Leach while I was on sabbatical in the steppe region of Uruguay. He was dressed in a canvas doublet, breeches, knitted cap, cotton waistcoat, and stockings. He appeared to be dressed as a 17th century pirate. He had a patch over one eye, a deceased pigeon on his shoulder, and a plastic green sword which bore the cryptic words “HE-MAN, Mattel”.
Not knowing I was the Hellspawned Javelinas travel correspondent, Leach struck up a conversation. I humbly submit to you the transcript of this chance encounter.
Leach – Yeearggh, matey.
DM – Hello?
Leach – What be ye passage?
DM – Sir, I am in Uruguay on a mission of self-discovery. I also am gathering travel news as a website publisher for an A&M affiliated blog.
Leach – Avast! I mean, uh, really? A&M? As is in the soldier school? Do you know who I am?
DM – Well, yes I know you to be Mike Leach, head coach of the Red Raiders.
Leach – ah, uh, then I guess I may appear somewhat uh as if I was a pirate or in costume.
DM – I judge no one.
Leach – I’m lost.
DM – Excuse me?
Leach – Lost. I watched a …snail…crawl…along the edge of a straight razor. Crawling, slithering, along the….edge….and ……surviving.
DM – Fascinating. And this drove you to be dressed as a pirate in Uruguay?
Leach – Long story short -(* blinks repeatedly and audibly groans*) – fritos.
DM – Fritos? I don’t follow.
Leach – Football fan? (* at this point, we have traveled down the road 30 yards together, and Leach waves me into a cantina*)
DM – Yes. Huge. Love college football.
Leach – Do you hate me? You know, for all the times I’ve forcibly entered the figurative rectums of Aggie fans? (* orders two screwdrivers, but with whiskey, not vodka, and a touch of milk*)
DM – I must be honest, I hate you with a white-hot blinding rage. I’ve oft pictured your entrails acting as a sort of lattice work above my back patio.
Leach – (*incoherent mumbling for 23 minutes*)
DM – Mike?
Leach – so yeah football Im like a good coach and lets talk football
DM – Excellent. I do have an, interest I’ll say?, in how your brain works.
Leach – Innovation. new direction. passing.
DM – You do seem to have a unique success with your offense. How do you explain the Raider’s success and the fact no one else seems to be able to run it as well as you do?
Leach – Its all about having fun and passing. Passing. We have 3 plays we run. 3. We practice them all the time. We also have our defense practice these plays.
DM – Doesn’t that concern you in that your defense may only be learning how to defend those 3 plays unique to Tech?
Leach – Defend? We have them run the offensive plays. Offense. Passing. (* facial tics*)
DM – I see. Can you speak more to your offensive success?
Leach – I could play QB in this system. I do, in practice. And at home. It’s repetition. It’s having players have fun. It’s success breeding on success. It’s like that guy on TV – Bob Vila.
DM – What?
Leach – (* Stares at his right hand for 5 minutes *) We train our young men to drop fire on people. But other coaches won’t allow them to pass at the end of the game up 50 points because it’s obscene.
DM – (* I’m uncomfortable. Leach has placed the dead pigeon in his pants *) What is it about A&M? You’ve lost to North Texas, and beaten A&M. You’ve lost 5 games in a year twice, and beaten A&M in both those years. Why?
Leach – It’s those uppity soldiers and fans. Don’t think Tech is good enough, dont think Tech is a threat. We’re good. We pass. We pass. We pass. I like to pass. (*screeching*) GO FOR IT.
DM – With a game three days away, how are you able to be here in South America playing pirate?
Leach – They don’t need me. Its a machine I got up there. They’re running three plays. They’re catching greased balls shot at 90 MPH. They’re running middle slants and fades until they’ve crapped their pants. I am but a messenger.
DM – Don’t you think it’s wasteful, getting paid your salary and cavorting here in pirate dress?
Leach – What do you call assassins who accuse assassins?
DM – Point taken. At 1-1 in the Big 12, how do you rate Tech’s chances to finally break through and win the south?
Leach – We must kill them. We must incinerate them. Player after player. Coach after coach. Team after team. School after school.
DM – (* at this point, I feel physically uncomfortable in Leach’s presence. He’s waving the plastic sword, grimacing, and downing more Leachian screwdrivers*) A&M is coming to Lubbock as the south division leaders at 2-0, how do you feel Tech matches up?
Leach – Doesn’t matter does it? We’re smaller. We’re slower. We have some players with developmental problems. We have some players who frankly aren’t even students at Tech. We run 3 plays. We pass. (* screeching *) GO FOR IT! We beat A&M. Its what we do.
DM – Probably so, as A&M is facing distractions. What do you make of the recent A&M scandal concerning Dennis Franchione and his hand puppet Mike McKenzie? Do you have anything available to Tech donors along the lines of the VIP Connections?
Leach – sure. im an open book. Nothing to hide. Send me money, I’ll send you info. I wouldnt say its for big donors, I wouldnt even say its for Tech donors period. Its not even something that has to do with my coaching or tech at all. Its just a life philosophy, send me money I send you info. My wifes favorite femine hygiene products? $10. My kid’s daily menu? $25. My last mental health evaluation? Moist kibble. Send me a chest full of doubloons and I’ll send you my personal feces which you can read as a runestone.
DM – On that note, you seem to be allowed a certain freedom in Lubbock, out of the national spotlight which may choose to focus on your, uh, uniqueness if you were coaching at a big market school. Any thoughts on moving up to a Michigan, an LSU??
Leach – Me, in Ann Arbor? Peeing in jars, dressing as a pirate, and gonad art don’t fly in a place like that. There’s a method to my madness, and only Raiders can appreciate it.
DM – I don’t see any method at all sir.
Leach – I expected someone like you. What did you expect? Are you a reporter?
DM – I’m an Aggie.
Leach – You’re neither. You’re an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill. (* fornicates with pigeon*)
DM – The…..horror. The…..horror.