Joe's not doing too well up in Laramie these days. He's possibly entering the final season as Wyoming's head coach and well, Laramie is probably the closest thing to hell this side of Iraq. So when I headed up to Glenn's cabin a few miles outside of town, I met a frail, paranoid man who kept screaming "50-0," over and over again.
Luckily, there were periods of sanity during the meet and the Wyoming coach agreed to a short interview. Thanks, Joe!
Joe Glenn surprised by our cameras
As I entered his living room, one that looked like an Elks Lodge on steroids, Joe quickly found his way to a chair that I believe was made completely out of yak. There he downed a can of Coors and fiercly began yelling "Powder River, Let 'er Buck!" Whatever the hell that means. He calmed down, probably because of the buzz from his beer, and answered my questions.
Block U: Joe, we've got to start with the Utah, Wyoming game last year. Got a bit hot under the collar, eh?
Joe: I tell ya' what, I was flyin' like a squirrel connected to a ceiling fan. Walkin' up and down those sidelines down there in Salt Lake, watchin' that scoreboard light up like a Vegas whore house. It was magic, no doubt. I couldn't believe my eyes, though, as this fool on the otha sideline decides to do an onside kick? How dare he? How dare he? Does he know who Joe F'n Glenn is? So I took my old Irish finger, lifted it up into the air and gave him a little bit o' Wyomin' lovin'!
Block U: You don't think it was uncalled for?
Joe: What? No! I'm pushin' it like my '67 Chevy Nova. Do you get?
Block U: No, I don't really understand what you're getting at.
Joe: See, it's like this. I opened up my big Irish mouth because I thought we'd win. Oh boy, those crazy Utes came into our place two years ago and got a whoopin' like no otha. Reminded me of the days back in Nebraska when pa used to take me back behind the tool shed and slap my behind with a switch. Painful $#!+, I tell ya' what. So I thought these city folk ain't got what it takes to battle me and my boys. I was wrong, but right, ya' know?
Block U: So no regret?
Joe: Regret ain't for a cowboy, not this one. I might have handled it a tinge wrong, but the finger speaks louder than words and I doubt that puss Kyle Whittingham is eva gonna mess with Cowboy Joe again.
Joe then grabbed another Coors off the table next to the chair, opened it and took a nice swig. Rudely, though, he failed to offer me one.
Block U: Will there be a bit of a revenge factor when the two teams meet this year?
Joe: That game is circled, marked and tattooed on my ass. This is gonna be the Battle of the Little Bighorn and I'm gonna be George Custer and the Utes Sitting Bull.
Block U: Uh Joe, Custer and his men went down bad in that battle.
Joe: I think you're wrong.
Block U: No, I'm right. Custer even died there.
Joe: No, not even. I guarantee you that's not how it went down.
Block U: I can prove it to you if you want, Joe.
Joe: Ya' better, because you're full of it and I'm getting a strong whiff, buddy.
Since there was no internet access all the way out there in the Laramie hills, we had to look it up the old fashioned way by using an encyclopedia. And sure enough, I was right. At this moment, however, Joe became enraged, overturning shelves, breaking NASCAR dishes and foaming at the mouth. His fit ended when he threw the encyclopedia down on the ground, stomped on it and flipped me off a half-dozen times. Fearing for my life, I made a beeline for the front door and got the hell out of there.
On my way down the path toward the driveway, though, a calm and collected Joe arrived at the door and urged me to return to his cabin. I won't lie, I was scared, as you could still see the beeds of sweat covering his red forehead and his Wyoming polo had been ripped a bit. But I knew I needed this interview and returned inside.
Joe: How ya' doin'? Sorry about that outburst, I get a little emotional, friends?
He put his hand out, I was hesitant, but returned the shake.
Block U: Yeah...sure.
He smiled and returned to his yak chair. I gazed around, the living room looked like a tornado had ripped through it. There was no doubt in my mind I was dealing with a madman ready to blow at any moment. Which meant I had to word my questions just right, or I ran the risk of him again returning to his crazy state.
Block U: So Joe, how's the 2008 season looking for Wyoming?
He ran his fingers through his matted hair and then took another chug of beer.
Joe: We're gonna be real good. We're gonna be like a bull, quick and deadly. We'll charge through every team in the Mountain West and leave them cryin' for their momma. The apocalypse is coming and it's being led by the Wyomin' Cowboys.
Block U: Sounds like you're optimistic.
Joe: Optimistic? Joe-amistic, baby!
Now I'm thinking maybe during his crazed moment he actually blew something inside his head, but I didn't press.
Block U: You're on the hotseat this year after three mediocre seasons. It seemed like in 2004 you really turned the program around, but you've yet to match that type of success. Do you feel the pressure this year?
Joe: Joe Glenn's life is pressure. I wake up wonderin' if the terrorists are gonna storm through my door, steal my wife and eat my cattle. I walk down the streets knowin' they're plotting against me, talking about me, mocking me. I see it in their soulless eyes. I hear it in their raspy voices. I sense it with every move. Bein' Joe Glenn ain't easy, bud and until you walk a mile in my boots, ya' ain't know the definition of pressure.
He lost it. His eyes were not human anymore. The Joe Glenn I thought I knew -- even if a bit untamed -- was replaced by a demented mountain man. I was terrified.
Block U: I don't know what you're talking about.
Joe: Welcome to Joe's universe!
He stood up, towering over me and began yelling "50-0" continuously, mixing in a few Powder River, Let 'er Bucks. I needed to get out of there, so I did what I knew Joe Glenn would understand, I heard a voice.
Block U: What? Yeah? I'm in Joe's cabin! You need me? Ok!
Joe looked at me confused when I said these words. No voice had actually called, but I knew Joe was questioning whether he did in fact actually hear those voices.
Block U: Well you heard the man, Joe, I gotta get going. It was nice talking with you.
I pulled myself up out of the chair as Joe looked around the living room trying to spot any proof of a voice.
Joe: You hear them too?
I didn't know what he meant by that, but I shook my head yes, not wanting to aggravate the guy.
Joe: If you listen to 'em real good they tell you where the gold is. I've not yet found it, but I'm close. Yes, yes, I'm close.
Manical laughing then followed his statement and I slowly crept out of his cabin.