Pac-12 Networks screen grab

The Great Big Handshake Mystery II: Leach & Petrino ... Pac-12 Networks, as ESPN and others so often do, blows it

MIKE LEACH AND PAUL PETRINO didn’t shake hands after Washington State's 56-6 victory. Asked about it postgame, Leach said he didn’t see Petrino. It’s unknown if Petrino tried to find Leach and couldn’t … or if the Vandal coach simply turned his back on the time honored tradition of shaking hands with the opposing coach, win or lose.

There didn't appear to be a crush of people on the field after the game so that the coaches would have trouble finding one another. So it's a mystery. Again. This much is known: for the second straight meeting between WSU and Idaho, there was drama surrounding the postgame handshake (or in this case, the postgame non-handshake).

“I didn’t see him. I wish him the best. But I didn’t see him,” said Leach in WSU’s media room after Washington State rolled Idaho.

In the last meeting between the two schools, a 42-0 WSU shutout in 2013, Petrino barked something while briefly but vigorously pumping Leach’s hand and then abruptly turned to leave.  Leach responded to Petrino by saying – well, you remember.

It has never been revealed by either man what Petrino said to Leach after the 2013 game.  It is assumed it had something to do with Leach putting his starters back in at game’s end, turning away Idaho as they were about to get into the end zone and preserving the shutout. 

Both men have insisted the '13 incident was quickly forgotten.  But Leach and Petrino have lived two houses away from one another for years. And they don’t speak.  Petrino told the Spokesman-Review this week they never see each other. Leach said he doesn’t know Petrino.

Now we have another mystery three years later.

Who gives a damn about Waldo – Where’s Petrino?

AND I BLAME THE Pac-12 Network.  I blame ESPN.  I blame every single network that broadcasts the game of college football. 

The only thing of interest whatsoever after the clock runs out is to see the interaction between the two coaches. And it’s of compelling interest.  It is great theater to see, so often out on the gridiron, how two A-type personalities shake hands and communicate with one another.

So why do so many CFB games see the TV cameras cut away just before the handshake? Why? So that viewers can see … wait for it:  The most boring shots possible of players milling about. Really?

Given what happened in 2013, you would think two Pac-12 cameras on Saturday would have been trained on both Leach and Petrino long before time expired.  Instead, the Pac-12 Network abruptly cut away to the recently begun Oregon State-Idaho State game -- just as Leach began walking across the field. And with the last TV shot of Petrino with 0:19 left on the clock (pictured above).

You couldn’t wait 10 more bloody seconds?   Are you out of your mind?

Damn you Pac-12 Network, you shiftless scofflaws.  Damn you to hell. 

Or, as Leach might say ...


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