By Jim Moore
I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about Cougar football. Well, yes I can, it was probably in the 2007 Apple Cup when Alex Brink found Brandon Gibson all alone for the game-winning touchdown.
But that was short-lived, and it was just one game. The last time we had a season to be fired up about was in 2003 when Matt Kegel took us to the Holiday Bowl, where Will Derting chased Vince Young all night long, and we beat Texas, posting one of the greatest victories in Washington State history.
And now we’re on the verge of something even better, something that might match the Rose Bowl seasons of 1997 and 2002.
Now that Bill Moos
has hired Mike Leach to be the new coach, let me be the first to say hallelujah. If Leach brings the same success to Pullman that he had in Lubbock with Texas Tech, the Cougs could have one winning season after another.
Mike Leach was 84-43 at Texas Tech, taking the Red Raiders to nine bowl games in 10 seasons. (AP)
Leach has never had a losing season in his head-coaching career. Because of that and because he did it in a similarly remote location, I would expect it to happen again at Washington State.
I fully understand that I’m 54 years old, but when it comes to Cougar football, my maturity level approximates that of a second grader.
When it comes to Cougar football, I hope I never grow up.
Now that Leach is at WSU, I will cartwheel from Seattle to wherever you want me to cartwheel, and I don’t even know how to cartwheel. I know, I’ll cartwheel from the KIRO studio to the Azteca across the street and we’ll all have a Merry Christmas drinking Cadillac Margaritas, toasting the news that Leach has arrived in Pullman.
If I’m Coach Sark, I’m suddenly concerned about the Cougs. If I’m Nick Holt, I’m really, really, really, really concerned. In fact, if I’m Nick Holt, I’m guessing my last game with the Huskies will be in the 2012 Apple Cup after Leach’s Air Coug offense shreds his defense to the tune of 555 yards and 65 points.
That’s if Holt’s last game with the Huskies isn’t in this year’s Alamo Bowl. Can you imagine what Landry Jones of the Sooners will do to that defense? You haven’t? I have. If Marshall Lobbestael, our third-string quarterback, can throw for 344 yards against the Dawgs, what will Jones throw for? Whatever your answer is, I’ll take the over.
Even if Leach doesn’t make it big in Pullman, you know what I would like most about the hire? We won’t be boring anymore. We’ll be fun again. We’ll be throwing the ball all over the lot. We’ll accentuate or strengths of being able to attract skill players and compensate for deficiencies in the offensive line.
Plus I’ll like having another colorful character in charge of the Cougs. I miss Jim Sweeney, Jim Walden and Mike Price. I want quipsters. I want a coach who can work a room, who can make me laugh, who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Leach is about as politically incorrect as they come.
I’m so damn excited that I’m going to buy his book today. I don’t even know what it’s about, but I want to read more about this guy and his fascination with pirates, whales, chimpanzees and grizzly bears. I also want to know why he’s so interested in Geronimo, Daniel Boone and artist Jackson Pollock.
That paragraph right there explains why I’m excited about Mike Leach — he’s different, cut from a crazier cloth than you and I.
But you ask — what about that incident at Texas Tech when he supposedly locked Craig James’ kid in a closet or a shed? I read about that this morning, and it sounds like a big misunderstanding to me, or at the very least it was blown out of proportion.
Even if it wasn’t blown out of proportion and it actually did happen, I don’t care at this point. If Leach feels like throwing someone in a closet in Pullman, I’ll volunteer as long as he beats the Huskies every year and gives me a case of Busch Light before he closes the door.
With Leach in Pullman, there will be a little extra oomph in “Go Cougs!” We’ll be able to throw out our chests again. We’ll be on the national map. We’ll be kicking sand in other people’s faces.
Mike Leach in Pullman — this longshot of longshots has turned into a pipedream come true.
You can listen to the Go 2 Guy weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. on “The Kevin Calabro Show.” Send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.