What we expected to be a rather short press conference with Mike Leach on Monday turned into 32 minutes of meandering fun. There was game talk, sure, but Leach wandered off in all sorts of different directions throughout. The break to talk about 16mm film follies and students checking out girls in the stands came first, followed by commentary on belt style and taking B12 shots in his ass before games.
I've transcribed the highlights below. Enjoy.
Question: Little bit of a contrast in styles going from preparing for Oregon to preparing for Oregon State....
Reporter: What's the challenge of that? We'll put it in question form.
Leach: Did I get it right?
Reporter: You got it! Yeah!
On HUDL, the film service WSU uses:
I don't the titles or the names. It's all buttons to me. And I'll be honest with you, I don't know how to push the buttons. And so then when my buttons are unpunished, I say HEY and someone comes in and they'll push the buttons. I used to say "What buttons did you push? So that when you leave I can figure it out?" And I've fouled up more computers than I've ever gotten to work correctly. And so after that they get exasperated. Then they say "I'll tell you what: When you need these buttons pushed just call me and I'll come push it again." Because they don't want me to screw up their computer. So it's been a vicious circle for years, but nevertheless I watch a lot of film.
How the film service has worked:
I think it's worked good. You can store stuff, retrieve stuff. The one thing the video I like the rewind and the fast forward better on the video. This has a feature where you can end the play. Just seems like forward and rewind's a little slower on this. I'm paranoid enough ... you know, in video you knew you've got all the plays because it was kind of a start to finish, you ran the tape. On this thing it's stored. For all I know some bug wandered around in that computer and hit some circuit and it skipped 10 plays or something. So I am always afraid that there's a certain number of plays missing or that I didn't see just because it's not something that I feel like has a beginning, and a middle and an end. It's just you're sticking little blue bars and hitting a button and hoping for the best.
On tampering with film and if he's worried about getting all the "tape":
In a game you can tell because there's a clock and a play-by-play. Has anyone hosed me on film recently? No. Over the years? Oh yeah ... when it was 16mm and video and stuff like that, there were all kinds of hijinx that would take place.
On the hijinx of 16mm film:
Film would be missing. People would claim that their thing didn't work, which sometimes was true. Obviously some times was true. Like 16mm, you'd have some kid go up there to shoot the film, you didn't know what was going to come out of that. It'd be the kid with the broken leg "Hey come here we need you to shoot this." "Well okay, how do I do it" "Well just push this button and aim." Sometimes they would video or film some extracurricular stuff. Like you'd be sitting there watching and it'd be like "What the hell's this guy doing?" It's kinda like you'd see a plane or something and that thing would be going up in the sky. You'd be looking at girls in the stands or something and that thing would turn with him. There'd be some things where you'd wonder what they were looking at. Video sometimes they would strategically make sure it was really static-y when it came in.
There'd always be the somebody sent it late. "Oh well it didn't make it on the plane." So you're getting ready for a game and you get your film two days later and they've already had theirs. Because there was a time when GAs or younger coaches would sprint with this film to the airport and get it on a plane to fly to the opponent's place. And some places, depending where you're at, you might have to drive a couple hours just to get to the airport on Sunday where there's limited flights and the rest to get them to express the film to whoever your opponent was and vice-versa. A lot of stuff could happen. As a young coach you'll have been up all night watching the film, cutting it up, in meetings and then you're hurrying to the airport and you're late and there's only one flight.
There's all kinds of stuff. Somebody forgets to bring the film. You're flying all the way out and you're supposed to exchange film with somebody and somebody forgets it. It's endless. It's almost like recruiting and all that. Now the button pushers have taken over and in this case probably for the positive. So it's like that's why, especially now, people say did you watch so and so on TV since you're going to play them in three weeks. No I did not. Because I have all of last year's film, I have all of this year's film. Even though I can't push the buttons to get them to come up, there's people in my office that can. [bangs on podium] BOOM I've got 12 games. It really is handy from that standpoint. Within the conference, sometime on Sunday everybody transports their film simultaneously so everybody has everybody's film. I even have everybody's film that the conference has played.
On Oregon State's defensive ends:
Do the best we can. They play really hard, they're talented. I don't know ... basically have a bunch of people go to Corvallis sometime this week. Take em out, make sure they stay out too late, Shanghai em and leave em in a foreign country. That's what we have in mind. There's some flaws to that and some bugs to that idea that we're working through right now as I speak. ... well the quick answer is block em.
On his pregame rituals:
Biggest thing is ... the time is setup in such a way that the ritual is kind of the routine. The funny thing that I've discovered is that even though the games will be at different times -- you typically get to the stadium the same amount of time before a game -- I'll just naturally do stuff and then I'll look at the clock and say this is the exact time that I always do this. I would say one is I always wear my own belt. And the reason is because my belt's already broken in. So like they have these belts that college football with rhinestone cowboy looking belts kinda took over with metal hardware. That just wasn't my style. I'm sure it looks great on some people. What is this? I've got a belt and there's this hunk of metal studded throughout the thing. So I didn't like those. I had another one that was kind of plastic-y and stiff. So I just screw this I'm gonna just wear my belt. But that's more of a practical thing.
One time we had a doctor -- I haven't done this; if they have them I'll take them. Don't know if they work or not; I haven't ruled against them. B12 shots ... we had a doctor that was giving B12 shots. Our strength coach was really into B12 shots. So I'd get the B12 shot. And I guess we won the game or whatever I got the first one. Then after that, I had to hurry onto the field, I said no I don't have time for the B12 shot. Bottom line is superstition existed with him and a couple other guys. Hey part of the voodoo here is he has to get his B12 shot. So then it got to the point that I got the B12 shot more for them than for me. Because I didn't want a couple nervous coaches. I wanted them settled down and taking a B12 shot would be a small price to pay. You'd be surprised how many times there in the coaches locker room, which is sort of separate and off to the side in Lubbock, I'd be bent over a table when the referees would come in getting my B12 shot, some doctor's sticking a B12 shot in there so everyone has piece of mind.
Try to drink like coffee and some of the liquids early enough, so you're not on the sideline chasing for the resteroom. Try to drink any caffeinated stuff, try to have that early. But that's a strategic.
So there you go. Leach seemed to be in a good mood today. Whether that's a positive sign is anyone's guess.
And here's the video: