January 3, 2010
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Disclosure: I've been a big Mike Leach fan since he was the offensive coordinator at the University of Oklahoma in 1999. His offensive scheme was key to the Sooner national championship in 2000.
I started out watching the Alamo Bowl rooting for Texas Tech. Although Leach was gone, this was in many ways still his team on the field.
But as the game progressed I found that I started to switch my allegiance. The ESPN announcers seemed focused on the firing of Coach Leach.
They bent over backwards to support ESPN announcer Craig James and his son Adam who stood on the sideline in his "cool" Under Armor stocking cap.
Adam seemed to be enjoying himself. He was smiling even when things weren't going well for his Texas Tech team.
However, at the half as he exited the field, the boos for Adam from the Texas Tech fans were apparently quite loud.
This was not shown on ESPN but quickly appeared on a Dallas News blog and on Twitter. ESPN later announced the booing.
Craig James has stated that Texas Tech fans and Texas Tech teammates have supported his son in his complaint against Mike Leach. Apparently some of the Texas Tech fans at the Alamo Bowl didn't get Craig's memo.
Michigan State came in to the bowl game a mediocre Big Ten team. They played the Alamo Bowl with half a team. Fourteen players had been suspended for the game for poor behavior.
No one could expect them to be competitive with these handicaps. But they appeared well-coached and played clean and hard throughout the game.
Texas Tech looked nervous, confused and lost without the leadership of Coach Leach on the sideline. The Texas Tech administration's interim coach seemed overwhelmed with the challenge.
Texas Tech's superior talent did prevail. Leach had recruited so many great athletes to Lubbock that they would prevail in the end.
They played for Texas Tech, but I think that in the end, many were still playing for Coach Leach.
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