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Rain, sleet, snow, whatever — Cougs practice outside


FROM PULLMAN — Snow is nothing compared to what Mike Leach dealt with during one spring practice in Lubbock.

Ever heard of raining mud? Yeah, me either. But they certainly have in West Texas.

Leach said after giving an inspiring speech to his TTU team before their first day of spring practices in his first season as head coach, they were met with just about every kind of weather possible after they took the field.

Here's what he said about it during Wednesday's press conference.

“We had this young group and went in and gave a speech and showed a movie clip, and I can’t remember which one it was, but it was probably the William Wallace one with Mel Gibson where they’re going to defy the English at all costs.

“So these guys are ready to run through a wall. It’s a clear day in West Texas, a little breezy but no big deal. So we get out there at practice and we saw every weather condition. When we first got out there it was rain, just heavy rain and heavy wind, and this isn’t uncharacteristic of West Texas. What I’m describing happened within about an hour, so everybody charges out there, never gonna leave the field and all this. We had the heavy wind, the heavy rain, then, it started hailing, OK, and so we’re kind of gauging the size of the hail and as it’s drilling these guys in the helmet, it’s kind of flying off their helmet like popcorn, each one of these things would hit their helmet and fly like three feet.

“Everybody’s all cranked up, enthusiastic, and you didn’t want to wreck the whole mojo of leaving the field because we persevere, we try hard and all that. Then, and I used to think this was an exaggeration, tall tale and all that stuff until I got out there, but a couple times a year, it rains mud and what happens is that is you’ll have a dust storm and if the rain clouds and the rain catch up to the dust storm, then the rain comes through the dust storm and literally there’s splatters of mud.

“So then it went from the hail to splatters of mud all over helmets and faces and coats and shirts and everything. And you know, raining mud only lasts probably 15-20 minutes, but it did. We saw pretty much everything but lightning, and lightning was the one thing that would have stopped practice, so we didn’t stop practice. We got through it.”

He says all that to say: “While we’re looking forward to this, it may be like Lambeau Field, playing the Chicago Bears or something. But it should be fun one way or the other.”

So, yeah. They're not practicing inside.

Christian Caple can be reached at Twitter: @ChristianCaple

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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