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Hobbs Column: No rudder in this meme

Last Modified: Thursday, March 21, 2013 8:31 PM

By Scooter Hobbs / American Press

Sad to say it, but I’m afraid I’m a little late to the Harlem Shake party.

If you’re even later, the so-called Harlem Shake is most often described as harmless fun mostly played out by youths with too much time on their hands and mostly looking for yet another convenient excuse not to study or clean up their room or take out the trash or pull up their pants.

Forbes magazine, the noted teen pop culture journal, has even weighed in with a very weighty argument as to whether the fad constitutes a clear and present derivative of the “Gangnam Style” or — as the magazine argues — is just another “meme.”

That was the safe argument, the editors assuming none of us have any idea what a “meme” is, although it rhymes with dream and I have looked it up for you (on Wikipedia): “An idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”

Further: “Are viral and propagate around, sometimes mutating as they propagate.”

If that sounds like way too much propagating and mutating for the good of our nation’s youth, who are our future, apparently it’s not nearly as scary as it sound,s and keep in mind you that you, if you’re an adult, did some pretty dadgum stupid things when you were a kid, too.

Whatever it is, just remember that it, too, shall soon pass.

It involves dancing (i.e., rhythm) so there was really no need for me, on a personal level, to investigate it further.

Oh, but just when you thought March could get no Madder, when one assumed the Harlem Shake could get no sillier or more useless, when surely society had jumped the shark and mankind had lost its way hopelessly down a slippery slope and over the precipice …

You already guessed it, didn’t you?

Yes, Les Miles had to get involved.

The LSU football team has jumped into the Harlem Shake sweepstakes in a big, big way.

There is, in fact, viral video evidence propagating all over the Internet — look it up — of the 59-year-old LSU coach in a shameless attempt to recapture his lost youth and innocence and look cool and hip enough to further boost the Tigers’ latest recruiting push.

Actually, it’s kind of funny, mildly entertaining, possibly harmless.

Reviews have poured in, of course everything from “Les nailed it!” to “Les being Les” to “Society lobs one in Miles’ wheelhouse” to “Doesn’t have the chest for it.”

I thought he pulled it off reasonably well and it should be considered a raving success, which is to say — in dad terms — that he probably embarrassed his own teenage children immensely.

But this being the college football offseason, of course, protocol demands that we analyze this LSU entry into a harmless fad with frame-by-frame Zapruder filmlike scrutiny.

If I was an LSU message board — and you can bet I thank my lucky stars that I’m not — I would have several grave concerns.

The start of the Shake, which breaks out in the middle of a disguised version of LSU’s Big Cat drill (a macho, one-on-one rite of spring for the Tigers) seems to be fairly well telegraphed. Your grandmother in the top row most likely could have told you what was coming next as surely as she predicts those third-and-long draw plays.

For that matter, pay particular heed to Miles’ actions when the mayhem begins.

The coach seems to be off in his own little world, alone with his dance steps, which actually aren’t bad for a former Michigan lineman.

He seems oblivious to what his team is doing right behind his back (dancing of some sort), and the players don’t appear to be paying any attention at all to their coach.

There is no rudder in this meme.

Is this proper leadership for a Flagship Football Factory? Has Miles totally lost control of this team?

Those are questions that need to be raised and, for that matter, the whole thing, though surely scripted, looks as confused and chaotic as the final seconds of that 2010 victory over Tennessee in Tiger Stadium.

Was anybody even watching the clock?

More disturbing, Cam Cameron is not spotted anywhere in the video, raising suspicions that Miles has not, in fact, turned the offense over to his new offensive coordinator and will be still be meddling with it in the key moments.

But, hey, it was pretty funny.

• • •

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

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