Last Modified: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 10:07 AM
Overheard in the lobby before Les Miles addressed the now semi-annual LSU Tiger Tour at L’Auberge Tuesday night, spoken by an obvious fan:
“I’m afraid this could be another 10-2 season.”
Mind you, it was muttered, not with excitement, not with typical LSU bravado, but somewhat with resignation.
As in … not much of a parade this year.
And this guy was old enough to remember LSU’s lost decade of the 1990s when 10-2 seemed like a pipe dream.
So that’s what Miles was dealing with in this Golden Age of LSU football. That’s the monster he has nurtured with the Tigers, where anything less than a national championship is only barely tolerated and anything less than an SEC title is considered a waste of time.
Even with Alabama in the same division — maybe especially with Alabama as an archrival.
Sky-high expectations — often bordering on unrealistic — has always been one of real charms of that special species known as the LSU fan.
Miles’ eyes were wide open when he took the job, and it hasn’t gotten any easier with the success he’s had.
But it wasn’t really so tough a crowd inside Tuesday night — it’s still April, after all. But even if it had been, we’ll probably never know.
Miles can be a funny guy. As we know, he has his quirks, his puzzling turns of a phrase, his occasional need of a translator for an adopted state that sometimes strays from the King’s English.
It has potential for comical Q&A.
So there was a packed ballroom of eager LSU fans who surely had some pertinent questions, maybe some pointed ones too.
They paid good money for this. Miles gets paid much better money to put up with this stuff. The alums anted up some more in an auction. There were in a good mood.
They also couldn’t get a word in.
This event would be so much better if LSU would just trust Les to be Les.
Instead, like so many big institutions these days, the school seems obsessed with controlling the information flow.
Gordy Rush, former co-host of one of the best postgame college football radio shows in the country, is an able interviewer. Which is fortunate because he was the only one in the ballroom who got to question Miles.
Rush does a good job, and give him credit for bringing the pesky Jeremy Hill situation to Miles’ attention.
There was a separate room set aside for local media to pepper Miles with questions, so this isn’t a personal complaint.
But we media get Miles all year.
So what’s the harm in letting fans and alums have a chance to fire one up at their head coach?
In the past, Miles always handled that part well. But in recent years, the audience seems expected to remain just the audience and lap up whatever LSU decides to dish out.
Believe me, Miles could handle them.
It’s basically preaching to the choir anyway.
One of the biggest ovations of the night responded to the word that Tiger Stadium’s new south end zone upper deck, built above the club suites, will include a convenient upper-upper-deck to stash visiting fans.
When asked to address the fact that his top running back, Hill, has been suspended indefinitely, courtesy of the misdemeanor charges that arose from his part in an off-campus lounge dust-up last weekend.
”He will be separated him from this team and allow him to work through what are his issues,” Miles said, sounding as annoyed and frustrated as the fans who’ve wondered all weekend how you fix stupid.
Miles probably spoke for the entire room when he related the conversation he had with Hill, the Tigers’ leading rusher last year, along with his parents and minister.
“I asked him what his grade point was?” Miles said. “He said 3.2 (GPA). I said, how can you be such a good student, be such a good player, and not have it all together? What put you in this situation?”
Miles said Hill told him, “Coach, I’m going to fix that situation.”
“I like that answer,” Miles said. “I told him you do your business, you communicate with me along the way, and let’s see how it goes.”
Miles had a ringside seat in New York last week, commentating for the NFL network, which afforded him the perfect view to watch his defense disappear before his very eyes.
Six starters went in the first three rounds — which has never happened to any school before — and when the pros were done picking him clean, he’d lost nine underclassmen.
“That’s what our players are supposed to do,” he said proudly before the event, sounding like an overzealous Little League daddy. “That’s the kind of players we bring to LSU.
“We’ve got more of them waiting their turn.”
That’s what they wanted to hear.
• • •
Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted By: Pierre Rochon On: 5/4/2013
Title: Just Sports no POLITICS
Bill will all due respect to u my fellow LSU fan - But please can we leave Obama and Politics out of this? This is after all - A SPORTS forum - Thanks
Posted By: tim giles On: 5/3/2013
Title: stupid is is as stupids says
when was reading recruits palms part of a coaches resume? and I have long wondered how some of my fellow fans can call them fans when they are ripping the program that most of us are working so hard to build !
Posted By: tim giles On: 5/3/2013
Title: MY man Miles
LSU and Les are great match a lot of us fans are very irritable , but he calms us down with wins and we travel with MIles for our our saturday smiles ,which we will remember long after coach is retired !
Posted By: Chip in WA On: 5/3/2013
Title: Good stuff
Another enjoyable read from Scooter Hobbs who is a unique writer in that what he writes almost always is interesting to Tiger fans in particular and often to most any college football fan. Thanks, Scooter for another installment.
Posted By: Chance R. On: 5/3/2013
Title: No trust for Miles?
I bet all will be forgiven when Miles downs Bama, wins the SEC and National titles this coming season. No bandwagon fans needed here!
Posted By: Bill Snider On: 5/3/2013
Title: Always worrying about someone else
It would seem that there is never an article written about LSU, unless Alabama is being mentioned. As a tiger fan I can tell you that I could care less what Alabama is doing. It's beginning to be similar to the Obama syndrome where you see his face on tv every night.
Posted By: curt savoy On: 5/3/2013
I remember the old days (late 40s----) and i am proud of our program our program and wish we could win a nc every year,but 10-2 is ok by me as long as we beat the right teams--ala. ole miss lol
Posted By: Jack gates-LSU tiger in 59,60,61 &62 On: 5/3/2013
Title: Good or Bad??
Scooter-I hope more of the same concerns only winning nine or ten games each year rather than more LSU football players in trouble with the law and making the front page by getting arrested. I think Coach Miles needs to examine the character of his possible recruits before wasting a scholarship. There was a time when a tiger alumnus didn't have to be ashamed of the program.
Posted By: bob turner On: 5/2/2013
Title: how you fix stupid.
In the article it was was written "how you fix stupid." I know many a fan has wondered this about Miles