Gris-gris cast on Coach Miles?

Les Miles must think he has angered the Gods. I'm pretty sure someone slipped a good old-fashioned gris-gris on him when he arrived in Louisiana. There just can't be any other explanation for why we're having this kind of year.

Think about it.

First, Miles moves to a state that suffers the worst natural disaster in the history of America – his team has to rescue their own families from death and mayhem while pitching in to help injured people being treated in makeshift hospitals that were once athletic facilities. Oh, and attend classes in between. Try getting young men to focus on football practice in the middle of that.

Then a second deadly hurricane slams the remainder of his new home state's coast, disrupting life again and moving his much-anticipated debut in Tiger Stadium to….. Monday night.

Monday night in Tiger Stadium? It's a travesty – a veritable mockery of all that is holy! After all, we need Sunday to recuperate from gameday in Louisiana – we cannot possibly be expected to return to the stress of our jobs and the business of rebuilding cities on the day following an LSU football game.

And how can you get almost 90,000 people into the largest surviving city in Louisiana, through traffic that is already gridlock, parked on hurricane soaked fields and into the stadium when envelopes of prized tickets have no doubt been blown from Grand Isle all the way to the Texas border.

But somehow it happened.

And all of a sudden, there was Miles….jogging off the field at halftime of his first game in Tiger Stadium, pumping his fist in the air to the fans and savoring his team's 21-0 halftime win.

Just goes to show you that Les Miles knows nothing about a gris gris.

You see, a gris gris is considered the iron fist of voodoo. It's a spell that has ten times the potency of traditional voodoo. You know, like the kind we practiced on Tulane until they became so insignificant we can now take pity on them and let them play in our stadium without any fear that the hallowed arches will have any positive impact on their image.

How could Miles have known? When a gris gris is first cast on someone, they are said to feel exhilarated, with a positive and hopeful outlook – much like Miles had been observed behaving during the week following the Tigers win at Arizona State.

But then, the powers of the gris gris were simply too much for him.

Observant Tiger fans seemed to know what was happening. Even before the game, they threw beer bottles at buses carrying Tennessee's visiting party, including people like the Athletic Director and Coach Phil Fulmer's wife, breaking windows and terrorizing the passengers. And I think we all know just how serious it is when a Tiger fan is forced to use his or her beer as a weapon of choice. But they knew something was wrong.

The momentum of the gris gris on Miles continued to build. As we all know too well, Tennessee scored 30 points in the second half of the game, defeating the Tigers in overtime.

What else could explain the poor time management, Rick Clausen or Bo Pelini except a gris gris on Les Miles?

By Tuesday, every talk radio show in the state was calling for Miles and Bertman's heads. By Thursday, people feared the worst from the coach's radio show audience.

But by Saturday, Miles began to show signs that his luck was changing when his Tigers trounced the Mississippi State Bulldogs 37-7. What happened in those four short days?

It seems clear to me that as people were finally allowed to return to New Orleans, someone obviously drove down to Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo on Bourbon Street and purchased the $19.95 gris gris reversal charm.

Everyone knows the only thing that can reverse a gris gris is a ju ju – a good luck token that will keep evil spirits and negativity away. But do you know what the most common – and perhaps successful – ju ju object is? Would you believe a gator head?

Think for a minute – you see them everywhere. In south Louisiana, they're called the "Cajun Gargoyle" because people hang them over doors and around businesses to keep negative people and influences away.

So is it just a coincidence that the Tigers next home game -- and first Saturday night of the season in Tiger Stadium – will be a match-up with…..the Florida Gators?

Relax, Les Miles. Your luck has turned.

On October 15th, the Tigers will be coming off a big win at Vandy and the Florida Gators will have redeemed themselves from that historical loss in Tuscaloosa by hosting Mississippi State in the Swamp.

So just hang a Gator head in your office and stick a pin in your Urban Meyer doll.

It's OK. You're not in Stillwater anymore.

Welcome to Louisiana, Les.

October 15th is Election Day in parts of Louisiana – especially Baton Rouge, where voters must renew two existing taxes – one to continue the operation of our outstanding public library system and the other to expedite road improvements and traffic relief throughout the parish. Please take time to vote before you go to the game!

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