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Sports letters: Latest Mike Leach soundbite draws mixed reactions

UPDATED: Sat., Oct. 5, 2019

Washington State head coach Mike Leach takes to the field during the first half on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State head coach Mike Leach takes to the field during the first half on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Reaction to Coach Leach’s comments after the loss to Utah will be mixed, I’m sure. I am a Husky alum but a mild sports fan of the state of Washington. Watch a couple of games a year on TV. I want WSU to win all games except the Apple Cup. I like Coach Leach as he is candid, and far from canned, in his interviews. He is part of an entertainment package (sports) and draws interest and support. Any negative comments about him should be disregarded, as he generates interest, enthusiasm, and support (dollars) for the football program, and is a treat since Mike Price’s departure. He has demonstrated success and has more qualifications than that he “hates Huskies,” and will motivate the team as he has before.

Go, Coach Leach. Good luck to you, until Apple Cup.

Bill Severson

Stanwood, Washington

Vestal hit the mark with column

Shawn Vestal was right on in his Wednesday column to criticize WSU football coach Mike Leach for publicly calling his college student players “fat, dumb, happy and entitled” after losing a couple of games, mocking criticism he’s previously done to previous team players. Kind of like Faber College’s Dean Wormer telling underachieving student “Flounder” Dorfman that “fat, dumb and stupid is no way to go through life, son” in National Lampoon’s classic 1978 cult movie “Animal House,” and we know who won out at the end of that movie.

When the Cougs embarrassingly lose, as they did to UCLA at home in unbelievably blowing a 32-point lead late in the third quarter, Leach never takes blame or criticism such as when asked why he didn’t just kick the ball out of bounds late in the game instead of directly to a hyped-up UCLA kick returner who ran it back for a go-ahead touchdown? Guess it’s easier to just publicly mock and ridicule your team and hope that such criticism then motivates 18- to 20-year-old college students to wanna blast right out of the locker room in the next game and go “win one for the Gipper!”

Dean Wormer’s comments didn’t work out well for him at Faber College, and Leach’s comments didn’t motivate anyone at Utah last week. Will the same approach work against Arizona State?

Jeff Clausen


Time for Leach to take some responsibility

After seeing WSU Coach Mike Leach’s comments after the last two games, I’ve finally had enough. When things are going fine, everything is hunky dory. When things don’t (and players don’t perform well), you throw your players under the bus. ALWAYS. It’s becoming a tired act. Time for you to start taking some responsibility. If players are joking on the sidelines or aren’t paying attention or don’t have their heads in the game, that’s on you, coach. You’re not coaching them up correctly. If players can’t stay focused for a full 60 minutes, that’s also on you. Calling players lazy, soft or irresponsible is the cheap way out. It takes all the blame off of you. And how about you learning something about clock management at the end of a game? When you’re up 49-17 halfway through the the third quarter, you should NEVER lose a game like that. Take the air out of the ball and run clock. You do that and the other team doesn’t have enough time left to get back in. Basic Football 101, or maybe you were absent the day they taught that concept. Gordon’s nine TDs should have been the main thing on the sports news that night nationwide, but your ego wouldn’t let you try to stop adding more. Sadly, this has happened before – Cal game, 60-59 loss, five years ago and the bowl game against Colorado State. For shame – you have failed Gordon and the rest of the team miserably. Disgusted and disappointed doesn’t begin to cover it.

Ken Rudy

Millwood, Washington

Kudos for printing box scores

Thank you and thanks to The Spokesman-Review for continuing to pursue and to print box scores on all the games, nearly all the sports. It is important, it is history, it is evidence that a competition happened, and it is legacy of the competitors themselves and of their families, friends and community.

I remember the excitement looking in the paper for my name the day after having an extra base hit or gaining the century mark in rushing. I also remember thinking my name gets in and the names of the players on the line who enabled this accomplishment don’t, and that motivated me even more to acknowledge their performance every chance I got.

“Here at the S-R, we’re proud to still carry daily box scores for all varsity sports for all schools.” That reminded me of this pregame pledge by a girls softball team I helped coach: “Pride is a personal commitment. It is that which separates excellence from mediocrity. It is that ingredient that not only pushes us ahead of others, but ahead of ourselves.”

You and your team’s commitment is showing, and you should be proud.

Steve Owings

Spokane Valley

Seahawks excitement reaches far

Thanks for John Blanchette’s Oct. 4 column on the Seattle Seahawks. I am an expat Hawks fan retired on the beach 4,000-plus miles away in Endless Summer Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Last night I watched, what I think, was the best fotrball game I’ve ever seen.

I’ve been viewing many replays today, but as a journalist also, your words made your article as good as the game.

Tom Knight

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

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