If Mike Leach ever streams the classic film, “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” he will probably fast-forward to the funeral.
The Mississippi State football coach elaborated on his elope strategy as opposed to a wedding day Wednesday on the SEC teleconference, even though he did not elope when he married his wife, the former Sharon Smith, more than 30 years ago. Of course, this is why he is for elopement.
But he and Sharon are still married and have four children and three grandchildren.
Leach was asked on the teleconference if he and Sharon had eloped since he was so passionate about telling the SEC Network’s Alyssa Lang to do so after she asked for wedding advice Saturday following the Bulldogs’ win over Texas A&M.
“No, in hindsight, though, it sure would’ve been a good idea,” said Leach, who met his wife while both were students at Brigham Young in the 1980s, on Wednesday. “It was a long month weeding through all the logistics. Everybody thanks they’re so important, and they’re forgettable in the end.”
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Soon, Leach was thinking of an elope audible.
“It didn’t take long,” he said.
When they struggled to decide on a date, Leach remembers thinking, “This is already a pain in the ass.”
And things spiraled from there.
“I mean as soon as my mom, my sisters, and my aunts got involved,” said Leach, who is the oldest of six siblings. “And of course hers (Sharon’s family) were very involved. She’s the youngest of five girls. Can you imagine that – five straight girls? And she was drinking the Kool-Aid a little bit, too, you know.”
The color for the invitations was another taxing decision, but nothing called by Leach, who is known as one of the best play callers, seemed to appease the wedding planners. Leach remembers that going a little like this:
WEDDING PLANNERS: “Do you want the blue invitations, the tan ones or the pink ones?
LEACH: “I don’t care.”
WEDDING PLANNERS: “OK, well, we want you to be a part of this, too. You’ve got to give us an answer.”
LEACH: “OK, the blue ones.”
THE FUTURE MRS. LEACH: “I kind of like the tan ones.”
LEACH: “All right, fine, the tan ones then.”
THE FUTURE MRS. LEACH: “Well, you’re just saying whatever answer that I give you.”
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“And you can’t give them a good answer,” Leach said. “You just have to go work or go hang out or go make up a reason not to be around.”
Then another reporter on the teleconference joined in.
“The women like the romantic stuff, Mike,” he said.
“No, they like the process,” Leach said, borrowing a term that Alabama coach Nick Saban made famous. “They like processes, where they rein everybody in and get control and drama.”
In the end, Leach said the best strategy may be just to stay engaged.
“Heck, stay engaged and have like a 10-year engagement (anniversary),” he said. “This is our 11-year engagement anniversary, you know.”
Oh, and No. 23 Mississippi State (3-1, 1-1 SEC) hosts Arkansas (3-1, 1-1 SEC) at noon Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium on the SEC Network. No wedding is scheduled in the stadium, though that has happened.