There’s a clichéd question that usually goes something like this:
If you could [insert activity here] with [insert number of celebrities here], who would it be?
The possibilities for the first blank are endless, ranging from generic (dinner) to dirty (you figure it out). From now on, former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach will be included in my answers to all questions that fit into the above template. All of them.
And he’ll be included in yours too if you read Spencer Hall’s diary of his eight-hour fishing trip with Leach. It’s a little long, but it’s definitely worth your time. By the end you’ll determine that there’s no one else you’d rather be stuck 12 miles off the coast of the Florida Keys with, because that exact situation has been a central fear in your life.
Sure, that’s entertaining, but why does it matter to an NFL blog? I have an answer for that, you imaginary and impatient questioner.
Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker played his college football under the guidance of Leach. That was a time before Welker somehow went undrafted in 2004, and then went on to be selected as an All-Pro three times. Even though Welker has likely grown used to being overlooked–he was only given his scholarship at Texas Tech once another recruit backed out–his outgoing personality hasn’t faded.
Floating for eight hours in a vast body of water has a way of pushing out some absurd stories. That’s why now we all know how the term “elf” become a fixture in Leach’s playbook.
While slurping from his “pure Cubano wake-up fuel” coffees, Leach told Hall the tale of how Welker danced himself into Texas Tech’s offensive verbiage.
“Why do you call the slot receiver in your playbook ‘The Elf’?”
Leach laughs. “Because that was Wes Welker, and Welker looks like an Elf? One time it’s late, like eleven o’clock or midnight on Sunday, and we’re having an offensive staff meeting when Welker comes in and he’s wearing an elf costume. Tights, the whole thing. He jumps up on the table and does a little jig. He’s smiling, and then he jumps down, and just before he leaves he clicks his heels and then runs out of the door.”
The latest in NFL elf impersonations was brought to you by Sportsgrid.