Here is the latest experiment in social interaction, sponsored by the fine folks at Starbucks. Engage with the nearest stranger standing at the grocery store checkout line, sitting at the bar top, or mingling at a coffee shop, and ask them who they voted for in the last election. If they mention Hillary or Bernie Sanders, respond with a phrase such as, “…why not Trump?” Then mentally time how long it takes before the conversation degrades into a senseless attack based on raw emotions.
It not surprising that within that moment of time, an individual identified as a Trump voter, with all the dignity of being rejected by a stream of feminist-induced pepper spray on a first date, is fair game for an array of indecent non-verbal gestures, incessant blabbering, and a tag team effort of mob injustice eagerly jumping on the ideological dog pile.
Thus, only an individual with the pedigree and reputation of a Mike Leach, the modern iteration of a master architect in molding the obsolete on the fringe of the college football landscape, could channel the likes of Jimmy Buffet and the pirate infested tropical waters of irreverent nuance in encapsulating the prominent societal debate within the modern realm of amateur athletics.
Leach is widely known as a gun-slinging buccaneer-loving and at times an esoterically brash coaching diplomat of high octane offenses and fireworks, exploding the scoreboards in college football outposts such as Lubbock, Pullman and Ames, which have more in common to the dusty street justice milieu of cowboys, the wild west and manifest destiny, than the hipster tech-infused urbanity of the campus environment.
His reputation may be familiar to a widespread audience, not through his coaching acumen, but for allegedly punishing the son of a former NFL player and broadcaster, by locking the student athlete in a shed for apparent indiscretions.
Well, Leach survived that controversy, only to flourish in his latest destination as the coach of Washington State University, in the before mentioned burgeoning metropolis of Pullman, Washington. While light scandals will always be synonymous with the man who chooses to reference Jimmy Buffet and pirates as entertaining compliments to the mundanities of football lexicon (Leach and family own a home in Key Largo), the coach, like the president, has taken to Twitter in freely expressing political views which are probably not too popular in corporate media.
During Leach’s current bout of public intrigue, he committed the ethereal sin of criticizing Obama in a Tweet. The backlash has been nothing sort of a raging waterfall of chaos, intolerance and petty name-calling, reports the Seattle Times. His well-articulated maelstrom of political discourse promoting open discussion, unfortunately included an altered YouTube video of the former president seemingly dismissing the competency of US residents when negotiating person affairs in the absence of government.
The subsequent online uprising swiftly invaded the viral threshold as bots and paid shills, joined Twitter users in a battle of reactionary thoughts and coarse language. Of course, the complete absence of middle ground between the two dominant opinions is a testament that mainstream politics no longer reside in the construct of civility or reason.
Leach is an ardent supporter of Trump, but is also a proven and respected NCAA Power Five leader of a football program, who has established a track record of winning at every stop along the way. There is no indication that he makes judgments by skin color. As the internet possesses an exact and ancient memory, especially with the propensity of the social networks to store and share all points of user data, what consequences will the Twitter rant have on the future success on the gridiron in the Palouse?
Extremists have vehemently established the digital precedent that criticizing the policy and competency of Obama or any high profile African-American is categorical racism. Couple that notion with the obligatory and unfair labels of bigot and misogynist for Trump supporters, and Leach may soon be swirling in an impossible boiling cauldron that will earn him a daily segment of hate on “The View.” While the former Texas Tech coach is no dummy (He earned a JD from Pepperdine), at times academically smart individuals can make up for their resiliency in the classroom, with lapses in common sense.
“Coach Leach, as your attorney I advise you to dump Twitter and organized a bear hunt in the rugged heights of Wyoming.”
An interesting and crucial foundational dynamic of the blaze of contrived social network outrage, is that the majority of student athletes which Leach recruits are of minority or mixed race, and time will tell if the world of partisan politics, which has brazenly and unjustly invaded the decision making mechanism of prospective applicants and their families, has forever changed the future landscape and policy of NCAA athletics.
Will the parents of five-star wide receiver allow Leach into the living room of their four bedroom home in suburban Los Angeles? Tune in next Winter to find out.
Read the Seattle Times article here.