In his latest Internet campaign video, United States Senate candidate Craig James tackles the one thing about him that is never far from anybody’s mind: his dispute with former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach over Leach’s alleged treatment of James’ son Adam, a former Red Raiders receiver.
The video is part of the campaign’s “Craig James On…” series, which are “hosted” by his daughter Jessica.
As writer Bryan Curtis recapped in his current TEXAS MONTHLY profile of the former SMU football star and ESPN commentator:
Much to James’s horror, the Texas Tech incident, which has been snaking through the courts for more than two years, has become the defining issue of his career. His eldest son, Adam, was a little-used Red Raiders wide receiver for two seasons under Mike Leach. As Tech coaches later testified, Craig James would call and leave them long, haranguing voicemails about Adam’s playing time. On December 16, 2009, Adam suffered a concussion. For the duration of two subsequent practices, either Leach punished Adam by ordering him to stand in a shed and a small, dark closet (as the James family claimed), or Adam walked into the darkened rooms himself (as Leach claimed).
Jessica James begins the campaign video by saying, “There’s a big elephant in the room, about the controversy surrounding Mike Leach and Texas Tech. Some people believe that will hurt your candidacy in West Texas. How do you feel about that?”
“We supported our son against a bully, bottom line,” James replies. “You can’t do what Mike Leach did to our son and get away with it – not in the United States of America.”
Later, he says, “I will never let something go by that is a bully, or someone who’s done something wrong,” a line that caught the attention of Deadspin‘s Dom Cosentino:
Yes, that’s what he said. “I will never let something go by that is a bully.” Keep in mind that this is an ad presumably scripted by the James campaign. Did someone lock the English language in the shed, too?
At Yahoo! Sports’ Dr. Saturday blog, Graham Watson doubted that the video would change anybody’s mind about the controversy this late in the game.
“James would have been best served just leaving this one alone and pretending like it never happened,” Watson wrote. “Not that much is going to help his campaign, but acknowledging his role in this doesn’t make him look like the supportive father, it makes him look like a guy who’s still trying to run down Leach.”
And indeed, to accompany its story on the video, the Dallas Morning News put up the poll pictured below. Frontrunner David Dewhurst should be so lucky to put up Leach’s numbers as of early Thursday morning: