BATON ROUGE — Les Miles visited the National Mall in Washington, D.C., last spring because he and his LSU football team won the national championship and a trip to the White House.
He may think twice about visiting the Mall of Louisiana.
Miles was mauled, you might say, at the Baton Rouge mall on a recent summer Saturday. It happened in the wide open, sprawling food court with his sons while wife, Kathy, was with the two daughters.
“Going to a restaurant usually isn’t that bad at all,” Miles said. “I had never been to the mall (of Louisiana) before. Man, that thing is something.”
National championships can change some people, but the Father’s Day out to the exotic locale was one of the few alterations Miles has made. He’s basically been the same guy since the moment the Tigers finished off their 38-24 victory over Ohio State last Jan. 7 for the national title.
“And, excuse me,” Miles said near the beginning of the postgame press conference, “Wa-HOO! Just kind of had to do that, just one of those things.”
Tailback Jacob Hester turned with mock disgust and said, “That was appropriate.”
Miles usually says and does the appropriate thing, but the former Michigan offensive guard from Elyria, Ohio, is not one to put on airs.
He wanted to yell to the world after he won his first national title, and he did. Then he celebrated shortly after returning to the team hotel in the heart of the French Quarter.
“We told him we could show the trophy to the fans in the quarter,” associate athletics director Herb Vincent said. “He went upstairs to be with his family and changed clothes. When he came back down, he said, ‘Let’s go have some fun.'”
A picture in the LSU media guide says it all. Miles is holding the crystal football trophy up from a balcony at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Bourbon Street and all its glory is in the background.
The Krewe of Miles hit Pennsylvania Avenue in April. A few months after visiting the White House and President Bush with his team, Miles met rap singer Snoop Dogg after a July concert in Baton Rouge for a mix of play calling that offensive coordinator Gary Crowton would love.
Miles even tried to dance with Snoop a bit. And Snoop is not the only rapper Miles knows. Why, there’s defensive tackle Marlon Favorite, who is in a hip-hop group called Black Vynm and has rapped before LSU basketball games.
“I have several rapper friends,” Miles mused as practices began on Aug. 3. “Favorite, Ben Miles (the coach’s 9-year-old son), Snoop Dogg.”
Yes, it’s been one crazy summer, but Miles remains the same.
“In my dealings with him, he hasn’t at all,” said LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette, who works with Miles on a virtual daily basis from August through early February. “The national championship hasn’t changed him. He’s obviously enjoyed winning and taking advantage of some of the things that goes along with winning and wants to keep winning, but from working with him every day he’s the same person in my eyes.”