Strange things are afoot in Big 12 football. At the end of the season, Kansas coach Mark Mangino was fired for abusing his players (one was made to do a bear-crawl until his hands bled, then a bunch of other (black) players said they'd been threatened with being sent home to get shot with their "homies"
). Now, Texas Tech coach Mike Leach has been suspended from coaching Tech in the Alamo Bowl for putting a player who said he had a concussion in a closet as punishment for "faking" the concussion
. It is craziness. It's also worth noting that Leach had been one of Mangino's big defenders: "The mean man told some player something he didn’t want to hear... Well, there’s a mean man in Lubbock that tells people stuff they don’t want to hear, too, and that’s just part of it.”
And it gets weirder. The player who made the accusation, Adam James, is the son of ESPN announcer Craig James - who had been scheduled to call the Alamo Bowl
. He has been removed from that post, but Craig James has been calling Texas Tech games all year
. Said a user on Life In The Red: "his broadcast of the Tech-NU game was not close to being balanced. He made it sound like the NU D gave up 60 to tech, when in fact it was the least yards a Leach team had ever gained, and one TD was scored by the Tech D!"
Yeah, see, this is why I'm glad I discovered sports blogs. Not only have I discovered that I am not crazy to hate Brett Favre and Tim Tebow - and, Christ, that many other people, even Americans, hated the ridiculously bombastic coverage of the 2009 US Open - but they give me an alternative to the corrupt machine that is ESPN and its cohorts. Because seriously, FUCK that shit. This is why I watch Awful Announcing
As a side note, I actually like Texas Tech (more than the other three Texas teams in the Big 12, anyway) - I like how Mike Leach is all "arrr I'm a pirate"
and the team runs into the stadium in Lubbock led by this chick in a Zorro costume
, I mean, it's awesome, you know. Mike Leach clearly talks too much and has a really short fuse when it comes to his players (he's said that his players were wrong to listen to their "fat little girlfriends"
, he banned the players from having Twitter pages when one player tweeted that Leach was late to a team meeting because Twitter is just for "narcissists" anyway
) - times like that that I'm happy our coach does not talk to the media at all, and mostly just goes batshit psycho on referees. Still, I have always preferred blunt coaches to smarmy ones. And God knows what all is going on in this story, but the whole Craig James angle makes it less straightforward.
But: I'm not one of those people who thinks that college football coaches should be able to do whatever they want to their players (if certain NFL coaches would grow a bit more of a spine, however, I would not object). I'm never going to be all, oh those boys just need to toughen up, society's gotten too soft. Because that just creeps me out, to be frank. It's one thing to be blunt. But if being blunt means you make it obvious that you're a sadist, you still suck.