It's Shark Week, as most of you know, and Mike Leach has his own fascination with sharks. To be fair, he has a fascination with pretty much any animal, which makes him an interesting coach to talk to. But since sharks are especially topical this week, it seemed like a great time to let him tell a shark story.
So after practice, Leach went to work. He was asked about sharks, and whether he had a Shark Week story, and he didn't disappoint. What follows is a transcript of the interview. It pretty much speaks for itself.
"We had one ... this is kind of a bad deal. It was Shark Week. We were with the staff down there in Key West. As a matter of fact, if you want to read it it's in my paperback book that's out right now, which everyone should buy. Just because you have the hardback doesn't mean you shouldn't buy the paperback.
There's a place called Snipes. And what it is, it's kind of a sandbar with shallow water and boats all congregate out there and kind of picnic and throw Nerf footballs and stand in chest deep water. So we're out there and it's towards the end of the day. And it's Shark Week. And leaving the hotel, a couple guys on staff had watched Shark Week on TV, so they were already pretty amped up on the whole shark thing.
Me and a buddy on mine -- I've known him for years; one of my best friends in Key West -- were still out in the water. And on the boat, they'd been eating chicken. Dion's Chicken. If you ever go to Key West you need to try it. So they're eating chicken, throwing the bones in the water, essentially chumming pretty much anything that's swimming around there.
So as Joe and I are coming towards the boat, a fella named Charlie gets in the boat and says 'I don't want to alarm you, but there's a big shark circling this boat.' We realized we're probably about 65 yards from the boat. But we are in chest-deep water. And son of a gun there's a shark circling that boat.
So what we do is we got together so we looked as big an object as possible. And the one thing was I will say we weren't swimming. Our feet were on the ground. If it came to any hand-to-hand stuff, we probably would've lost our arms and everything, but probably would've survived.
The shark would swim one way ... we'd scoot up to the boat and stop and stand there. The one thing I will say: The shark, he didn't look like he was all stirred up. He kind of looked like he was kind of swimming through his neighborhood and looking for some more chicken bones, to be perfectly honest. So we worked our way up to the boat and climbed into the boat."
He added that the shark tale has grown, as any good story usually does.
"As you ask members of the staff how big that shark was, that shark has grown over the years."
I'll be back with more from practice, but this story should hold you over.