Provide Washington State coach Mike Leach a forum and he will almost never shy away from sharing his honest opinion about any topic — other than football. Rarely, however, does he talk politics.
That changed Tuesday when he appeared on Sports 750 “The Game” in Portland with John Canzano to discuss WSU’s matchup with Oregon State Saturday at sold-out Martin Stadium (7:30 p.m., ESPNU). They didn’t get very far discussing X’s and O’s.
Admitting that his wife accuses him of being no fun to talk football with, the conversation turned, as it often does, to something unrelated to the game Leach coaches.
Leach was asked if he keeps up with current events during a football season. Leach said his attention varies, because it’s possible catch up in “two days” if he decides to tune out the national political conversation for a few months. Then he opined about Fox, MSNBC, and well, a lot of other stuff.
“You turn on MSNBC and Fox and they’re talking politics all the time,” he said. “They’re just embellishing little things to try and make it interesting, because they’re not trying to fill just one show but several shows on several different channels.”
Canzano knew he was on to something Leach felt passionately about. So he followed up with a query about the government shutdown. Then came the rant.
“Part of it is, along with a lot of other Americans, there’s a sense of helplessness,” Leach said. “The government has proven to be so incompetent that there’s a sense of helplessness like, ‘Oh well, they’re going to screw it up anyway . . .
“The government shutdown, we all know that’s a sham. I mean, are they really going to just go to the entire Army and Navy and say, ‘You’re fired?’ And then, all these government buildings . . . and then of course, Obama’s going to say, ‘Government’s shut down, I’m just going to go home to Chicago and play basketball.’ I don’t think that’s going to happen and I don’t think anybody is really buying that. Both parties are posturing. It’s hard to say any one party is more guilty than the other.”
Leach, displaying a talent for the filibuster, went on.
“Obama is trying to protect Obamacare, and then obviously, even in his own party, a bunch of people are against it. I mean, you know, everybody knows the issues. The Democrats haven’t balanced the budget, and the Republicans don’t believe they can, so then they want to aggressively pursue it, because they want to make the Democrats look as bad as they can at the expense of the American people.”
If Leach didn’t coach college football, he would be the guy stopping people as they leave the post office to start a conversation about anything. Apropos for someone who is writing a book about Geronimo, the famous Apache warrior, Leach readily and eagerly goes off the standard script for his profession.