There's been a lot of talk about Coach Les Miles lately. Everyone has an opinion about him, but how well do you know the man and how he thinks? Well I thought I would develop this little quiz where you, the intrepid reader, can test your knowledge of the enigma that is Lesie Edwin Miles.
1) As a child, Les admired which prominent American Civil War figure?
- a) Abraham Lincoln
- b) William Sherman
- c) Robert E. Lee
- d) U.S. Grant
Answer after the jump.
Answer: B. First of all, Abraham Lincoln was a pussy; he wanted to save the Union. Like Miles, Sherman isn't concerned with saving shit. Any method will do, as long as it works. Also, Lincoln placed pride in being a great orator. Les Miles doesn't have time for such trivial nonsense like communicating with the outside world -- a few random phrases, cliches, and expression of a seemingly appropriate emotion is enough.
Lee was a tactical master, yet ultimately a loser. Obviously, this is not Miles, and is arguably the exact opposite. Grant basically inherited his position as having a huge advantage over the opponent. Many claim this describes Miles to a tee -- only it doesn't. Miles is making his own success with his own recruits, and his own special flavor of crazy, and what can only be described as powers to bend reality bordering on the godlike. And like Sherman, Les relishes the idea of destruction. What, you think he wants to win games? That, my friend, is a mere side effect to causing as much chaos and destruction as he can! You have to win a few games a year, and maybe the odd SEC championship and National Title to keep your job; only by keeping his job can he ensure that chaos and destruction truly reign.
2) What does Les first think when he sees this formula?
- a) "I have no idea what that means, but it looks cool. Dammit, where's that Hatch kid?"
- b) "That's the formula for a standard deviation."
- c) "That has absolutely no relevance to me whatsoever."
- d) "TAFFY!!!"
Answer: C. Yes, I know, we are tempted to say D, and about some things you would be right. Les does love his Taffy, and he thinks about it about as often as the average teenage male thinks about sex. His next thought after this is very likely, indeed, about taffy, but looking at the question, I asked what his first thought was. Despite popular notions to the contrary, Les is not stupid; his unique mixture of insanity and evil are easily mistaken for cluelessness. Yes, He knows what a standard deviation is -- he coaches a major college football team for christsakes! However, Les also knows that he is not bound by the same laws of reality as you and I. Les attempts to bend reality with his sheer force of will; often successfully (e.g., Florida 2010), but not always (e.g., Ole Miss 2009). Les is not quite a god, but he is very likely a demi-god, and he can't help but attempt to use this cosmic influence he has over the universe at the end of close ball games, if for no other reason than it amuses him.
3) Who is Les Miles' favorite author?
- a) Donald Goines
- b) Dan Brown
- c) Mao Zedong
- d) H.P. Lovecraft
Answer: D. I can see how a person could reasonably say C, as it's easy to imagine Les relating so well to the man that started the decade-long riot/social movement/clusterfuck that was the Cultural Revolution. But Les is not bound to the silly constraints of political ideology, especially the twice-regurgitated drivel that is Mao. Goines might be the route you would go if you though Les wanted to develop some misguided frame of reference to relate to his (predominantly African American) players. That's bullshit, as Les doesn't feel the need to relate to anyone. And if Les is going to spend time reading, he's not going to waste it on pulp garbage the likes of which Dan Brown writes. No; Les Miles likes to go to sleep with dreams of existential terror, and therefore on his bedstand are stories that reiterate and reinforce his views that the universe is a cold and evil place where you don't fuck around with things you don't understand.
4) At the very end of the Florida game yesterday, what vision was going through Miles' head?
Answer: Trick question; all of the above. I know , this initially seems hard, but if you know Les Miles at all, you know that all of these images have in-game relevance to him. A, C, and D are obvious. But option B doesn't have any seeming relevance you say? That is only because you are sane, and as we have established, Les Miles is not sane, nor is he bound by your passe Western notions of valuing things like sanity, relevance or logical thought processes -- he has transcended that shit! Trust me, it makes complete sense to him -- not only that, but it's absolutely essential. He understands things about the nature of the universe that you not privy to. And you should be thankful for that. Very, very thankful.