Tue Jan 03 05:22pm EST
New Washington State coach Mike Leach has a lot to say about just about everything, and bestowed a typically eclectic bloc of wisdom upon a grateful citizenry today in a live chat with the Seattle Times. Among the many topics discussed:
On his reported infatuation with pirates.
"It's not something I selected. It all started when Michael Lewis wrote an article on me [see here — ed.], and he interviewed players who heard a speech I gave when I used a replica of Pirates sword. We talked about how whether they swung their sword dictated whether you lived or died.
"I got flags, pins, swords, books, hats, Mickey Mouse ears with Pirates stuff on them. A sterling silver skull and crossbones. Posters and paintings. I got 6-foot skeleton. It's in storage in Lubbock. I'm still getting it. As far as nicknames, as a kid, you don't get to select them. Based on the ones I could have gotten tagged with, I feel very fortunate."
On whether he's gone cow-tipping yet.
"No, I did that when I was a kid. So I've kind of lost my touch. Maybe there are some folks in Pullman who can get me back in practice. I grew up in Wyoming, so this cow-tipping stuff is nothing new for me."
On how to recruit athletes to Pullman, Wash.
"I tell 'em what should excite them about the place is what excites me. It's a beautiful place. The association with the fellow students. We're in a town of about 30,000, yet there's 26,000 students here. Eight miles away there's Moscow and the University of Idaho. You consider the variety of things around here. The geography flatlines, rolling hills, mountains, lakes, streams. You've got skiing, yet you're close to metropolitan areas. It's a true college setting. When you have that, the students and college experiences is a lot tighter."
On potential changes to the Cougar uniforms.
"I'll tell you what, it is kind of amazing what appeals to the guys that I'm coaching compared to the older crowd, though. There has to be happy medium. Getting players excited about what they're wearing. Some places change them, others don't and probably shouldn't.
"I don't know what I think of those Oregon helmets (last night in the Rose Bowl). I'd like to hold one and see what I think. It caught my attention. As far as uniforms: Just put 'em on and go play.
"My son is 15 and he loves the uniforms teams are wearing. There's a message there. He thinks like the players. Captivating the players and the fans is key."
On who would win a fight between a great white shark and a grizzly bear in waist-deep water.
"Let me see. That brings up an interesting point. I read somewhere that a bull has never lost to a lion or a tiger.
"If it's fresh water, I think grizzly bear. If it's salt water, I'm going to go with a great white. Grizzly could tap that joker on the head pretty good. But those great whites can get 10 yards long. That would be fun to watch. Can you arrange that? We'd all like to check it out."
Incredibly, Leach managed to talk a little football, too, although how the conversation got there I can't really explain.