Appreciation: Coach Mike Leach’s Words of Wisdom

Back in 2017, I shared this clip from episode 2 of season 4 of Friday Night Lights on Twitter:

Growing up, while I was born and raised in Pac-12 country (or Pac-10 back then), I was a big fan of the Big 12. So on Saturdays, not only would I tune in to every Cal and Stanford football game, I’d also catch whatever Big 12 match ups would air on TV here in the Bay Area. So throughout the 2000s, I definitely knew who Coach Mike Leach was. And over the years, would get to know and understand his unique personality (as much as one can!) as well as his coaching prowess.

As one of the pioneers of the Air Raid offense, you were sure to be in for an exciting game with him as one of the dueling coaches. No matter who you were rooting for.

With my Big 12 attention waning in the 2010s, it was a wonderful treat for me when Mike Leach came to the Pac 12 and became the coach of Washington State. I’d be able to see and enjoy not only a football team coached by him, but his always interesting press conferences and interviews much more often.

Just go on YouTube, click on any Mike Leach presscon or interview and you’ll get as much words of wisdom as you will laugh and have fun.

His cameo appearance on one of my favorite television dramas at the time was just icing on the cake. And I thought it definitely should be shared on Twitter.

So when the tweet started getting an influx of retweets and likes over the weekend, I was shocked and saddened to learn of his condition. And of course today, learning of his passing.

I, like many people, always enjoyed that little clip. To others who might not know who Mike Leach is, that Friday Night Lights scene might sound like nonsense. Heck, maybe even for people who do know who he is.

But the clip and his words in the scene just so perfectly encapsulate who Coach Mike Leach is. Sword swinging, pirates and all. Watching this clip today really hits hard.

“You’ve gotta find your inner pirate. A lot of times, things just happen for a reason. We don’t know why God wants it that way. But you can’t make the best out of it until you get back your inner pirate. You might be the luckiest man alive and not even know it.

Never have words sounded so absurd, yet so profound at the same time. And when you really look at those words, there really is some meaningful words of wisdom there that we can all live by.

That last line especially is so perfect.

Alongside his innumerable accomplishments, it’s a wonderful treat that he will also forever be immortalized with this iconic scene from Friday Night Lights.

Thank you Coach Mike Leach! May You Rest in Peace.

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