Welcoming Leonard: Part 3

Les Miles is working to get Leonard Fournette to see things that no one else can see.

Leonard Fournette finishes up an evening workout and seven-on-seven session with his teammates at the LSU Football Operations Complex and the Charles McClendon Practice Facility. Dusk is just beginning to settle as he walks out into the parking lot, preparing for the trek back over to his apartment.

Leonard, to himself: Great work. We're getting ready man. I can feel it. Everybody's busting their ass. Practice is just a few weeks away. But now it's time to get back to the room and call it a ni...

/A loud truck horn booms

LSU's purple-and-gold 18-wheeler equipment truck rolls up Skip Bertman Drive into Leonard's view...

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A sign on the door reads "Grass, Grass or Grass: No One Rides for Free." The door flies open as an instrumental track booms out of the truck's stereo:


In the driver's seat, Les Miles turns to face Leonard.

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Miles: Ya look like ya could use a ride son. Why don't you get in.

Leonard: ...I'm not so sure about that coach.

Miles: What's the matter? Don't trust your coach to drive ya home?

Leonard: Not under these circumstances.

Miles: Well let's talk about these circumstances...

Leonard: Well, for one, I've never seen you drive an 18-wheeler, and for another it's dark and you're wearing sunglasses.

Miles: Look son, I'm gonna tell you the same thing I tell my wife. I never drive faster than I can see, and it's all in the reflexes.

Leonard: And honestly coach, all these talks we've been having have kind of weirded me out...

Miles: Son we could hem and haw and skirt the issues and chew each other's gums off and talk about who runs what and where' that gettin' us? Nowhere. Fast. Now get in and let's take you home.

Leonard, confused: ...Okay...

/gets in. The truck speeds down Skip Bertman Drive and takes a hard left on to Nicholson.

Miles: Some night, eh Leonard? Son I tell ya, a night like this, when the wind is howlin' and the sky's comin' down all around ya and the thunder sounds like the pillars of heaven itself are shakin', ya gotta be ready for whatever comes your way.

Leonard: ...um...Coach...um...it's a perfectly clear night. Kind of nice actually. What are you talkin' abou...

Miles: Look son, we're both reasonable men. Right? Right. But over the next couple of months we're going to be reasonable men seeing some unreasonable things! And when those dragons are snarlin' and those waves are rollin' down that hill and the enemy is at the gates ready to beat the life right out of ya'. Here's a piece of advice from ol' Jack Burton. When that gruesome 250-pound son of a bitch has your face down in the mud and he asks ya' "Have you paid your dues Jack?"

Leonard: ...

Miles: You look that bastard right back in the face and you say "Yes sir, the check is in the mail."

The truck arrives on the edge of the West Campus apartments.

Miles: Look son, all this hemmin' and hawin' is gettin' us nowhere. Fast. So before  you go I want you to remember what ol' Jack Burton says at a time like this.

Leonard: Who?

Miles: Jack Burton! Me!

Leonard, exasperated: YOUR NAME IS NOT JACK BURTON IT IS LES MILES AND I DO NOT UNDERSTAND ONE GODDAMNED WORD OF ANY OF THIS AND IT'S REALLY WEIRD COACH DO YOU KNOW THAT?!?!?

Miles: Ol' Jack Burton says...what the hell...

The rig stops, Leonard exits the cab and walks back to his room with a blank, mystified look on this face.

TO BE CONCLUDED...
Part 1
Part 2
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