Washington State football coach Mike Leach may have the best news conferences in America.
Leach apparently takes questions from fans, and on Monday he was asked about the Cougars’ next opponent: Utah. This is the question: “Since the Utes kind of have a weird mascot, what do you think are the best mascots in the country?”
That’s not something you’ll hear anyone ask Alabama’s Nick Saban, but Leach gave the question some thought.
“Well, first of all, there should be more sharks if you’re by an ocean,” Leach said. “That tiger at LSU that is a live real tiger sitting in there in some metal structure, which clearly he could rip his way out of if he wanted to or even half wanted to, that’s an awesome one. The buffalo at Colorado, that’s an awesome one. Well, those two are pretty hard to beat.”
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Leach then remembered a mascot he liked better.
“There is a place in Kansas called Pitt State, and I used to see it on film. We didn’t play them. Called Pitt State, and they’re called the gorillas. And there should be a lot more gorillas for mascots, because think about it, a gorilla could whip a lot of stuff, you know.”
Leach also talked a bit about former Pitt State coach Dennis Franchione:
“When Dennis Franchione was there, he really had it going on, because Dennis Franchione was kind of a hero of all the small-college coaches, because of his climb, he went to Division I and gave us all hope.”
Leach recalled a pregame ritual that I’ve never heard about.
“The students and everybody when it came time for the opponent to come out, they’d play ‘Welcome to the Jungle,’ just blaring, just blaring ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ and the visiting team would come through the tunnel and they’d all be hurling bananas at the visiting team,” Leach said. “You’d see bananas everywhere. Bananas bouncing off helmets, bananas just flying through the air. And that was welcome to Pitt State because you’re about to play the Gorillas. How about that?”