The final installment of WRNL PAC, where your correspondents approach madness in the wasteland of West Texas and collapse on Texas Tech's doorway.
Hey America. WRNL PAC is back. Barely.
This is the final installment of WRNL PAC. For the past three months, we've been travelling to every school in the Big 12, trying to convince fans to choose Iowa State for your 2012 Big 12 champion. And we found that spreading that message turned out to be a lot more difficult than we initially expected. To be honest, we have been through some SHIT, America. Beaten in Austin, Texas. Bus lit on fire in Manhattan, Kansas. Shot at in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It has been rough.
But we're Iowans. We're persistent. And we weren't going to stop just because we had to hitchhike to our last four destinations. And after catching several rides with some... colorful characters, we've made it to our final destination. And much like the series of horror films that bear its name, our final destination is a barren, hellish place where fate mercilessly taunts those unfortunate souls who wind up in within its borders and the damned are lucky to escape with their lives:
Make no mistake friends, this is an evil place. A place full of degenerate sinners haunted by their crimes. Theirs is a damnation that extends deep into the past, to a time known as 2009.
That original sin? Firing Mike Leach. Yes, the pirate himself, the man who led Texas Tech to previously unknown heights was fired at the whim of special interest groups. And when I say special, I don't mean extraordinary. I mean the man responsible for Mike Leach's termination may well ride the short bus. Even his name sends a shiver up your spine. Craig James. There! You just felt a chill, didn't you?!
Now, we would never impugn someone's reputation without proof, but what do we really know about Craig James' past? Maybe someone should check on his time at SMU. Maybe do a little digging around Dallas. Like literally digging, with a shovel. Because maybe five ladies of the evening filled with Craig James' DNA might just turn up in shallow graves on the outskirts of town. Just saying. Go to the House of Thrill Repute off Route 289. Ask for Gladys. She'll tell you some stories.
Is this what we can expect from Texas Tech as a leader? A school so cowed by a bloviating blowhard that they fire an enormously popular and successful coach one year removed from an 11-win season? A coach that never had a losing record as the Red Raiders' head coach? A coach that compiled an 84-43 record at the school? The Big 12 needs a team with a strong backbone as their conference champion, not someone that listens to Craig James when he says anything.
After the Red Raiders fired Mike Leach, they had the gall to go and hire someone like Tommy Tuberville. Now Tommy Tuberville has made at least one good decision in his life, and that was hiring Paul Rhoads to be his defensive coordinator at Auburn. But Tuberville's exhibited some pretty shaky judgment at times, like when he hired James Willis to be his defensive coordinator, then fired him after one year. Or when he hired Chad Glasgow to be his defensive coordinator, then fired him after one year. Or like when he went on TV and questioned whether the president had been born in the United States.
And it's not like Texas Tech even learned their lesson from this betrayal. Even after being forced to fire Mike Leach on trumped-up charges of "abuse," they went out and hired serial-abuser Billy Gillispie. Gillispie! A coach who couldn't win at Kentucky and whose abrasive personal style got him fired. Gillispie doesn't just lock players in equipment sheds; he locks them in bathroom stalls and makes them ride back in the equipment van after a game. If a player is injured under Gillispie, he doesn't put them in a cool dark room; he forces them to play on an injured ankle. That's dangerous. That's cause for firing. Which luckily Tech did, just one short year after hiring Gillispie.
These aren't isolated incidents. This is part of a larger pattern at Texas Tech. A pattern where some special interest throws their weight around and bullies the Red Raiders into making a bad decision. Then another bad decision is made to cover up that first mistake, and then another, and another, and before you know it your whole athletic department is in flames. It's a snowball effect, much the way Iowa State's thrashing of Texas Tech last year started an avalanche of losses to end the Red Raiders' season.
You know what Tech? Fuck it. We're done. WRNL PAC is catching the first bus back to Iowa and taking a nice long nap. And we can't help but think this whole trek was in vain. Did you know Big 12 fans don't even choose the conference champion? It's decided on the field! It's determined after playing the games! Someone could've TOLD US that fact before we STARTED!
So we're finished. WRNL PAC traveled to every Big 12 school and it nearly killed us. And in the end, it was all for naught. But since we've traveled so far, and been through so much, the least you could do this year is root for Iowa State. We know there's no vote for the conference championship. We know we can't change your team allegiance. But in your heart, when you sit down to watch an Iowa State game, why not cheer for the Cyclones? It's the least you can do.