The story behind Mike Leach Bobblehead Night

In a factory in far, far away, little minions were being manufactured for a takeover of Martin Stadium in the coming months. Upon completion of mass production, a picture was sent to the Washington State athletic department that was worth 1,000 words, or perhaps more accurately, about 10,000.

“The factory that made them sent us some photos; literally hundreds of them lined up in a single-file line,” marketing and promotions coordinator Jen Hanson said. “We liked to call them Leach’s Army.”

Leach’s Army was 10,500 Mike Leach bobbleheads, 10,000 of which were given out last Saturday for Washington State’s game against Cal.

“It was actually our ticket office that came up with the idea [of the bobblehead],” Hanson said. “We ran it up the chain, and if we were going to do it, we knew it had to be a Mike Leach one because that would be the one everyone wants.”

So how did the Cougar athletic department get the word out about the bobblehead? Twitter, of course. Working with Leach on the idea, the marketing and social media staff took photos of the bobblehead at other venues around campus not only to give fans a preview of what they would receive at the Cal game, but to also show off what else Washington State has to offer.

“We tweeted it at the soccer field and volleyball game because we want to not only support the football team but to also promote our other athletic programs,” Hanson said.

But who did the actual tweeting of the pictures? Coach Leach himself. While he didn’t have the time to go out to a bear reservation to do “a little extra studying of the week’s opponent,” he was more than happy to tweet the pictures that were taken.

“Leach was totally on board with it,” Hanson said.

Unfortunately, if you didn’t go the game, you’re pretty much out of luck if you want a Leach bobblehead; the extra 500 left over were mostly given out as thank-yous to those who had helped make the promotion possible.

That’ll teach ya to get out to the game next time.

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