Dan Le Batard is an ESPN radio host famous for talking about a lot of stuff... sometimes even sports. His show is one of the most popular on ESPN radio and, love him or hate him, Le Batard is always entertaining.
Most of those things can also be said about Washington State head coach Mike Leach.
On Monday, the two forces of nature met on Le Batard’s podcast, ‘The South Beach Sessions.’ Le Batard always conducts an interesting interview, especially with a personality like Mike Leach, and this conversation didn’t disappoint.
You can listen to the full podcast here, but I’ll post some of the highlights below.
On being asked weird questions in interviews:
“They throw that at me pretty much every week or every other interview and, heck, I figure I better tell it like I see it otherwise there will be too much to keep track of and I’ll get tangled up if I don’t say what I think.”
On Gardner Minshew:
“He’d almost be like if Bert Reynolds and Uncle Rico had a kid. That’d be Gardner. He does have a little Smokey and the Bandit in him.”
On if he’s ever seen a ghost:
“I don’t know if I have or not... For years and years and years, because you know you see this stuff on TV and you go to these places that were allegedly haunted... I do believe there are spirits, but I don’t know how they manifest themselves. Just because people tell ghost stories and have ghost shows doesn’t mean that’s the way the soul exists, so to speak.
It’s almost like the ghost... If you want to see them they’re wise to you and you don’t get to see them. And then if you don’t want to see them, they’ll show themselves to you for sport.”
More on ghosts:
“I’ll tell you, there was a time though at my mother in law’s house... My mother in law and my wife and her sisters, they were gone. [my brother in law] heard a voice down there. At that same part of the house I walked in and saw... It would almost be like a cross between an amoeba and a bobble floating through the air. It’s like you could barely see it, it was almost like something was out of focus... Just a little circle in the air.
Everybody comes back and my mother in law, it turns out, it was always be furniture that had belonged to her mother in law that they had kept and put there... So I had definitely seen the floating orb thing.”
On a wild night in Key West:
“What I like about Key West is, Key West is a great place if you don’t have any plans and you just go out and let it all unfold... You go walk around and ride your bike and you just let it all unfold. I don’t watch a lot of TV in Key West, but you just go downtown and you’ll see something you haven’t seen before.
Here’s just a cross section on a routine night. Someone that’s been out shrimping for an entire month and hadn’t been in for a month, just out on a shrimp boat. When we lived there we’d go to my kid’s baseball game and sitting in the crowd you might have a fighter pilot, you might have someone that just moved over from Czechoslovakia, you might have somebody that just moved in from Haiti for a couple of years, this guy’s dad is a shrimp boat operator, this one is a fishing guide, this one’s mom is a stripper, this guy’s dad is probably a drug dealer, but you don’t talk about it very much... I mean it’s just so diverse.
On the most fascinating animal:
“I’ve got several. I’d say chimpanzees because they’re so incredibly intelligent and I haven’t had any close contact or opportunity to really observe them up close. I had a raccoon when I was a kid, so I like raccoons a lot and I’ve always liked raccoons because they’re very versatile and they just kind of get by. We study grizzlies here, so that’s pretty interesting. We’ve got this area where they’ve got the grizzlies penned up. They study them because they’re grizzlies and also they’ll study even more technical things like, for example, a grizzly’s heart rate drops when he hibernates, so how can that help our patients, type of stuff.
The other is a wolverine. Growing up in the mountains in Wyoming I’ve actually seen a wolverine in the wild about three times, and my dad was a forester, so that clearly helped. You know, nobody messes with a wolverine. A wolverine is all claws and teeth and he’s got this baggy coat that if you happen to bite the wolverine, he’ll turn back around in his coat and bite you right back... I don’t even know where a wolverine would find female wolverines, there’s so few of them and vise versa...”
On connecting to millennial:
“I got into coaching just when 16mm film was going out. My first year or two of coaching I was cutting up film with a splicer and hanging the pieces of film on the wall and taping them together so you can put them on a projector... It really has changed a ton. People ask me all the time how much players have changed. I really don’t think they’ve changed that much, at least the right kind of player hasn’t changed that much. The right kind of guy, if he really, really wants to play and is really motivated to play, he’ll make almost any sacrifice there is to be a good player... The most important thing is to find players that are really motivated. From that standpoint, I don’t think they’ve really changed.”
Whether you obsess with a little bit of information for a long time or obsess with a constant barrage of information all the time, you know, you kind of end up in the same place a little bit.”
More on Millennial these days:
“You notice people don’t date each other much anymore... Even my players, you know, ‘got a girlfriend?’ I mean they don’t really have girlfriends or anything. It’s like they just sit and piddle with their phone.
The thing is, you’d like them to have socially fulfilling lives but I guarantee you that there are some of them that some young lady calls or they think about hanging our with some young lady or vise versa and they’re thinking, ‘yeah, but I’ve got my phone and I was going to push these buttons on my phone and, you know, there’s this game and I get on this thing and play games with my friends so... uh...’ and then pretty soon they’re telling them they’ve got homework or something.”
There’s plenty more on the interview including which college coaches he like hanging out with (a list including Urban Meyer), why a raccoon makes a good pet (until a certain age) and a so-called haunted hotel room that didn’t impress the coach too much.
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