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.