I say this almost every year, but I will reiterate for our newer readers: I hate Media Days. They are a contrived publicity stunt at which no actual news will happen. The only good thing about the Media Days is that it marks the calendar as a little bit closer to real live football.
The SEC has already had their week of ego-stroking, and now other conferences are getting in on the media cycle to hype up their own product offerings (New ACC Slogan: "Us, Too... Right?"). Every team looks better than it did last year, and every player is hungry to win. The coaches like the new kids, and there's nothing but sunshine and rainbows on the horizon for everyone.
It's not actually hurting anyone, and let's be honest, we're all desperate for football right now. So we pretend to be interested in our rival's depth chart or some manufactured feud between Jimbo Fisher and Art Briles. Then, we go back to ignoring the Tour de France and counting the days until opening kickoff. Summer is a rough time for the American sports fan.
It's spending this month watching the assorted used car salesmen who make up the college coaching fraternity that I thank God that Les Miles is LSU's coach. He's one of the guys who just gets it: this is supposed to be fun.
Sure, this opens himself up to a lot of mockery and good-natured ribbing. We can predict that Les Miles watching a video of Les Miles is destined to be a meme. He talks funny and breaks every known rule of English syntax.
However, we are talking about a guy that, when given an open mic every year at SEC Media Days, decides to use his time to fill in the assembled media on his family's summer vacation. Forget coachspeak, Miles seems to think that football is almost incidental. Which, at media days, it is.
Heck, he single-handedly killed my translating CoachSpeak column because Miles defies translation. He doesn't speak in the worn clichés of the coaching profession, he just lets fly his own Milesisms. There's no way I can make the translation funnier than what actually came out of his mouth.
Sure, he takes pride in his job. He likes winning, and you don't get to keep coaching in the SEC if you don't win. Miles knows this is part of the gig, but there's no reason why we can't take joy in the totality of the experience. He lets the goofy exterior slide a bit when some pundit questions the quality of his work at LSU. He'll even go on their network and say so:
That's on the same appearance in which he talked about jumping off a building, instructed people how to clap properly, and ate grass. He's not afraid to make fun of himself, but don't make fun of LSU.
I enjoy having Les Miles around. Forget LSU, college football is richer for having a guy like this around. It's never more apparent how lucky we are to have Miles at LSU then during the silly season. While every other coach is breaking down their depth chart for the media, he's complaining that Austin doesn't have a beach.
I still hate Media Days, but I have to admit, I like Les Miles talking to the media.