Showing posts with label MIles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MIles. Show all posts

Monday, December 03, 2007

Video of the week

Pick the version of events in the Saga of the Michigan Man you care to believe, but what it all came down to was LSU Coach Les Miles pulling the plug on an old, dear dream that was threatening to sink the football dream of a bunch of young men. His young men -- LSU Men.

And their dream did not die amid an ESPN hellstorm, nor did it die when a crippled up Louisiana State squad took on Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference title game.

NOW THE MICHIGAN MAN and his LSU Men -- after the most improbable chain of insane events during a wild and woolly season-finale weekend -- chase a renewed dream. A national championship. A dream so far out of reach that its sudden resurrection was marginally less stunning than ol' Lazarus stumbling out of his tomb a couple of millennia ago.

On one hand, the old Michigan Man can't go home again. Neither can many of us.

Things change, dreams die painful deaths and, sometimes, better ones show up after the funeral is concluded and the dearly departed's memory has been toasted.

Les Miles has a national championship to win against -- deliciously for an old Michigan Man -- the Ohio State University. And win it he just might.

As an LSU Man.
Geaux Tigers.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Fans have Miles to go to be worthy of Les

MSNBC news item
Les Miles insists he will remain LSU’s football coach despite all the speculation he would bolt for Michigan.

“I am the head coach at LSU. I will be the head coach at LSU,” Miles said Saturday. “I have no interest in talking to anybody else.”

LSU athletic director Skip Bertman said Miles and LSU chancellor Sean O’Keefe already have worked out a contract “they’re happy with,” but it has not yet been signed.

Wearing a purple tie, standing and gesturing, Miles angrily made his announcement two hours before the No. 5 Tigers played No. 14 Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference championship game.

“I’ve got a championship game to play, and I’m excited about the opportunity of my damn strong football team to play,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that I had to address my team with that information this morning.

Miles said an erroneous ESPN report that he was going to Michigan prompted him to speak to his players and the media.

“I represent me in this issue, please ask me after. I’m busy,” he said.
Here are some selected comments following the Times-Picayune story about Miles staying:

* he only wins because he has sabans recruits ...... you give him a new contract and then he starts losing ....... idiots .....

* OH NOOOOOOOOOOOO, Let Him GOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* Big Frank , as others, that , ley's face it, when Saban's recruits are gone, so is the dream! Miles is NOT a Coach by any means. He is where he is because he has been able to get 110% out of Saban's guys. Predictions are no better than 7-5 next year and that's on the high end. One more thing, Saban or Spurrier was here. Perrilloux's Hoodlum azz would be GONE!
GOOD GRIEF. I'll say here what I said over on the T-P:

How come no one ever bitched about Nick Saban winning with Gerry DiNardo's recruits? All some gobstopperingly moronic LSU fans want to do is run off a coach who has put together three straight 10-win seasons, something that even the Almighty Saban couldn't do.

If that's how you treat Les Miles, who the hell with any sense would WANT to come to LSU . . . except to get a sweet contract, make some money, bolster the resume and gut it out in a Third World country for three years before hauling butt to greener pastures.

Miles is displaying a little loyalty to Louisiana -- probably foolishly, being the man DOES have a wife and school-age kids to worry about. Any look at all the good rankings and the bad ones will tell you that Louisianians regularly manage to do what even a dog won't -- s*** in his own bed.

And the coach you want to run off still sticks with LSU and with Louisiana. I hope his compensation package amply takes that into account.

Frankly, as a Louisiana native and LSU grad who in 1988 hauled butt to Nebraska (where government generally works and people generally care), I am thrilled that my "other team" is getting Bo Pelini. Y'all didn't want him, but he's going to go to work for Tom Osborne down in Lincoln, and he's going to win, and win, and win, and win some more.


The tragedy of Louisiana is that people who are so idiotic as to want to run off a perennial 10-win coach probably aren't a tiny group of fringe lunatics.

The bigger tragedy of Louisiana is that people that damn stupid are allowed to vote. And it shows.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

But it's all we've got. . . .

We'll that's enough of that. Louisiana State's national-championship pigskin pipe dream, that is.

Got through the three-overtime debacle against Ar-KANSAS with a blue fog hanging in the air, with intermittent F-bombs still in the forecast, and an easily repaired smashed remote control. And a dented coaster.

Not one of those sandstone drink coasters, because then the TV would be dead.

I guess we Louisianians take college football kind of seriously.

AT THE END of the game, a friend (and old high-school and college classmate) called from her home in Kansas City. Mrs. Favog answered the phone.

I was informed that our friend took the big loss about like I did. Badly. Much angst and cursing. What kind of bleedin' IDIOT calls a pass play for a two-point conversion when you have the defense spread and could have run it in?

Anyway, amid blazing anger and a borderline existential crisis sometimes comes a flash of absolute clarity. Keen insight. An involuntary uttering of the God's honest truth -- straight, no chaser.

"It's sad," she said, "because it's all we've got."

I guess she could have been talking about how baseball is down and basketball is a basket case. But I doubt it.

I THINK SHE MEANT what I do: In a state leading all the bad lists and at the rear of all the good ones, LSU football is -- was -- the one unqualified success story measurable in quantifiable terms: W's and L's.

We coulda been a contender. But now we're not. More unfettered Louisiana suckiness after these messages. . . .

Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . I know. Unique culture, amazing food and music. Lots of history . . . tourism . . . blah blah blah. Unfortunately, none of that quantifiably adds to the bottom line in some very important ways.

Good food, good music and an interesting culture will not stop Louisianians from killing one another at far above the national average. They will not teach Tee John to read, or cause Bubba to graduate from a reasonably rigorous high school . . . or graduate from any high school at all.

They will not increase the state's percentage of college graduates, nor will they magically produce a well-trained, competent workforce. They thus far have resulted neither in good roads nor honest, effective government.

They have not grown the state's economy in any way that creates lots of jobs capable of supporting lots of families adequately. They have not caused a groundswell of economic activity, domestic tranquility or kept Louisiana's "best and brightest" from heading for the exits in increasing numbers every year.

Quaint, rustic and under indictment is no way to go through life.

I DON'T KNOW whether I count as "best and brightest," but I made for the exit -- for the last time -- in 1988. My friend left just before I did.

No, the one quantifiable success we native Louisianians have been able to take pride in -- at least the past seven years -- has been LSU football. We had a chance to win it all -- again. And that disappeared into an Arkansas defender's hands, in the back of the end zone, in the third overtime period.

Yes, I know football is "bread and circuses." At least the "circuses" part, anyway. And I know there are much more important things in life than that.

But it's all we've got.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Give more for Les. Care less for more?

Some Louisiana State football fans have decided to stand by their man, Coach Les Miles.

Actually, they're going to march for their man Wednesday. Of course, that's pretty much a no-brainer when your guy's team is 10-1 and in the hunt for a national title. And when Michigan just might be breathing down your neck . . . and whispering sweet nothings in your coach's ear.


LSU fans are planning a rally to show their desire to keep Les Miles in Baton Rouge. The head football coach of the Tigers is likely the top candidate to replace Lloyd Carr at Michigan.

Miles is a former Michigan player and assistant coach and has a passion for the maize and blue. But he has also made it clear that he loves LSU.

The "March for Miles" is set to begin at 6 pm Wednesday from Tiger Stadium. Supporters plan to walk from the stadium to Walk On's, which is the site of the coach's weekly radio show.

THAT'S SWEET. No, really. It's a sweet, albeit self-interested, gesture.

I would imagine that would give pause to a coach if his alma mater were to come calling, offering him the chance to make his dreams come true. Back home. Do you stay where you're appreciated, where folks want you to stay?

Or do you try to buck Thomas Wolfe and go home again? Go home to whatever uncertainty might await you there.

You know, if I were in Baton Rouge -- instead of an 1,100-mile drive away, sitting in my studio on a cold, damp and blustery Nebraska night -- I might be soooooo there Wednesday evening for the march. LSU needs to hang on to men like Les Miles. Even if they're Michigan Men.

BATON ROUGE NEEDS to hang on to a Michigan Man like Les Miles. Baton Rouge needs more men like Les Miles -- disciplined, smart, driven, upright, successful.

Baton Rouge has a funny damn way of trying to do that.

See, to keep men like Miles -- to attract more men and women like Miles -- my hometown needs to quit begging and start doing. Make Baton Rouge someplace that people like Les Miles would be crazy to leave . . . no matter how loud the siren song of home and how full the pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow.

Instead, a parade of U-Hauls snaking toward the state line testifies that a lot of born-and-raised Louisianians think it's kind of nuts to stay.

Maybe that has something to do with Baton Rougeans and other Louisianians being motivated enough to organize a "Please Stay Les" march on, literally, a moment's notice but almost entirely uninterested in their crooked government, soaring crime rate and crumbling, ineffective public schools.

That testifies to some seriously messed-up priorities, people.

THINK OF IT, if Baton Rougeans were as interested in education as LSU football, Baton Rouge Magnet High School wouldn't be falling apart before their eyes. And around their kids. Talk about a school full of overachievers -- kids Louisiana is eager to hold on to but hard-pressed to keep.

They are the Les Mileses of education, business, industry and the arts. And most of them are going to haul butt, even without a multimillion-dollar contract as motivation.

Furthermore -- that is, if people cared -- East Baton Rouge Parish public schools would be a model system for the nation, not a failing morass of struggling students, fetid facilities and demoralized educators. One that's becoming blacker, and blacker, and blacker still with every passing school year.

For some insane reason, middle-class whites there are content to pay an astronomical "private-school tax" to keep their children out of the under-resourced and horribly mismanaged East Baton Rouge system, as opposed to paying the taxes and exercising the civic vigilance necessary to ensure a first-rate public system.

What was it the Supreme Court said about "separate and unequal"? That's what exists in Baton Rouge -- and across Louisiana -- today.

And anyone could tell you that a good public-school system is the foundation for building a better city. A city the likes of Les Miles would be crazy to leave, no matter what.

SO, GO AHEAD. March for Les. Beg him to stay. Perhaps he'll take pity on you and do what you ask.

But do you think you could spare a couple of hours, and a little concern, for your own children -- or for somebody else's not-so-fortunate children -- and have a little march for them, too?

Preferably one utilizing pitchforks, torches, tar and feathers.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Be careful with your dreams. They may come true.

Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue. And the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true.

Harold Arlen wrote it, and Judy Garland lived it to a nightmarish end at age 47.

Sometimes, over the rainbow, the dreams that come true aren't all what they're cracked up to be. And you better be careful about those dreams that you dare to dream, lest they really do come true.

And break your damn heart.

RIGHT NOW, it's starting to look like Louisiana State's football coach, Les Miles,
has an appointment to meet the dream of a true Michigan Man. Miles has the chance to try to fill the shoes of his old coach and mentor, Bo Schembechler, after Lloyd Carr has given up on trying to do just that.

And this grand opportunity to try to go home again comes as Miles and his LSU Tigers chase after a national championship. Could there be anything better than that?

Sure, doing that at your alma mater. Being a hometown hero back in the place you count as home.

Be careful of your dreams. Sometimes they only partially come true.

Can that count as one definition of "nightmare"? I think so, and I know a little something about that.

When you think you have it made, it's important to remember a couple of things: S*** happens, and people can be real jerks. It all falls under The Fall. You know, Adam, Eve, serpent, apple.

Ever since The Fall, we've dealt with sin,
exile, death and chaos. Our dreams are subject to all of those, which quickly can turn them into nightmares.

And sometimes, you think you've landed yourself a really sweet gig. The powers that be tell you how much they love you. They tell you how much they need you. They pay you a nice chunk of change. All of this happens right at the point where you say,
"I'm livin' the dream."

Then, of course, life intervenes. Unless you are exceptionally charmed, things don't always go quite right. You encounter slackers, backbiters and screw-ups. Sometimes, you are one -- or all -- of the above.

And then, to rip off another popular song:

Baby, baby
Where did our love go?
And all your promises
Of a love forever more?

REMEMBER POPE FM? That was an occasional series of posts I did about a Catholic FM station I really worked at, though the name has been changed to protect the guilty. In 1999, I thought I could be there forever.

I'm not there now. It's The Fall,

See, I loved that station, even though the programming wasn't always my cup of tea. I learned a lot, and I did a lot of good there, and I think I made a "religious" station just a bit more accessible to people who don't live in church . . . and who don't see life as a never-ending progression of bad liturgical music and stern church ladies.

The Catholic Church pretty much has been in disarray ever since the Second Vatican Council, despite that council having been much needed. What I learned from my "dream job" is that the folks who think they have the answers on how to set her straight again are pretty screwed up themselves.

Misplaced priorities and toxic spirituality have no ideology. The center did not hold, and one lunatic program director and several crises of conscience later, I was out of a job. The alternative would have been worse.

Still, I felt as though I'd been through a divorce. A nasty divorce from someone I once
had loved.

I HAD SEEN borderline-crazy and completely wrong things done there in the name of Jesus Christ, by the people who ran a radio station that professed to have the Catholic answer. I had just seen the crazy underbelly of, and cold cynicism within, a tool of the Church I sought out as a refuge 17 years ago.

I almost lost my faith. The last thing I did as I gathered up my things and walked out of my office for the last time was to pitch a crucifix on the floor. What had gone on there under Jesus' dying gaze, the indefensible that had been defended in Christ's name -- indeed, under the nose of Jesus Himself in the Pope FM chapel
tabernacle -- was scandalous and a sacrilege.

I had come to believe that not only did the Church not have the answer, it didn't even have a clue.

Do you know how that feels? Do you know what it feels like to have something precious to you start to leave an exceedingly bad taste in your mouth?

It feels like The Fall. And it breaks your heart.

I am still Catholic, by the grace of God. I finally internalized the reality that the Church is not Pope FM, nor is it the flawed men who lead it. Pope FM is a flawed evangelist for the Church; the bishops are compromised shepherds who sometimes neglect their flock.

I am a Bad Catholic, trying to get to tomorrow from today. Intact.

We all are The Fall.

AND THE TROUBLE with our dreams is they sometimes come true . . . and aren't nearly so dreamy. I hope Les Miles thinks about that before leaving a pretty decent gig for his "dream job."

We all know that coaching is a do-or-die, cutthroat kind of profession, all the noble collegiate bromides aside. Boosters are cold, and fans are nuts -- I know this, I are one. A fan, that is. Don't have the scratch to be a booster.

If Michigan were to betray a loyal and true Michigan Man -- or if the loyal and true Michigan Man were somehow to betray it -- could Les take it? Could a coach's coach make the necessary halftime adjustments to his broken heart?

Aye, there be the rub.