For Texas Tech football fans, perhaps the only thing more stressful than witnessing ESPN broadcaster Craig James effectively oust their winningest coach in school history during the offseason for illegitimate reasons has been the last two weeks.
(Craig James said it, not us)
The Red Raiders suffered a blowout 52-38 loss to lowly Iowa State last week - allowing an improbable touchdown to the Cyclones on an onside kick in the process. Then today Texas Tech took on Baylor, another Big 12 also-ran that during former coach Mike Leach’s tenure was normally viewed as a breather on the schedule.
But under new, defensive-minded Tommy Tuberville, Tech’s defense surrendered 38 points to the Bears while incredibly allowing another freak touchdown on an onside kick in barely escaping with a 45-38 victory. The win allowed the Red Raiders to narrowly avoid starting the conference season 0-3, something Tech fans haven’t seen since 1990, ten years before Leach started his decade-long run of excellence at the school.
With such freak events going against Tech the past two weeks - including the shredding of a defense never seen during Leach’s tenure - I got to thinking about a quote ESPN’s James blessed us with about his ousting of Leach during his sermon at a Dallas evangelical church last May:
“I have felt strongly that we have been in a spirtual war for the past four months. Our faith, our christian family has sustained us. … It’s important to lead a godly life.”
Five months before James started his own “spiritual war” against Leach by threatening to sue the school unless it fired the coach late last year - a threat that has been confirmed by Tech Chancellor Kent Hance and Tech attorneys but gone virtually unreported by main media - apparently his god also instructed him to badger then-current Texas Tech assistant coaches about son Adam’s playing time:
Craig James called Tech Director of Football Operations Tommy McVay in September, “to tell him, in effect, that you coaches are crazy and you’re screwing my kid.”
Leach’s lawsuit also alleges that James called then-Tech assistant coach Lincoln Riley stating, in effect, ‘You don’t know what you’re doing. Adam James is the best player at the wide receiver position. If you’ve got the balls to call me back, and I don’t think you do, call me back.’”
So what did getting Leach and his assistants fired last season contribute to son Adam’s football career under a new coach in 2010? In 2009, as a wide receiver for Leach’s Red Raiders, Adam James caught 17 passes and scored a touchdown.
Since his dad’s “spiritual war” broke out? This season, the already-undersized James was moved to tight end by Tuberville and has exactly zero catches.
Now, all this isn’t to say that James isn’t right about being in a spiritual war involving his own god. But if Proverbs 16:18 in the James Bible is any indication - “Pride goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” - is it unreasonable to conclude that the ESPN announcer may be on the wrong side of it?