Today’s featured Guest Blogger is JEFF NUSSER from CougCenter.com! I enjoy his blog and I am happy he agreed to contribute this week. There is a link to his site along the right hand side. Happy Friday! – Erik
When I hear how excited people are that Mike Leach is now our coach, I think to myself: “You have no idea.”
Not that other people aren’t legitimately excited. Of course they are. But it’s hard to imagine that their own personal excitement can legitimately rival my own. It probably does. But indulge me for a moment.
Grady Clapp and I launched CougCenter.com back in August 2008. In internet years, that’s practically a lifetime ago. (As an aside, Cougfan.com has been around since 1998 — I feel like that kind of longevity doesn’t get the kind of appreciation it deserves. Applause to you, sirs.) The site’s launch coincided with Paul Wulff’s first season. Turns out, we had pretty much the worst timing ever. The tepid excitement that came from the curiosity of changing coaches quickly turned into dread and embarrassment as that first season burst into a tire fire of epic proportions. While most fans had the luxury of shaking their head and changing the channel, we had to write about it.
Every. Single. Game.
Day after day, week after week, we were trying to grow our fledgling little site by coming up with stories about a football team that was losing games by margins we could have never imagined just five years removed from a Holiday Bowl victory. There was so much fan interest in the team that Grady, Craig Powers and I participated in this epic game thread about six weeks after our launch. If you look closely, you’ll notice there were 351 comments … all of them by the three of us. (Craig wasn’t an author yet, but it was dedication like this that caught our eye!) You’ll also notice that we were still sort of in awe of how bad the team was.
If only we knew.
Here’s the point: I have written about more terrible football than I care to remember. Trust me when I tell you that it’s harder than it sounds. And while I was equally OK with Wulff leading this team into a fifth season or replacing him with someone expectedly benign, words can’t describe the excitement I felt when it was reported that Mike Leach was the guy.
It isn’t just the fact that the guy is a proven winner; it’s the whole package. The explosive offense. The larger-than-life personality. The sudden national relevance for a program that had become a punch line.
Given that I cover the Cougs in what amounts to a part-time job capacity, the prospect of writing about a program that actually is relevant is truly just short of intoxicating. And the best part is that we get to enjoy it all together. I don’t write for me – I write for us.
I don’t know that Mike Leach will be the most successful coach in school history. People seem to forget that he had two fewer conference championships at Texas Tech than Mike Price did at WSU. And while he never had fewer than six wins in any of his 10 seasons, he also only won more than nine games just once.
But here’s what I do know: It’s going to be one hell of a ride. And that’s exciting.