Showing posts with label Les Miles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Les Miles. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

If LSU didn't exist, Freud would have to invent it

If you're not from Louisiana, you might find this crazy. And you'd be correct.

Louisiana State University is about to fire the winningest football coach it ever had because he hasn't beaten Alabama lately. That's right, Les Miles is about to get canned after winning 80 percent of his games for LSU because he's hit a bad patch in November, dropping three straight for the first time as a Tiger.

But mostly, he's being shown the very expensive (for LSU, at least) door because he can't beat Nick Saban -- the Alabama coach who was Miles' predecessor in Baton Rouge.

It would seem the entire state of Louisiana -- which should have much bigger fish to fry, being that it's a mess on almost every front -- has gone absolutely insane due to a bad case of Nick Saban Envy, which is a lot like penis envy. As in totally.

(Insert your own joke here.)

In fact, Nick Saban Envy has left Louisiana so delusional that a bunch of LSU "boosters" are willing to piss away $17 million -- and that's just for
starters -- to run off a coach most schools would kill to have. For LSU, this probably will end up Bobby Petrino Bad.

BUT THAT'S NOT what fries my egg. What fries my egg is that not a damn person in Louisiana, it seems, has Stuart R. Bell Envy. No one, particularly in state government, is throwing insane sums of money at LSU President F. King Alexander with the barked order "Beat that sonofabitch Bell! Victory or death!"

Of course, if you're the typical LSU football fan, you probably have no damn idea who Stuart R. Bell is. Well, to be fair, you probably have no idea which is Allen Hall and which is Coates Hall, either, because you can't play football in either of them.

OK, listen up. Stuart R. Bell is president of the University of Alabama which, according to the national rankings -- You understand rankings, of course. After all, rankings are part of why everyone's having a Miles-ocardial infarction now, right? -- is a hell of a lot better school than LSU.

And over the years, 'Bama's been getting better. And over the years, LSU's been getting gutted. Compared to the red-hot, cuss-out-your-mama, shoot-your-neighbor furor over football this week, the systematic academic crippling of LSU has been met with relative crickets over the past eight years.

Well, not totally. In the spring, the university's
executive vice president and provost laid out a particularly bold course of action that resulted in immediate results. He quit to take a new job.
Who is this can-do ex-LSU administrator?

Stuart R. Bell, president of the University of Alabama.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Because he's good people

I'll bet Rusty Domingue is sooooo pissed off right now.

All the Louisiana State linebacker did back in 1976 was stab a dude in the chest -- just once -- and he got six months in the pen and never played for the Tigers again. Present Tiger running back Jeremy Hill forced a 14-year-old girl to perform a sex act on him then, while on probation for that, sucker punched a guy at a bar.

The outcome? He got a "stern warning" from the judge and reinstated to the team by LSU Coach Les Miles. Because Hill's such a good guy.
“He’s not a guy that has had constant bad behavior,” Miles said of Hill. “Obviously he’s had a lack of judgment and bad behavior in these two instances. But the reality is we all see him around here as a good person.”
YEAH, and John Wilkes Booth was a mensch except for that one instance of bad behavior and lack of judgment. If Hill had just blocked a field goal attempt by No. 1 Nebraska to preserve a 6-6 tie just like the star-crossed Domingue, the judge may have sentenced the Tiger sophomore to 60 minutes with an underage girl.
Miles’ decision to reinstate the sophomore running back came early Monday evening and ends a three-month exile for Hill, who was suspended from the team after he punched a fellow student outside a Tigerland bar in April. He pleaded guilty to simple battery last month but faced up to six months in jail for violating probation in a 2012 case in which he pleaded guilty as a high school senior to carnal knowledge of a minor.

Hill returned to practice Monday afternoon, the first day of preseason workouts for the Tigers. Miles said there will be “further punishment” for Hill but did not give specifics.

Miles also would not say whether Hill will be suspended from any of LSU’s games in the upcoming season.

“I’m going to kind of review, and make a quality call as best I can,” Miles said.

Earlier in the day, State District Judge Bonnie Jackson lectured Hill and not only added a special condition — 40 hours of community service at the Bishop Ott Center — to the two years of probation she gave him in January 2012, but also issued a stern warning.

“You are to refrain from all other criminal conduct,” the judge told Hill, who wore a dark suit and purple tie as he stood next to his attorney, Marci Blaize.
TRUST ME, telling someone in Louisiana "to refrain from all other criminal conduct" is stern, indeed. Probably cruel and unusual punishment.

Maybe Les could get another of the Tigers to lift a book from the LSU law library to check on that.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dear LSU: Never fire this man

How f***in' easy it was for me to largely stay away from the Internets on Sunday.

How f***in' easy it would have been for me to miss the most f***in' epic of all Les Miles' f***in' epic press conferences as LSU's head football coach.

Excuse my language.

But, WOW! What a press conference!

I don't give a flying expletive deleted what stupid-ass Tiger fans think about Les. Don't care how badly they want him fired for losing two games this season, or for shooting craps on the sideline and sometimes rolling snake eyes. I know a little about LSU fans, being one, and I know that if brains were dynamite, 48.92 percent of them wouldn't have enough to blow their nose.

And I know that a lot of them get even stupider -- not to mention meaner -- after they've been drinking Bud Light all day and night. So any noise they make about removing this great man as the Tigers' coach should be regarded as the drunken ravings of a bunch of dumbasses.

FOR ONE THING, if LSU ever fired Les -- particularly so long as he keeps winning more games than he loses -- it never would find any decent coach insane enough to take that job. Only one decent coach today is insane enough to put up with such a dumbass fan base . . . and his name is Les Miles.

Like, you did watch the video, right?

And for another thing, Les is one of the few coaches out there just as certifiable as Louisiana itself. The Mad Hatter is the personification of the Gret Stet when it's at its bat-s*** crazy best, yet he somehow manages to avoid being like Louisiana when it's at its bat-s*** crazy worst.

LSU -- and Louisiana -- cannot lose this singular individual who, in fact, is the only person in the state to have successfully pulled that off. Les Miles not only should never be fired, but the Ole War Skule instead needs -- and I'm talking right now -- to commence an all-out research program dedicated to cloning the coach and disseminating his gene pool widely throughout the state.

And if there's a university geneticist who can do this great service for Louisiana, you need to grab him and give him a big kiss on the mouth. If you're a girl.

OR A GUY, but only if she's a girl. Because on this here blog, "heteronormative" is not a dirty word.

Have a great day.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Les Miles rides all the wrong trains

I think everybody in the Western world knows this song.

Except LSU's football coach, Les Miles.

It would have been fun if CBS could have gotten a mic on Alabama coach Nick Saban -- who used to be the Tigers' coach --when he was shaking his head after every unexplainable Miles decision and saying "What a dumbass."

Which is what I was saying after that bizarre, doomed fake field goal in the second quarter of LSU's last-minute loss to the Crimson Tide.

Les just lost my protest vote for president. Maybe I'll write in Saban -- I doubt he'd have any problem at all telling Bibi Netanyahu to go ∫#¢& himself.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mad Hatter don't care

Honey Badger takes what he wants.

In the end, a source says, that's why LSU football Coach Les Miles did what he had to. To get to the point . . . why do you think they call it dope?

And when that's the problem (allegedly), and when the star Tiger defensive back already had a suspension on his permanent record for synthetic marijuana, Mad Hatter don't care. Tyrann Mathieu's off the team, national-championship consequences be damned.

Some things are more important than college football . Miles knows that, and that's why you ultimately have to love the guy. He's putting his own multimillion-dollar butt on the line to make the point that rules are rules -- and it's not the first time the Mad Hatter's done it.

ASK Ryan Perriloux . . . him and legions of LSU fans who spent several years apoplectic about the quarterback chaos that principled hammer drop set in motion.

Verily, there is no stupider creature than an under-25 male. Double that for certain big-time college jocks, amo
ng whom Matthieu now stands as Exhibit A.

Here's what the New Orleans Times-Picayune is reporting:
The Honey Badger's days at LSU are done. The Tiger's All American cornerback and Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu has been dismissed from the team because of a failed drug test, a source close to Mathieu said Friday.

LSU Coach Les Miles made the announcement of the dismissal at a hastily called noon press conference, but he would not elaborate on the nature of the infraction.

"This is a very difficult day for our team," Miles said. "We lose a quality person, teammate and contributor to the program. However, with that being said, we have a standard that our players are held to and when that standard is not met, there are consequences.

"It's hard because we all love Tyrann. We will do what we can as coaches, teammates, and friends to get him on a path where he can have success. We are going to miss him."


Miles declined to elaborate what the violation was other than team and school policies. He said he felt Mathieu still had a chance to rectify the matter personally.

"We have a simple policy here of behavior," Miles said. "Consequences are pretty (well) spelled out and defined. We did what we could do but Tyrann is no longer on our team. He violated team policies.

"For Ty, it's an opportunity for him to redirect. He's still got a bright future. I think he can reeally accomplish all the goals he set for himself. It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be doable."
DOING the right thing is its own reward. The Tigers' infamously insane fan base might have to keep repeating that one this season.

It's a nostrum that's as true as it is facile, but that doesn't always make it any easier to swallow -- particularly if your priorities aren't as apparently in order as Miles' seem to be.

Geaux Tigers.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It takes a couyon

Here's the thing about sportswriters: When it comes to "protocol" and "professional" and following the rules and stuff, they're a lot more Felix Unger than Oscar Madison.

You can't cheer in the press box, no matter that a fair slice of the press in the box is in the tank for dear old Fill-in-the-Blank U, committing the official version of the truth to paper while dishing the juicier
(and truer) stuff back in the newsroom. Coach gets asked -- mostly -- the questions he feels like answering, and Coach gets -- mostly -- the stories he can live with.

Sometimes, though, a sportswriter gets a wild hair. Then there can be hell to pay.

AND WHEN there's hell to pay, a sports reporter can lose "access." And when a paper or TV station loses access, it can lose audience, and when it loses audience, it loses advertising, and when it loses advertising. . . .

It's all quite rational. It's all quite rationalized. And when some Boudreaux from the bayou gets pissed off and starts speaking truth to football power -- even when the Boudreaux is an Hebert who used to be an NFL quarterback -- the horrified "professionals" in the room start reaching for the smelling salts.

Like this guy from
The New York Times:
After Miles made an opening statement, the moderator opened the floor to questions. The first came from Bobby Hebert, a local broadcaster and former Saints quarterback, whose son, T-Bob Hebert, plays center and guard for L.S.U.

Hebert started, according to the transcript: “Coach, did you ever consider bringing in Jarrett Lee, considering that you weren’t taking any chances on the field? Now, I know Alabama’s defense is dominant. But, come on, that’s ridiculous, five first downs. I mean, so it’s almost an approach, I’ll tell you from the fans’ standpoint, that how can you not maybe push the ball down the field and bring in Jarrett Lee?”

In the often mundane world of post-event news conferences, where coaches spew clichés and reporters worry about deadlines, this rant, in all its fan-like anger – from a broadcaster to the man who coached his son – registered somewhere near the level of “bombshell,” as the room fell silent and faces filled with shock.

In theory, such news conferences are supposed to be attended by objective reporters, which doesn’t mean that always happens. But even then, this was unusual, too. In the press room after the game, talk of Hebert’s lack of decorum dominated conversation more than Alabama’s transcendent championship performance.

Lee served as the Tigers’ quarterback for much of the season, when Jordan Jefferson, who played all of the game Monday, was suspended for his alleged role in a bar fight. Lee, in the Tigers’ locker room Monday, said he “thought I might get” a chance to play when Jefferson and the L.S.U. offense remained stagnant from the first half into the second. But that, of course, never happened.

So back to Hebert. He continued with his “question,” later, again according to the transcript, adding, “I know the pass rush of Alabama, but there’s no reason why in five first downs … you have a great defense, L.S.U. is a great defense, but that’s ridiculous.”

At that point, the moderator interrupted, asking, “Do you have a question?”

Hebert responded: “That’s the question. Do you think you should have pushed the football more down field?”

Miles answered: “I think if you watch our calls that we did throw the football down the field. We didn’t necessarily get the football down the field.”
LISTEN, Mr. New York Times, I got a scoop for you. It's better to be the "unprofessional" oaf who asks the obvious damn question everybody wants answered than it is to be a polite, oh-so-professional, ball-less wonder who dutifully repeats coaches' bulls***.

We Louisianians have a saying about this that I just made up:
Sometimes, it takes a couyon.

UPDATE: Let's just say it didn't take long for the Empire to strike back against the Cajun Cannon.

A Sugar Bowl flack told a reporter Bobby Hebert's question was "disappointing" and that he might be banned -- in PR speak, that's called withholding "credentials" -- for future bowl games and BCS championship games.
"We don't want to credential people who go into a press conference and act like a fan," he said.

He had no comment on the future credentialing of coaches who go onto the field and act like homicidal maniacs.

Not. Helping.

Alas, after the embarrassing performance by my LSU Tigers tonight, I fear there just may not be enough booze in the world.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban is a genius. An evil genius, but a genius nevertheless. LSU's Les Miles? Not so much.

Listen. I can screw up just as badly at just about anything as the LSU coaching staff and quarterback Jordan Jefferson did Monday night at football. Please . . . somebody pay me $4 million fo f*** up just like Les did.

Better yet, how about the Gret Stet of Loosiana throw a few more million at its flagship university's actual reason for being, which is education. I am sure there are plenty of professors who can teach as bad a class as Les coached a game. I also am sure there are plenty of undergrads who can take as bad a final exam as Jefferson played a final game.

FOR GOD'S SAKE, show those f***-ups as much money love as boosters and fans show the football program. Then maybe Louisiana natives like me won't be thinking -- before the Big Game -- "Please, God, let the Tigers win. It's all we got."

Furthermore, I have theories about the inexplicable performance of LSU that are not based in reality. Well, at least not likely based in reality. Unfortunately, they make much more sense than anything that's remotely plausible -- of which I got nothing.

Congrats to hated rival Alabama. I wish the Tigers could have given you a game.

Screw football, I wish Louisiana could have given its children a national-championship future.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Marching through Georgia

"I can make this march, and I will make Georgia howl!"

-- William Tecumseh Sherman,
founding superintendent,
Louisiana State Seminary
of Learning (now LSU)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

How to be publicly pissed off

You're a head football coach. You have a beef with a member of the fourth estate.

boy howdy are you pissed.

Listen, it's not just that somebody wrote a column you didn't like. It's not even that somebody questioned your manhood in print.

That's just sticks-and-stones stuff. For the smart coach, that's no big whoop.

ON DEC. 1, 2007,
though, Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN erroneously reported that LSU's Les Miles was about to jump ship to his alma mater, Michigan. In hours, Miles and his Tigers were going to play Tennessee for the SEC championship and a slot in the national-championship game.

And then this:
A source has told ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit that barring any unforeseen circumstances, Michigan will announce early next week it has reached an agreement with LSU coach Les Miles to be its next head football coach.

Herbstreit is also reporting that Miles will make Georgia Tech defensive coordinator and interim head coach Jon Tenuta part of his staff at Michigan.

Miles, who played at Michigan and served two stints as an assistant under the late Bo Schembechler, will succeed Lloyd Carr, who stepped down after the Wolverines' loss to Ohio State last month.

Miles has been head coach at LSU since 2005. LSU is 32-6 with Miles at the helm, including 22 wins in his first 26 games as coach, and won 11 games in 2005 and 2006. The No. 7 Tigers (10-2), whose two losses this season both came in triple overtime, will play Tennessee in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday.

Miles also coached at Oklahoma State, posting a 28-21 record between 2001 and 2004, and was tight ends coach for the Dallas Cowboys between 1998 and 2000.

Miles has a 60-27 overall record in seven seasons as a head coach.
A STORY like that, on a day like that, just might blow up everything.

One can imagine exactly how furious Miles must have been. The man also had to be the next best thing to panic-stricken.

And it was absolutely imperative that he talk to the press right then. The coach barely had the luxury of counting to 10 before opening his mouth.

Look at the video. If you're totally pissed off, but go before the assembled sports press you must . . . that is how you do it.

THE THING about Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini's petulant performance Saturday night after beating Ohio State was that his moment of crisis had passed. He had won the game. He ought to have been ecstatic.

Instead, he chose a very public venue to take very public shots at an Omaha World-Herald columnist who had the gall to have an opinion Pelini didn't like. About a column that, in light of Nebraska's win and its quarterback's second-half play, had just become a moot point.

IN 2007, Bo Pelini was Les Miles' defensive coordinator. The man learned nothing.

I wonder how long he'd keep around a player that willfully dense.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

But Five-0 does

“I think that we need to all take a deep breath and relax. This is college students acting like college students on both sides. I don’t buy into the word ‘victim’ at all.”
-- Lewis Unglesby
Jordan Jefferson's
defense attorney

For the record -- though I am loathe to admit it nowadays -- I am an LSU graduate.

You know, F*** Bed Check and Let's Go Get in a Bar Fight U.

I also will admit to spending my share of time in barrooms while an undergraduate -- and the drinking age was 18 back then.

And I want you to know that I am officially pissed off -- but good -- at Lewis Unglesby's lame-ass defense of the guy who may be trading in No. 9 for a much longer set of digits and a starring role in The Longest Yard 3.

It's the defense of low expectations . . . of "but everybody's doing it, Ma!" It's the same kind of non-existent expectations that historically has made my alma mater a nationwide academic also-ran and has made my home state a nationwide embarrassment.

EVERYBODY gets in bar fights and (allegedly) curb-stomps some guy.

Nobody invests in higher education -- that's for eggheads. Harvard and Stanford are just jealous of our football team.

Everybody in government's a crook. But at least ours are more entertaining, you stick-in-the-mud Yankee sissies.

Help! I've fallen and I can't get up! Give me some money, America!

As one scholarly former LSU football coach once observed in the heat of battle, "F*** that s***!"

AS I NOTED, I spent more than my fair share of time at Murphy's, the Bayou, the Cotton Club, the Spanish Moon and God knows where else. Oh, the Tiger Lair in the LSU Union . . . can't forget that Friday-afternoon favorite. (And yes, LSU had an on-campus watering hole back in the day. I'll bet you're so shocked.)

Likewise, I will stipulate that I am well familiar with jocularity, falling on my ass, puking in the bushes on the Quadrangle and bed spins. I hate bed spins.

Despite my best attempts at undergrad alcoholism and bar-hopping, however, not once did I ever engage in a bar fight. And any head I may have kicked probably was the result of drunkenly stumbling over a passed-out classmate.

I don't know. Maybe I just never got the hang of college, or of "acting like college students."

Then again, maybe counselor Unglesby is either full of crap or knows his potential jurors all too well. Probably both.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Terrible grace vs. just terrible

This week, you can't open the sports section without reading about the star-crossed relationships of 20-year-old college students and 50-something coaches.

In Baton Rouge, among the stately oaks and broad magnolias, police hauled in four LSU football players Tuesday for questioning about a bar brawl that left four men battered and bruised -- one of them with cracked vertebrae. Two of the players, including Tiger starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson, weren't even old enough to have a legal beer at the time.

The cops say somebody's going to face charges -- maybe even felony battery charges. The question now is who. Jefferson?

Some substitute who throws better punches than blocks? Some other among the 20 or so Tigers at the appropriately named bar -- Shady's -- Thursday night?

Po-po ain't done questioning the thirsty Tigers yet, according to
The Advocate:

The names of the men injured in the fight were not released. However, White said, the man who was knocked unconscious and suffered contusions to his head, nose and hands is a Marine.

White said four LSU football players implicated in the incident gave their statements to police Tuesday at State Police headquarters and gave investigators the names of at least a dozen witnesses.

The four players — senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson, 20; freshman wide receiver Jarvis Landry, 18; sophomore offensive tackle Chris Davenport, 21; and sophomore linebacker Josh Johns, 21 — met with police for about two hours, the chief said.

“They were quite gracious,” White said of the players. “They gave their statements willingly.”

Police spokesman Sgt. Don Stone said investigators will interview the witnesses the football players told them about.

“It’s possible we will talk to more football players,” he said. “Names were mentioned today (Tuesday).”

Stone said interviewing the additional witnesses could extend the police investigation five, possibly 10 days.

“This investigation is far from over,” he said. “We are still on a fact-finding mission.”

However, Stone added, based on facts investigators already have gathered, “there is a good chance that when the investigation is over arrests will be made” and that people could be booked with simple battery and second-degree battery.

Second-degree battery is a felony offense that carries a maximum five-year prison sentence upon conviction while simple battery is a misdemeanor.

LSU'S COACH, Les Miles, says he'll take action beyond extra running for the team as the situation sorts itself out. He won't say what, because LSU football coaches have their priorities -- like not tipping off No. 3 Oregon (Sept. 3, Cowboys Stadium) about personnel or the game plan.

The cynical among us are tempted to just chalk this up as "college sports today." Another typical day in the big-money, big-entitlement, BMOC world of 20-year-old jocks and their 50-something coaches.

Tempted. Tempted until another story presents itself -- one of a 50-something coach and her 20-year-old son.

This one comes out of Knoxville, Tenn., just a few hundred miles northeast of the underage beer and parking-lot brawls of Baton Rouge. Torn from the pages of
The Washington Post, it's Sally Jenkins' account of a women's basketball program, a devastating diagnosis, terrible grace and the unshakable bond between a mother and a son.

YOU WANT to know why Pat Summitt, leader of the Lady Vols the past 37 years, has won more games than any coach of either sex, anywhere? Here's a clue:

Last Thursday, Summitt, Barnett, and her 20-year-old son Tyler, who is a junior at the University of Tennessee, met with Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and Athletic Director Joan Cronan to inform them of her condition. Barnett warned Summitt that contractually school administrators had the right to remove her as head coach immediately. Instead, Cheek and Cronan listened to Summitt’s disclosure with tears streaming down their faces.

“You are now and will always be our coach,” Cheek told her. With the blessing of her university, she will continue to work for as long as she is able.

“Life is an unknown and none of us has a crystal ball,” Cronan says. “But I do have a record to go on. I know what Pat stands for: excellence, strength, honesty, and courage.”

To Barnett, Pat’s fight is characteristic; her determination to keep working, and also to act as a spokeswoman for Alzheimer’s, is not incompatible with the values she has always preached as a coach.

“If you go back to her speeches, and her discussions with players through the years, you see several things,” Barnett says. “One is absolute dedication. Two is an unwillingness ever to give up. And three is an absolute commitment to honesty. And in this challenge that she’s facing, she is displaying the exact traits that she’s always taught. . . .Pat is going to run this race to the very end.”


It wasn’t until August that the reality of her condition hit home. “There was a pretty long denial period,” Tyler says. “At first she was like, ‘I’m fine.’ ”

When the blow finally fell, it was heavy. Summitt had always been the caregiver: Friends, family and former players struggling physically or emotionally have always come to her house for comfort, a hot meal and soothing advice in that honeyed southern voice. “I want to go see Pat,” is a common refrain. It wasn’t easy to reverse the role, and to admit that she would need care.

In September 2006, not long after the death of her father, she separated from R.B. Summitt, her husband of 26 years. Some months later, she found herself immobilized by physical pain, and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Summitt rarely betrayed in public the toll of that disease, but there were occasions, before it was successfully controlled by medication, when her son had to help her put her socks on.

In between those traumas she suffered a shoulder separation — from fighting a raccoon — and was hospitalized twice, once for cellulitis, and once for dehydration and exhaustion. Still, for all of that, she managed to lead the Lady Vols to consecutive national championships in 2007 and 2008.

Through it all, there has always been a sense of centeredness in Summitt. She is like a marble pillar, ramrod straight, that seems to have stood for a thousand years, while everything around it falls.

“Everyone has always wanted to know what Pat’s really like,” DeMoss said. “The word I’ve always used is ‘resolve.’ Pat has more resolve than any one I’ve ever known. She has a deep, deep inner strength.”

But now she will need a different kind of counterintuitive strength. Surrender and acceptance have never come naturally to her, nor has admitting vulnerability. She has trouble even uttering the word Alzheimer’s. But she’s learning.

“We sat down and had a good talk, and realized that the only reason we even made it this far, was that we had each other,” Tyler says. “It started with her father passing away, and then the divorce, and the arthritis, and then the Alzheimer’s, and each of those things, I don’t know how anyone could go through them alone. So we figured out that as much as we wanted to be Superman and Wonder Woman, and take care of things alone, we needed each other.”

MEANTIME, down on the bayou, the LSU players' high-powered yet pro-bono attorney, Nathan Fisher, says his clients are "scared to death" and that they "cried in this meeting -- they are scared to death."

Did you get the picture that they're scared to death? Do you get the picture that I'm strangely unmoved, considering?

Would that Pat Summitt might have the sad satisfaction of knowing why she's facing a sentence impervious to the best efforts of the best lawyer money can't buy. Or, thus far, to the best efforts of the best doctors that money can.

And would that a 20-year-old kid at the University of Tennessee had nothing worse to worry about than the prospect of a jail time and the wasting of a collegiate football career.

Lord, have mercy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sex and the old sportswriter

Y'all watch this video, then all y'all tell me whether the amalgamated foofarah below accurately represents what happened at LSU's weekly football presser with Coach Les Miles.

Here's the incompetent reportage -- Aw, hell, I was supposed to let you make up your own mind . . . you go ahead, ignore my editorializing -- from the hometown rag, The Advocate, as it throws an 86-year-old alumnus under the team bus:
An offbeat exchange between LSU football coach Les Miles and a retired Advocate reporter led to some awkward moments Monday at Miles’ weekly news conference.

Near the end of Miles’ question and answer session, former Advocate sportswriter Ted Castillo asked Miles about being interviewed by ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

“What is it like to be, and you can take the Fifth (Amendment) on this, but what is it like to be interviewed by a sweet, young thing like Erin Andrews?” Castillo asked.

Miles responded by saying: “If they had given that job to some old, big, ugly man, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. But what a joy it is to represent LSU in the postgame with victory and to celebrate victory in a postgame interview with a very talented, very attractive woman.”

Andrews was the subject of a celebrated invasion of privacy incident in 2009 when she was secretly videotaped in the nude through peepholes in her hotel room. Michael David Barrett pled guilty to interstate stalking and admitted he shot videos of Andrews on at least two occasions.

Barrett was sentenced in March to 27 months in prison.

The case became the subject of a follow-up statement by Castillo.

“You know they nabbed the guy who was filming her through the keyhole,” Castillo said to Miles.

“I’m not going to go there, Ted,” Miles replied.

“What I’d like to know is how that guy pulled that off,” Castillo continued, “because I’ve been peeping through keyholes for years and I’ve yet to see anything but a blank wall.”

Miles responded: “Ted, damn if I’m not impressed with your candor. I’m with ya,” before moving on to a question on a football-related topic by WBRZ sports director Michael Cauble.

Castillo, 86, worked for The Advocate from 1948-91 and for several years after that wrote stories for the newspaper as a freelance writer.


ESPN’s Josh Krulewitz, vice president of public relations for college and news, did contact The Advocate and LSU seeking to learn more about what was said.

Contacted on Monday night, Krulewitz said: “We’re not going to dignify those offensive questions with a response.”

Miles called Andrews after the incident became public to offer his support and encouragement, according to Bonnette. Bonnette said Miles was sensitive to and supportive of Andrews’ situation.

Since his retirement, Castillo has frequently attended LSU sporting events and news conferences and often asks questions and offers his view on topics at Miles’ weekly media gathering.

“I consider Ted a longtime fixture in the media in Baton Rouge, and I have never considered it my position to block his participation in our news conferences,” Bonnette said. “In the past he has generally asked good questions. Coach Miles has enjoyed his relationship with Ted. He only sees him about 12 times a year, and he respects Ted and understands that he’s been around a long time and has a history about LSU to share.

“But that being said, what happened (Monday) was unfortunate and something that we don’t condone.”
NOW WE move from the newspaper realm to that of the Internet's East Coast snark patrol, where liberal hipsters all congregate to gratuitously make fun of people not like them.

There, something like t
he humanity of an old man is unimportant. Gotcha -- and only gotcha -- is all that need govern the actions of media professionals here.

What do you know? Noo Yawk hipsters and The Advocate's Baton Rouge Bubbas actually have something in common.

(Dammit, there I go again. Strike that. Again, you go on and make up your own mind here.)

The first of these Internet entries comes from Asylum:
This is how we want to spend our (imaginary) retirement: asking LSU's football coach insane questions about Erin Andrews at the post-game press conference.

Andrews, a "very attractive" journalist for ESPN, interviewed LSU Coach Les Miles, prompting 86-year-old retired sportswriter Ted Castillo to ask, "What is it like to be -- and you can take the Fifth -- interviewed by a sweet, young thing like Erin Andrews?"

Castillo's voice is something akin to what you hear in your mind when you read phrases like "You boys ain't from around here, are ya?" Miles could only respond with: "What a joy it is to represent LSU in the postgame with victory and to celebrate victory in a postgame interview with a very talented, very attractive woman."
THIS ONE'S a follow-up from Deadspin:
We have video of the bizarre line of questioning Les Miles dealt with during his "Lunch With Les" press conference this morning. Furthermore, we've ascertained the identity of the mysterious "Ted" who is so curious about Ms. Andrews.

The "Ted" in question is Ted Castillo formerly of the (Baton Rouge) Advocate. He has a reputation for asking off-the-wall questions, and judging by Miles's reaction, as well as the rest of the room's reaction, we don't doubt that for a second.

AND HERE, from Down South, Mr. SEC gets into the act:
A retired sportswriter for The Baton Rouge Advocate has stirred up a controversy by asking Les Miles what it’s like “to be interviewed by a sweet, young think like Erin Andrews.”

In case you haven’t seen, the exchange has already made national news on sites like

Here’s a little background: Ted Castillo is an 86-year-old man. LSU allows him to still take part in media events. According to Deadspin, “He has a reputation for asking off-the-wall questions.”

Miles took the “sweet, young thing” question and responded as follows: “If they had given that job to some old, big, ugly man, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. But what a joy it is to represent LSU in the postgame with victory and to celebrate victory in a postgame interview with a very talented, very attractive woman.”

Better answer? “Come on, Ted. I’m not going there. Andrews does a very good job.”
I THINK we are agreed that Ted Castillo committed a serious breach of political correctness, forgetting this isn't 1967 and that humor is no laughing matter, Mister.

All right, I get it now. I have been enlightened.

The old codger committed the sin of letting time pass him by. Frankly, he should have known it's inappropriate to objectify beautiful young women . . . and especially to joke about their good looks.

He forgot (if he ever knew) that it's what's inside a woman that's important. He was oblivious to Andrews' reportorial skill, which
is the only thing one needs to know -- or notice -- about her. Frankly, in this enlightened age, we rightly realize how terribly wrong it is to objectify any professional woman.

It is the content of her mind and her heart that matters . . .
not the content of her double-D cups.

Pity Ted Castillo, who must make sick, sick comments at football press conferences, humiliating a proud educational institution and offending the dignity of Erin Andrews and a serious journalistic institution like
ESPN. It is not unreasonable to demand an answer from the octogenarian as to why he must speak inappropriately in public instead of privately downloading Internet pornography like everyone else.

THIS SAD -- and, frankly, deeply troubling -- incident has at least served to highlight the plight of young professional women and the daily struggle they face in a society still ravaged by sexism . . . and randy old farts. This, one hopes, is a wake-up call for America.

It is time we take Erin Andrews seriously, and it's time we take sex completely out of any discussion of this talented sports-journalism professional.

IT IS TRULY . . . a . . . despicable thing . . . that . . . Ted . . . Castillo has . . . done. It is . . . high . . . time -- Holy mud-wrestling mother of God! -- that . . . the LSU athletic . . . department stands up for . . . the dignity of -- Ow! Mamacita! -- women and . . . takes Ted Castillo -- Hubba! Hubbahubbahubba! -- out of . . . its . . . pressers and . . . puts him -- pant pant pant -- out . . . to pasture.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Wee hav are pryareatees

Word is, Les Miles had better win nine games this season at LSU, or he might get that chance to coach at Michigan after all.

Says Peter Finney at
The Times-Picayune, the booster community could be ready to come up with the cash for a big buyout:

Now one script tells us, three years after winning a national championship, after going 8-5 and 9-4, Miles needs a 9-3 regular-season record to maintain employment at LSU.

An 8-4 regular season, says one script, and the Tiger Athletic Foundation is prepared to come up with the money necessary to buy out the head coach.

COMMON KNOWLEDGE is, Tiger Nation is going to go apes*** if Les comes away with a loss against North Carolina in Hotlanta on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, buried in the pages of newspapers many Louisianians are too damned illiterate to read, is word of this little "budget exercise" Gov. Bobby Jindal is insisting LSU embark upon -- as in immediately -- to let the Capitol gang know what would have to go if, say, another $74 million disappeared from the university's annual budget.

As it turns out,

But that's not important now. Getting all geared up for a snit fit that will end with the firing of their $3 million football coach is the thing weighing on Tiger fans' minds.
Such as they are.

Dat's Loosiana for you: Lose 33 percent of your football games when you're "on the hot seat" three years after winning the national championship, and you're likely going to get cussed . . . and vilified . . . and have your wife called ugly names . . . and your manhood questioned . . . and be booed every Saturday night through November . . . before you're unceremoniously fired.

On the other hand, be the governor who cripples higher education with a 35-percent budget cut -- driving your state even further into a Third Worldish economic and cultural malaise -- and you're probably a sure bet to get re-elected by a wide margin.

IF EVERYTHING plays out like I suspect it will, Les Miles will be hitching up the U-Haul as he contemplates the Mega-Millions severance check he just stuffed into his billfold. And then he and Kathy will kiss, step into the Family Truckster and hit the road.

After a while on the road, as Les dodges a pothole, and then another, he'll glance at Baton Rouge in his rearview mirror.
And he'll smile.