Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Mangino won’t take date bait


Fat paychecks make gaining celebrity status in sports all worthwhile, but that doesn’t mean the job is not without drawbacks.

For example, one remark by Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, said four times in 15 seconds, has taken on a life of its own. Soon, Tech will be forced to change its nickname from Red Raiders to Chubby Chasers.

Or haven’t you heard yet what Leach said in the wake of his team’s unexpected 22-point, home loss to Texas A&M; last Saturday?

He said he and his staff failed to make “our coaching points more compelling than their fat little girlfriends. Now their fat little girlfriends have some obvious advantages. For one thing, their fat little girlfriends are telling them what they want to hear, which is how great you are and how easy it’s going to be. There will be some people inconvenienced, and if that happens to be their fat little girlfriends, too bad.”

In a different era, coaches were judged more on their actions than words. Somewhere along the line, the speech police beefed up patrols.

Kansas coach Mark Mangino said he had not heard Leach’s remarks. Consequently, he couldn’t judge the context. It’s obvious Mangino likes Leach. When asked about it, he didn’t want to talk about it, so as not to get himself into trouble, but he didn’t want to not talk about it, either. Not commenting might have made it seem as if Leach had done something seriously wrong.

This fat little columnist had to ask: Isn’t it bad for recruiting to say that about Tech’s co-eds because, for instance, it seems as if KU’s don’t share that description?

“I don’t want to get into all that now,” Mangino said. “There are pretty girls everywhere. Tech’s got their share, and KU has their share. We’re partial. We think KU has the best. ... He’s trying to have fun with it. He’s joking around. We’re really uptight in society. We’re really politically correct.

“I love watching (Penn State coach) Joe Paterno’s press conferences. We watch them on tape. I think they’re the best. Hey, he is the king of college football. He can say anything he wants. And I love it. He’s earned the right to do that. I sit there and I say, ‘Geez, if I said something like that, I’d have to apologize.’ He earned that right. We need a little of that. We’re too uptight in this society. We need to loosen up and have some fun and not everybody take everything so literally. I don’t want to get into the girls. We’ll leave that to Mike. I’ll focus on football. I’ve got my hands full doing that.”

Asked whether he urges his players to have girlfriends, Mangino laughed, shook his head and said, “This here is a democracy, to a point.”

He’s right. When it comes to how to play the game, all successful football programs are a democracy, to a point. That point is the letter “D,” and that’s where it stops. Democracy and dictatorship both start with the same letter.

But dating advice?

“We don’t talk to the players about who their girlfriends are and what they should look like,” Mangino said.

Red-shirt freshman safety Lubbock Smith has a good handle on whom to listen to, when: “I don’t listen to my girlfriend when it comes to football. I listen to my coaches.”


gardenjay 10 years, 2 months ago

Fat is to little as thin is to....large? What a weird quote to perseverate on.

Speaking of weight, we all love HCMM and wish him a good weight loss program soon. RC.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 2 months ago

It seems to me that the point is 1.) people cannot accept that Mike Leach's comments were just intended to motivate his players, and 2.) that football players need to listen to what their coaches say and prepare the way their coaches expect them to prepare when it comes to football and not what anyone else is saying, and 3.) Mangino likes college girls, and doesn't care who his football players date.

DocBean 10 years, 2 months ago

This one went completely over my head when I first heard it on the radio. With all the Twitter talk lately, I thought Leech was talking about his players on social networking sites. I thought he was basically saying they care more about their image then they do football, but they don't realize that by doing that it's hurting their game, which hurts their image - like having a fat girlfriend, she makes you feel good about yourself, but not making you look good.

Was he really saying his football players have lots of fat girlfriends, and those fatties are a distraction? I guess it's just another great quote from Leach.

Big girls need love too Leach.

Steve Brown 10 years, 2 months ago

Jackie Spratt, daughter of Jack, told her TT steady Eddie "get no big head 'cause you beat KSU', and they beat up on A&M, what is past is past, PS don't touch dis."

Ruby her sister, took after her mama, told her TT posse of men admirers, " you are golden, you'll walk over A&M and come over after for some lovin'.

Coach Leach banned Ruebenesque Ruby from player twitter pages as he licked their contacts clean.

Eliott Reeder 10 years, 2 months ago

This article is just Keegan's way of reminding us that Leach is a nut, and that we should all laugh at his brazen disregard for the PC police. And it is poignant because we've got Tech on Saturday. Leach's point is that his team is getting too complacent and listening to talk around town instead of the talk of the coaches. Simple. Here it is by the way...

Mike leach is a legend. Here are some more for ya...

KUPROUD 10 years, 2 months ago

IMO, this is the dumbest, most worthless article you've written for awhile. Why not a few background articles on players we don't know very well? Oh, right, that would take a little research.

I recently moved out of state and can't pick up the JTV basketball coverage. I have Direct TV. Can someone tell me if the ESPN Full Court will get me the early November games?

KUFan90 10 years, 2 months ago

KUPROUD - ESPN Full Court has carried every non televised game for years now. There is always panic every year when we see one or two games not on the schedule, letter writing/complaint campaigns are launched, threats of cancelling DirecTV, etc. but ultimately every game has been carried.

Unfortunately you won't get the preseason scrimmages against the in-state colleges, but you'll get the rest. Worth every penny.

Bradley Hope 10 years, 2 months ago

Keegan --- A little background into the relationship between Mangino and Leach would suggest they really don't like each other very much. They both coached the offense one year at OU (1999) and various stories suggest Mangino and Leach didn't get along.

jayhawkintexas 10 years, 2 months ago

Did Leach mean "fat" as in overweight or did he mean "phat" as in attractive (in street lingo)? Granted, some people find overweight people attractive but Leach may have been trying to complement the looks of the girlfriends rather than be derogatory.

Spencer Goff 10 years, 2 months ago

I usually try to stick up for you Tom, but yeah, this article is kinda worthless. I cannot decide what you are trying to say. Sorry man, just not a good story.

Jonathan Briles 10 years, 2 months ago

I actually listened to everything that happened at the press conference on tuesday and it was actually quite hilarious at the time. It was a kind of running joke that Keegan could not get too much info for. I was actually hoping on tuesday that Keegan would make an article on this and it was not a fantastic article but knowing the inside of the joke I really liked it.

milwaukeeJAYHAWK 10 years, 2 months ago

what an odd article. not that it's bad or good. just odd.

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