Saturday, May 26, 2007

He's our coach, and you can't have him!

Coach Leach is one of a kind. Period. That is said about people all the time, but in this case, it's actually true. And just to prove's a story that was originally posted on a couple of years ago...

So the wife and I are cruising around Pearl Harbor taking in the sights and sounds of such a solemn place. For those of you who have been there, you know that there's more to it than just the Arizona. There's a museum, and other assorted sights. Well, one thing was an old submarine named the Bowfin. For more info on the Bowfin, go to this relatively annoying website.

In any case, the whole thing was cool, getting to walk through a submarine used in WWII. We're above decks, and I happen to catch a flash of red flying off a kid's head. I look over, and sure enough, his hat had just blown into the harbor. Bummer, I think.

Well, his father just stares down into the water, and scratches the back of his head as the family stands wordlessly around him. Nice looking family, I think - Dad, Mom, two daughters and a son (if I remember correctly).

Well, a light bulb goes off over Dad's head. He looks to the wife, and says, "I think I can reach it."

Heh. There's no way in hell he's going to reach it.

"No, seriously, If...Okay. I think if I hang off...the...uh, railing...I can reach it. Just hold on to my foot"

At this point, he looks as though he's going to actually climb over. Chuckling to myself, I elbow the wife. "Look at this. This dude who looks like Mike Leach is fixing to be swimming. Should be entertaining."

Wife looks over, looks at me with a cocked eyebrow. "Uh, John, that IS Mike Leach," she says.

No way, I think. I look over. Light bulb goes off over MY head. Sure enough, that is Mike Leach. Now this is going to be immensely more entertaining than I originally thought.

"Honey...I don't think you're going to reach it," pretty wife says.

"Dad, don't worry about it," well-behaved son says.

Dad scratches the back of his neck, and stares down at the forlorn hat, bobbing in Pearl Harbor. Again, a light bulb goes off.

"No," he says, turning with a purpose. "They have something," and walks down the deck, right past me and my googly-eyed, easily star-struck wife, right past the Filipino blue-checkered shirt wearing museum attendant and right into a yellow-taped off area with what appeared to be a big pile of service [censored]. He proceeds to move some buckets, and other assorted janitorial gear, and comes upon his goal. He starts pulling out this long ass pole.

This pole is about twenty feet long, I swear to God, with a pool net on the end. He turns really quickly with this monstrosity and nearly bowls over a Japanese tourist who is gawking at him. His wife says something along the lines of "Oh, boy...Go, coach go," in a tone I can only translate as moderate, unsurprised bewilderment. She turns to the daughter, "Your Dad...he just doesn't care, does he?"

Meanwhile, back at the Filipino blue-checkered shirt wearing museum attendant a look of abject horror has conquered her face. She watches as he walks back past her, holding this ridiculous pole over his head. Suddenly, it dawns on her that it is her job to stop this man.

"Sir, can't do that. What are you doing? Stop, sir, please."

Mike Leach does not hear her. He reaches the point where the hat overboard has occurred and dips that pole into the harbor, fishes out the hat. He stands there triumphantly for a moment, holding this pole over his head as tourists stare at him in wonderment, his daughter is beside herself with laughter, and the Filipino blue checkered shirt wearing museum attendant stares at him angrily.

"Sir, you MUST put that down," Filipino blue checkered shirt wearing museum attendant snaps.

He looks over at her as though he had not yet noticed her. "Oh...uh...Yeah, I know."

Watching him extricate the hat from the net was as amusing as watching him deal with the angry Filipino blue checkered shirt wearing museum attendant.

He gets the hat, shakes it out, and puts it right on his son's head. Sheepishly, his son reaches up and wipes a few drips from his forehead. "Thanks, Dad."


In any case, I met him in the museum - real nice guy. I waited for him to gain some separation from his family, because I don't want to be annoying guy who interrupts family time. In any case, I turn around in the museum and he's right there, looking at some medals. Family is nowhere in sight, so I say "Coach, you mind if I get a picture?"

He looks up at me, smiles, says, "Absolutely. You from Texas?" Austin, I say, I'm a Longhorn. "They got a lot of you down there. Somebody fills up all those seats in that stadium every time we're down there."

We exchange a few more pleasantries, and I'm ready to let him get back to his family. Don't want to be annoying or anything. "Real nice meeting you, Coach," I say.

"Yeah, we got you up in Lubbock this year, though. Should be a good game," he says. Well, we don't seem to play well in Lubbock, I reply. "It's always a good game when we play Texas," he says. Yeah, kind of a rivalry, I say. "Well, A&M seems to be more of our rival right now," he says. They don't seem to like you all very much right now I say. He chuckles. I tell him there's nothing we enjoy more than watching his Red Raiders beat the Aggies. He looks at me. I told him good luck, except against us, and he looked at me again and said "We'll need it." I think he wanted to laugh or talk more about college football. He really seemed flattered that he was recognized so far from home.

Real nice guy, smelled no alcohol on his breath, etc, etc. Just seemed exactly like the Mike Leach you see on TV following a football game. Just kind of in his own little world.

Anyway, that's it.

That's our Coach!

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