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Wednesday Flake’s Honors The Pirate

Mike Leach was an enigma and that’s what I liked

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Cheez-It Bowl - Air Force v Washington State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

I wish I could write what most have already done in regards to Mike Leach. He was philosopher coach who lived in his own kingdom. No coach was like him before or probably after. In a profession where just about every head coach has the personality and intelligence of burnt toast, Mike stood out.

He was opinionated, well read, and seemed to be interested in just about everything that came his way. He was special and he was happy to let everyone know it.

I think my admiration of him came when he was at Texas Tech and running roughshod over the Huskers. It was highly frustrating for this team with half the talent could event entertain the thought of going up against college football bluebloods year in and year out. But, he did and did it well for the most part. He totally changed college football and football as a whole for the better.

Yeah, it infuriated me at first but over time I came to really admire his coaching and views on the sport. Then, I started to get to know the coach. He turned out to be a renaissance man. Most coaches stick to what they know and rarely let anyone know what else they are thinking. To be honest, I don’t think most coaches have many thoughts outside of football but that’s a conversation for another time.

Mike leach was not like this. He was what I think most people should be, unapologetically curious.

Mike wasn’t perfect and didn’t hide that. We live in a world where we shun anyone who has a different opinion or slightly falls from grace. It’s probably why we don’t really see or know much about many of the coaches today. There’s no real benefit of doing so. Mike was human and it seemed like he didn’t care to be an infallible stoic character that walks across campus that we see so much of.

I honestly wanted him to coach Nebraska. It would have been a trip but I also know most of the fanbase would not have put up with it. There also might be some issues with the air raid in November but I think he would have figured it out.

So, I’m going to stop here. Maybe someday I will be able to write more about the coach. Instead, there is a collection of articles I have pulled up from the past 20 years that gives you a better idea of what Mike was all about.

Thanks for living coach, we are all better off because of it.

Mankilling Mastodons

Nebraska football announces one-year reduction for season tickets
Nebraska football will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of Memorial Stadium throughout 2023, including a one-year reduction in season ticket prices.

Date set for Nebraska's 2023 Spring Game; Alberts discusses plans for East balcony seating If you have the 2023 calendar already set out on the desk, and the Red-White scrimmage is your jam, get your marker out.The Nebraska...

Nebraska Basketball: Husker environment makes strong impression on 2023 forward Baye Ndongo
Nebraska basketball's environment makes strong impression on 2023 forward Baye Ndongo

Other News From The Sporting World

The Detroit Lions Are Just Getting Started - The Ringer
Dan Campbell, Jared Goff and Co. are 6-7 and have a legit shot at making the playoffs. But whether they get to the postseason or not isn’t the point—this team is built for the long term.

Big Ten schedules, divisions: What makes sense when USC, UCLA join the conference? - The Athletic
What changes could be coming, and why are they coming when USC and UCLA join the Big Ten in 2024?

New Locations Help ‘College GameDay’ Post Record Viewership
The traveling college football pregame show visited four new schools this year -- which paid off big from a ratings perspective.

League One Volleyball unveils inaugural pros | SportBusiness
League One Volleyball has announced the signing of its first professional athletes, former Olympic gold medalists Kelsey Robinson and Justine Wong-Orantes…

Mike Leach

Mike Leach dead: The Mississippi State coach’s Air Raid offense transformed college football.
Mississippi State’s Mike Leach leaves behind a complicated but towering legacy.

Fight club: The inside story of Mike Leach, Hal Mumme and Guy Morriss' boxing offensive linemen and the 1997 Kentucky Wildcats - The Dispatch
More than 20 years ago, the three Kentucky coaches hired a boxing instructor to teach their linemen the sweet science.

A day with Mike Leach: Sailing Key West's high seas with the pirate captain - Spencer Hall spends eight hours on a boat in Key West with Mike Leach, the pirate captain himself, which gets him an elf story, a discussion of fish and their lack of education, late-night pizza, and much more that he never anticipated.

Coach Leach Goes Deep, Very Deep - The New York Times
7:02 . . . 7:01 . . . 7:00 . . . It was still ordinary time. The seconds ticked off the digital clock on the locker-room wall. A smell: the acrid odor of vomit. They were still ordinary college football players, and a few of them had lost their pregame meals to a war of nerves. Side by side at their lockers the players sat, silently, almost penitently, stomachs churning, waiting for their coach to show up and to make the place a lot less ordinary.

Remembering Mike Leach: what the Mississippi State coach meant to myself and college football - Sports Illustrated Mississippi State Football, Basketball, Recruiting, and More
Mike Leach's impact on countless lives, including my own, will never be forgotten in the midst of this unexpected loss for not only Mississippi State, but the entire world of college football.

Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach dies at 61 - Sports Illustrated
The Mississippi State coach helped revolutionize football’s passing offense and guided some of the game’s most prolific quarterbacks.

Mike Leach: College football world mourns Mississippi State coach
The head coach who invented the Air Raid offense died at age 61.

Mike Leach vs. the Huskers - All Huskers
A look back at the coach’s games against Nebraska and what he said afterward

Mike Leach was entertaining, sure. But don’t forget that he also was an innovator.
In death as in life, much of the focus on Mike Leach will be on his value as an entertainer, which, in death as in life, will miss the point.

» The Pirate and His Pupil
After butting heads for two seasons, Mike Leach and Connor Halliday have finally found common ground — and air. Now, the passing records are starting to fall.

Yellow Journalism

Notre Dame’s uncovered tombs start to reveal their secrets | Paris | The Guardian
Two sarcophaguses unearthed in reconstruction work after 2019 fire identified as elite canon of cathedral and young cavalier

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