Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked


I just got back from visiting Fatlittlegirlfriend.com.

You have to be careful, visiting an address like that. I’ll admit that I winced a bit as I typed it in, like I was anticipating a punch to the face.

But it really is a site about Mike Leach and his infamous “fat little girlfriends” quote from last week. A Web marketing guru named John-Michael Oswalt grabbed the domain name and put up a 10-second video clip of Leach offending the entire female population of Lubbock, Texas.

You can see local reaction in the comment section of Don Williams’ story, Leach not apologizing to ‘fat little girlfriends’. The majority of commenters (mostly men) are defending Leach, basically saying that a coach has to say provocative things like that and talk to players “on their level” to get their attention.

Women are outraged, of course. In 2009, “fat” is about the worst insult you can use on a woman. Leach didn’t create this problem, or the society that spawned it, but he’s leveraging the stereotype for all it’s worth, trying to shock his guys into paying attention.

I don’t really like or understand football, but I love football fans. I love the Texas Tech spirit, the kind of energy and enthusiasm you see in Raider Alley; the shared joy of a victory and the awesome power of fan participation, as they turned the stadium pink and joined the fight against breast cancer.

These fans are smart, angry and organized. And make no mistake, it’s women who do all the work. When I heard Leach’s quote last week, my first reaction was not anger, but anticipation. Tech fans have an awesome ability to turn insults into catch phrases, and I couldn’t wait to see what they did with this.

I even came up with a few T-shirt ideas, although John-Michael Oswalt beat me to it. I wanted to see the Tech women rise to the challenge and shove this back in Leach’s face. I imagined thousands of angry sorority girls wearing shirts that read, “Does this look fat to you?” Their boyfriends could wear the same slogan, with an arrow pointing to the right.

Or maybe they could try and take the word back, like so many minority groups have done. Would women let their boyfriends wear shirts that said, “She’s hot, she’s fat, and she’s mine?”

Probably safer to use JMO’s slogan, “Wreck ’em Tech, proud home of the Fat Little Girlfriend.”

I was hoping for a formal response from the cheerleaders, but any cheer that started with “Give me an F” would probably end badly.

I was disturbed by Leach’s comment, not just because it was insulting, but because I was afraid women would take him seriously. I thought his comment was unfair because lying to men is a girlfriend’s job. Can you imagine a world where women told men the truth about everything? Where women honestly told men what they thought of their mental and physical capabilities? Our entire society would break down! Athletics, academia, commerce — the whole system would grind to a halt!

In a world where women told the truth about everything men would lose, not only their motivation to work, but their very will to live! Knowing when to lie is the most important part of any relationship. I can understand Leach wanting his players to pay attention. Football coaches, like battlefield generals, have to be firmly in touch with reality. It’s the coach’s job to tell the truth and prepare his players for the worst.

But you need more than fear and strategy to win football games. You also need hope, optimism and the will to fight, even when your spirits are low and you’ve just lost a game you were supposed to win. Knowledge of how to win comes from the coach, but the will to win comes from girlfriends. A coach who keeps his players in touch with reality may be worth $300,000 a year, but a girlfriend who knows how to lie is worth her weight in gold.

So, even if I don’t understand football, I will be watching closely as Tech fans rally to help their team beat Kansas. Good luck as you “Wreck them” or “gun them up” or whatever it is you people do.

Written by Michael B. Duff

October 29, 2009 at 10:26

Posted in Best Of, Humor

9 Responses

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  1. Oh, I didn’t realize the website dude was an Aggie.

    Much less exciting now.

    Kenny Ketner

    October 29, 2009 at 22:33

  2. That man should be fired for his comment do to we have enough problems with kids/students with weight problems and kids starving them selfs to be what they see on tv and magazines.The last thing young people need is another downer.


    October 29, 2009 at 22:43

  3. I loved your piece. I tweeted about this issue.

    My take on it is that it is a pretty sad commentary on Leach’s coaching ability/staff when he admits that a handful of “fat little girlfriends” have more influence on the outcome of a game then he does.

    My son played football, and I’m guessing his coaches said things to him I might not agree with, but they had the sense to say it in private, in the locker rooms.

    This city already suffered through the “great” coaching of chair-hurling Bobby Knight. Now we have insult-hurling Coach Leach. Not much difference in my opinion. A lot to put up with for a small, conservative, christian town.


    October 30, 2009 at 00:09

  4. I think Coach Leach’s comment on “fat little girlfriends” has been taken totally too far – like out of the realm of practicality. I am a female Tech fan and I was not offended whatsoever by his comments. People making comments are using phrases like “Leach offended the entire female population of Lubbock” to sensationalize a story that should never have been a story to start with. The media and general public have a lot to be concerned with if their “big” story is Coach Leach’s comment on fat little girlfriends. One mom wrote that she would never allow her son to attend Texas Tech because of Coach Leach’s comment. And some say he should be suspended or even fired?! Are you kidding me?! Give me a break! Get a life, people!

    My son graduated from Tech, my daughter currently attends Tech and I am an avid supporter of Tech! Go Red Raiders!

    Terri Cannon

    October 30, 2009 at 10:07

  5. If you don’t know or understand football then don’t write about Mike and the Raider. And it “Wreck Them”

    Liz Magallanes

    October 30, 2009 at 11:29

  6. A real man never lets a woman bring him down by telling him the truth. And another thing…you don’t even like football or know anything about it, then why are you even writing about it?


    October 30, 2009 at 17:19

  7. This must be a “Paid Advertisement” for JMO’s website. The AJ doesn’t just giveaway free advertising like this. This story has been published three times. Dutt, JMO owes you big time.


    October 30, 2009 at 18:00

  8. I would be very surprised if Mr. Oswalt ended up making money off this site. When you compare the cost of bandwidth with number of shirts actually sold and the tiny percentage people make off CafePress stuff, I suspect he will end up losing money.

    And to those of you who say I shouldn’t be writing about football, you are all quite correct.

    Wreck ’em Tech, or whatever.

    Michael Duff

    October 30, 2009 at 22:23

  9. “In a world where women told the truth about everything men would lose, not only their motivation to work, but their very will to live! Knowing when to lie is the most important part of any relationship.”

    Err… no?

    The Scottish novelist Alexander McCall Smith once wrote that America is a female-dominated culture that doesn’t realize it. It was one of the most insightful things I’ve ever read about the States, and your belief that women have a duty to lie because men can’t handle the truth just tends to confirm that view.

    It also explains how much trouble I’ve had with American women over the years…

    TJ Radcliffe

    August 2, 2011 at 22:15

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