You have to pity poor Mike Leach. The normally unflappable father of the Air Raid offense has finally had his will broken. A year that has been unkind to the best of us has beaten him to the ground in a way I never thought could be possible. I look at his resume and just always assumed he was an agent of chaos who thrived in uncertainty. Who feeds off the energy of adversity like it gives nutrients to his soul. I thought he was one of those people who my sainted mom used to say "are only happy when they're miserable."
This is not that. This is a defeated man. Someone who isn't enjoying the process one damned bit. Who's sick and tired of being fed up with being sick and tired. Who's done with, his words, incessant change, adjustment, convoluted, twisted up, commotion and clutter and probably relieved it'll be all over Saturday and that, at 2-7, there's no bowl game for him to worry about and prolong the agony.
In a way, he speaks for all of us. There can be a fine line between totally deranged and spitting the truth others dare not speak. In fact, if he'd said this a week ago I might have quoted him in my Christmas cards.
In another, more relevant way, he's got massive balls to be making $5 million a year to deal with all the changes the NCAA is forced to do just to keep some semblance of a season going. Changes, by the way, that haven't prevented Nick Saban, Brian Kelly and a half dozen other coaches in the Top 25 from being undefeated. So they've had to move deadlines around, cancel plans, uncancel plans, often at the last minute, and rearrange everyone's lives with contingency upon contingency. How is that different than, I don't know, what every other program has had to go through? And what a football coach asks his players to go through every game of every season?
I appreciate Leach's frustration. Just not nearly as much as I appreciate Alabama and Notre Dame winning in spite of it all. I don't find their seasons to be joyless at all. And I thank the football gods we've got a season to care about at all. One of Bill Parcells' most often used quotes is when he'd say when you give your players an excuse to lose, they'll take it every time. I guess that goes for Mike Leach as well.
I'm just glad he held up the bottle in this shameless promo. Otherwise I would've just assumed he was really falling on hard times.