Texas' Mack Brown was one of the D-I coaches bunking up on that gladhanding Middle East tour this week, and he was kind enough to keep an online diary so everyone could know how godawful it is live over there.
The Houston Press was following along with Brown's blog as he toured Europe, the Middle East and Africa with other college football coaches. The purpose of the tour was to visit with American troops to cheer them up, thank them for their valuable service, and maybe talk a little football, but a troubling trend started to develop in Mack's dispatches. According to Brown, the rest of the world is hot, dusty, loud, and disease-ridden, jet lag sucks and somebody (I'm looking at you, Tressel) snores.
Just listen to some of the hardships he endured:
May 29 — The upper part of the plane is very hot, while the lower part around your feet (and of course your feet and head if you lay down) could get to 10 degrees or lower. Needless to say sleeping was tough.
Still May 29 — You learn around these folks fighting for our freedom that at war, you can't sleep in on Saturday because you are tired and sore. No weekends off and I'll have to catch up on my rest when I get back from the tour.
May 30 — [The base] probably would look great flying in, but there are no windows in the cargo plane!....it is very hard to keep the time zones and days of the week straight, but it's even harder to keep up with the events in the States, especially sporting events. They have a military television station, but night TV games are on live at 3 or 4 a.m. It's tough to watch the game and go to work early the next morning... I'm worn out and headed to bed.
May 31 — The terrain in Iraq is pure desert, with some breeze, and very thin sand that really burns your eyes. The sun is so hot and so bright the glare makes it hard to be outside without sunglasses...
June 1 — The plane is slow, very loud and hot. You can't hear anything. You must either put ear plugs in or use your iPod....We are tired...Some people have questioned whether I should come on this trip and or why I would....The conditions are very tough. It is very hot and dusty. You feel dirty all the time, and the sand constantly blows in your nose, mouth and eyes. Your eyes start to burn, it is very hard to breathe, and you get a sore throat....We didn't eat at dinnertime because we had a 30-minute practice for the troops....
June 3 — As far as Djibouti is concerned, it was very hot when we got out of bed at 5 a.m. and it was also very smoky because they burn their trash. There were also French planes from next door that flew fighter jets all night. That was very loud and made sleeping difficult.
Mack did learn some things about the rest of the world. He saw a starving family in Djibouti and that made him sad. And on his last day, he finally took back all the mean things he said about the KC-135 cargo planes. (They are actually quite useful!) Yes, it was a rough week for Brown, but he's safely back home in lovely, climate-controlled Texas and will never have to fly commercial again.
UT's Mack Brown Visits The Troops, And Complains Endlessly [Houston Press]
MackBrown-TexasFootball.com [Texas Football]