Mike Leach’s Guantanamo Becomes His Waterloo

One thing the new Burque Babble is going to have in it is sports.  Really.  Sports.  As distasteful as it might be, your humble blogger actually follows sports to a disturbing degree.

He knows who is leading in all the Euro soccer leagues, for instance.

Of course in American manly-man circles, knowing anything about Euro soccer (or soccer at all) is cause for being kicked out of the Man Club, regardless of one’s personal level of testosterone.

But I also follow American sports, to a fashion, a fashion that enables me to start and continue a range of conversations at bars with strangers.  This fashion was much more my style in younger years, and I admit I made a rare stop at a bar last night and had no idea which team the Lobos were playing, or that there was even a basketball game at all (the 5,000 patrons all wearing red were my only clues).

Besides Euro soccer, my own sports weaknesses are twofold:  baseball and sports fans in utter tumult.  My love of baseball goes way back and has continued on despite a hatred of both Fox Sports and the New York Yankees.  It’s possible that my love of baseball has only continued because of my hatred of the Yankees at this point, as I really don’t cheer for a team, unless that team is playing the Yankees.  Then I’ve been a fan of Team X since…forever.

The past baseball post-season was a particularly distasteful experience.

And speaking of distasteful, my other sports pastime concerns laughing over the verklemptitude of sports fans.  Which gets me to newly ex-Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach.  It seems Mr. Leach has for years had some unusual practices, including keeping players in Guantanamoesque positions in dark corridors.

At this point the story is as murky as any darkened corridor, but the upshot is that Leach has been fired.  Fans of the team have vented their pleasure/displeasure/jihad-level rage over the firing, and those  interested can follow the fun at message boards like RaiderBoard.com.

Subject threads currently include “Could the allegations be too embarrassing?”, “So who do we hire?”, and “Drop this Leach loyalty act”.

The obvious question here is why does Scot, a person who could not possibly care less about Red Raider football, enjoy reading through these things?  I think it’s centered in my utter amazement at the whole “fan” thing.  Why do humans tend toward becoming fans of things?  Why are those things almost always somehow tied to geographic proximity to the fan in question?  Why do we form bonds with teams/rock stars/politicians by virtue of silly things like having shaken their hand, attended the same college or been in the same restaurant once six or seven tables over?

And one of the most fascinating expressions of this fandom comes out when something bad happens to a team. Go check out Notre Dame message boards when the Fighting Irish lose a football game.  You’d think a terrible calamity had just literally wiped out families around the country.  Those looking for Yankees schadenfreude are directed to “Replacementlevel.com”.  A team can have 27 World Championships, but drop one game to the Blue Jays in May and you’ll read of such teeth gnashing and angst that you’d be convinced the team plane went down in flames directly over the message poster’s home.

Anyway, the rather pudgy and always unorthodox Mr. Leach is out of a job, a result that looks to almost certainly offer the ex-coach cozy unemployment and millions of severance dollars. Things could be worse, and this gives a chance for Red Raider fans to prove their extreme fandom by virtue of extreme postings like “**** Adam.   I hope he gets herpes.” referring to the young student-athlete who first reported Mr. Leach’s Guantanamosity.

**** Adam.   I hope he gets herpes, indeed.

Go team go!

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