Indeed, midway through the fourth quarter, amidst the defining moments of the game, Miles even leaned over and ate some of the grass on Tiger field. For years we've been trying to figure out the magic behind Miles' "Milacles." Now maybe we know: Miles has attained karmic oneness with the field itself (check out the video of his meal).
Asked about eating the grass in the postgame press conference, Miles said he does it every game. "Yeah, you know what I do," Miles said, "I've got a little tradition that humbles me as a man that let's me know I'm part of the field. It's going to be all over the Internet. You know what? You should have seen some games before this. I know one thing, the grass in Tiger Stadium tastes best."
I think I speak for everyone when I say, never change Les Miles. Ever.
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His players aren't even astounded by Miles eating the grass. "I see him do it every day," said Russell Shepard after one of the biggest wins in Tiger Stadium history. "That's Coach Miles. He eats that grass. I guess he says it has a lot of protein."
Does grass have protein? I have no idea. Nor do you. But we know one thing now: grass has karma. Pretty soon every coach in America is going to be eating grass before big plays. And if you're honest with yourself, you feel the same way about Miles that you did when you were a kid and knew you were going to see Santa Claus. You're nervous, excited, aware you're in the presence of something great and transcendent but with no idea what is going to happen while you're there. Maybe Santa Les will convert a fourth down on a fake field goal that perfectly bounces on the ground. Maybe he'll win a game after his opponent lines up with 13 men on the field. Maybe he'll eat grass.
No matter what, Santa Les is delivering a present.
Basically the fact that Miles doesn't have a reality show is a travesty of television programming justice.
And as the lights came on in Death Valley and day faded to night, Miles became a legend. Facing a fourth-and-one while trailing 14-13, Miles eschewed a field goal, called a timeout, and did what anyone would have done in that situation, he ran the toss sweep reverse for 23 yards. Then he ate grass. Then his team scored a touchdown, converted a two-point conversion, and kicked a field goal that ended Alabama's hopes at both an SEC and national title.
In the process, he forever eliminated all talk that he couldn't compete with Saban, that LSU's current coach was a pale imitation of the man who had preceded him. During the course of this wild and wacky season, Miles had managed the amazing: after six years at LSU, he's finally endeared himself to LSU fans. They fit each other like a jigsaw puzzle, complete each other's insanity. Coming into the season, Miles was on the hot seat. Suddenly LSU fans would cut you with a switchblade if you tried to take him away.
All week Miles downplayed the personal element of this game, his match-up with Saban. After the game, he continued to downplay it, using a question about what the coaching victory meant as a forum to advocate for his team. Of course, Miles had already begun his post-game press conference with an amazing quote, one that will surely line the front page of a website that should be a daily stop for you, The Quotable Les Miles.
"I'm very thankful," Miles said, "that I live in a country and have a job that allows me to experience some of the really positive things in our lifetime -- college football."
An hour after the game, as the partying bedlam of tens of thousands of Tiger fans continued to reverberate across the night sky, LSU fans couldn't agree more. Thank God Les Miles was theirs.
LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson, who played by far the best game of his career, felt the same way. When asked about the fourth-down play, the one that Miles changed to after taking a timeout, he said, "The play all started with my block. I went to the o-line and I got some technique, I actually cut the guy. So that's credit to the o-line on the technique."
Asked if the fourth-down play had a special name Jefferson laughed. "It's a toss reverse. Nothing fancy."
Nothing fancy for Miles, maybe. For anyone else in America it would have been a career-defining call. For Miles it was the 15th or 16th biggest call he'd made. Nevertheless, Miles' team presented him with a game ball in the locker room. Asked his response, Miles slowly intoned, in unique speech patterns that are rapidly replacing the Cajun dialect as the most impersonated accent in the state of Louisiana, "I accepted humbly."
He should have been anything but.
And as the moon now rises over Tiger Stadium, let me be clear on this, I will never utter or write another critical word about Leslie Edwin Miles.
He's my favorite SEC coach.
And he should be yours, too.
After all, the world's a better place when a coach can tell you which SEC field tastes better.
Follow Clay Travis on Twitter here. With All That and a Bag of Mail returning for the football season, you can e-mail him questions at Clay.Travis@gmail.com.