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The legend of Mike Leach continues to grow even after his death.
ESPN published an interesting deep dive into stadium staffers such as ball boys and chain gang members purposely messing with opponents. Leach gave an interview for the piece back in October, and revealed he once traded some serious words with a guy at a stadium he wouldn’t name.
“There was one team and the guy had done it for years. And it took me a year or two to figure it out, but it was one of the chain guys — you know, the first-down chain. And he wasn’t even holding one of ’em or doing the thing. He’s just an extra guy standing with them with an outfit on and he’d just constantly get in your way. The whole game, he’s in your way … He never said a word. He just mean-mugs you and doesn’t say anything,” Leach explained in the ESPN profile.
Eventually, Leach had enough and threatened to lower the boom.
Mike Leach let the man know he wasn’t playing games.
“Listen, you get in my way, I’ll knock your ass right out there on the field. You’re getting too close. You better get way the f*ck away,” Leach claims he told the man.
When Leach returned the venue down the road, he asked for the chain gang member to not be used, but his request was ignored. So, he directly confronted the man and made it clear no funny business would be tolerated. He told the man, “‘If I have a bad time with you, I’ll kick you out myself. I’ll stop this game right here in the middle of this stadium in front of everybody.'”
“I didn’t have a lot of problems with him after that,” the former Mississippi State coach added in the profile.
The legend of Leach continues to grow.
It’s awesome to hear stories about Leach after his death, especially ones that hadn’t previously been known to the general public.
We need a tape of this exchange immediately. For those of you who don’t know, Leach had a bit of a temper. He could definitely get heated.
There’s no greater example than the infamous locker room speech from Texas Tech. Now, imagine what he would have done if he thought a chain gang member was purposely sabotaging his team.
Finally, major respect to Mike Leach for refusing to name the program to ESPN. He’s not a snitch. Leach knew the code of the college football world. Complain all you want, but never throw a team under the bus. Handle it on the field.
In case you didn’t already know, Leach was a hell of a dude and the fact he didn’t give up a name is awesome. Now, we’ll never know which program it was, which will only add intrigue.
Hopefully, more stories about Mike Leach continue to drip out over the coming years. He’s gone, but he’ll never be forgotten.