I’d about given up that y’all even knew Texas had other college football programs outside of the University of Texas [“Mike Leach Is Thinking . . . ” September 2009]. Kudos for finally realizing what we’ve known for years: Mike Leach is a great coach and is giving much-deserved recognition to Texas Tech football and West Texas.
Mike Leach is not the best college football coach in the country, as texas monthly asserts. Leach isn’t even the best in Texas. No, that would be Gary Patterson, of Texas Christian University. Conference titles: Patterson 2, Leach 0. Seasons of ten wins or better: Patterson 5, Leach 1. Top 25 finishes: Patterson 5, Leach 4. And Patterson is doing it at TCU without the BCS cash.
John C. Sherwood
I just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed your feature on Coach Leach very much. Of course, as a UT fan, I enjoyed our 34—24 win over Tech in September even more.
Helen E. Jensen
In the sixties, I watched Donny Anderson lead the ground assault at Texas Tech under coach J. T. King. It was quite an exciting time for Texas Tech football. For the past nine years, Mike Leach and his ae-rial attacking offense have brought back the same excitement. Call him mad, but Leach has done more for Texas Tech football than anyone else. I’m happy for him and his swashbucklers.
While the story on Mike Leach was certainly entertaining, I am a little suspect of its accuracy. The initial paragraph, in which S. C. Gwynne attempts to distinguish Mike Leach as “the only head coach at a major university to have a law degree,” is flat wrong. Maybe, because of its recent struggles on the gridiron, Gwynne does not consider UCLA to be a “major university,” but others might disagree.
The Bruins’ head football coach, Rick Neuheisel, graduated with a law degree from the University of Southern California in 1990. Neuheisel even passed the Arizona state bar in 1991 and the Washington, D.C., bar in March 1993. Mike Leach has never been licensed to practice law in any jurisdiction, including the high seas.
Terry W. Yates
Lost in Translation
Way back when, in 1967, I took Spanish in seventh, eighth, and ninth grades from Mrs. Vivian Viaini at Lovenberg Junior High School, in Galveston, Texas. She was Italian, and it was state-ordered mandatory. I learned Castilian Spanish and got real good at it. Took it advanced in college for two semesters. Pasty white boy habla’n like a snob.
So I read Nate Blakeslee’s article with skewed interest, having been down that visionary road so many years before [“Dream of a Common Language,” September 2009]. ¡Qué lástima!
Had I been taught using the system described in the story, would I have learned Spanish as well as I did back then? ¡Yo pienso que no!
I can take my Spanish and be understood anywhere on this planet. I doubt that the kids of El Paso will be able to do the same with their English.
Paul Burka—human after all! “No Man’s Island” unequivocally proves that when the issue concerns his own turf, real compassion emerges [September 2009]. I, for one, am greatly relieved.
Pat Walker Graham
As a transplant to South Georgia from South Texas, not a day goes by that I don’t try to point out to Georgians how I hail from a superior state, with the world’s most skilled outdoorsmen. Now I don’t have to extol the virtues of wrestling greased javelina or jumping rope with western diamondbacks to my new neighbors. For real Texas bragging rights, I can just refer to the September issue of texas monthly [The Manual]. It seems like Georgia good old boys are pretty proud of their skills as dove hunters (and I must say, hunting in a peanut field is pretty action-packed). But after the hunt, when the bull starts flying, I can just talk about your article on dove hunting. The illustration in your article showed the average Texan limiting-out on high-flying birds not with a 12-gauge Benelli but with a Crosman air rifle! No worries, I’ll just tell the yokel sportsmen wannabes that we Texans just lead the doves a little more, and we never shoot them off of power lines.
Keep up the good work. I can’t wait to share your article on hunting West Texas antelope with a slingshot!
Y’all should have run Chris Lyons’s dove-hunting illustrations across the desk of a dove hunter (or at least the Texanist) before you published them. Using that BB gun instead of a shotgun certainly gives those fast-moving birds more than a flying chance at escaping a future filled with bacon and jalapeño slices.
While I certainly agree with Mr. Burka’s column on the Texas State Board of Education, I do take exception to one comment he made [Behind the Lines, “Lowe and Behold,” September 2009]. He notes that “a lot of us muddled through without sex education,” and I must disagree. Texas ranks third in the country in teen births, exceeds national averages in almost every teen sexual-risk-taking behavior, and spends more than $1 billion annually on the direct and indirect costs of unintended teen birth. While some may have muddled through, the vast majority of Texans had almost no formal sexuality education and have joined the ranks of the sexual illiterates. It’s no wonder Texas teens lead the nation in many of these risk-taking behaviors; we’ve been happy to let them muddle through by continuing a long-standing conspiracy of silence around this issue.
David C. Wiley
Chair, Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy