There are many ways in which teams choose a team captain or captains. Washington State coach Mike Leach has tried them all.
Leach revealed his hilarious reason for choosing junior running back Jamal Morrow as the Cougars’ captain at Monday’s press conference. Before he got into that, he laid out various ways in the past his teams have picked a captain, a process he says is “an inexact science.”
Leach said he’s let players choose captains by voting or had coaches elect captains, sometimes at the end of spring practice or at the beginning or end of preseason camp. He’s also had teams that chose captains on a weekly basis the day after a game. All of those options, to Leach, presented some issues so he began to wonder the point of choosing a captain in the first place.
“I thought, ‘What is this captain stuff?’ Everybody around here can be their own captain. I’ve got assistant coaches to be their captain. The coach tells them what to do anyway,” Leach said.
“My experience with team captains, as far as really taking the team on their shoulders, hasn’t been incredibly great. It’s typically good kids where nothing happens. They’re out there just trying to do their job and play the best they can, but the notion of a bunch of captains inspiring everybody is difficult to do and unrealistic. It doesn’t really happen very often.”
To Leach, the main objective for a team captain is to win the pre-game coin toss. That brings us to the selection of Morrow. Leach said because Morrow won some money on popular show “The Price is Right” a few years ago, he figured he’d be a good choice to send out for the coin toss.
I’ll let Leach explain (video of his entire explanation is above):
“So then I thought, all the guy really does is the coin toss. And then I decided one of the most screwed up things about this country is in order to do anything, to cross the street, we have a committee. So I figured screw the committee, we really only need one guy. And he’s gotta be smart enough to either call ‘heads’ or ‘tails.’ That’s it,” Leach said.
“So then I thought, ‘Should I get the biggest guy on the team or the littlest guy on the team?’ And then I thought, ‘Jamal Morrow was on The Price Is Right and was fairly lucky and went to the final round and almost won the sucker.’ He was closest to the price but he was over by like three dollars. The other person’s under by like 60 dollars, but since he’s over he loses. So I figured Jamal Morrow’s a lucky guy, plus he’s got pretty good energy to him, so why not Jamal Morrow?
“And then Jamal Morrow goes out and did have an amazing knack for winning the (coin) toss. He wins it almost all the time. I’m serious about this. I don’t know what his record is, but it’s something incredible. But I don’t even really care about that because one way or the other you get the ball one half or the other, except one time when I played Nebraska. Morrow had a funny tendency to win, and then I’m thinking, ‘I don’t want to sit here of and think out a new guy to do it.’ So Jamal Morrow has gone out there for the coin toss for about two-and-a-half years and quite honestly done a tremendous job in my opinion. And then we got on a roll and I liked it even better.”
Leach then went into a story from his time as head coach at Texas Tech when his team kicked off twice to open each half for a game against Nebraska.
The entire exchange lasted nearly 10 minutes. Never change, Mike. Never change.
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