I'll just come out and say it, 'I CANNOT wait for this weekend's Saints and LSU games.'
First up is LSU-Florida Saturday night. I just can't turn away, as the crazier, more incompetent, and insane Miles acts, the more excited I get. Sure it's not healthy and will end very very badly but in the moment it's quite entertaining. Spencer Hall from the fantastic blog Everyday Should Be Saturday put it best, 'Competence is overrated as a form of entertainment while incompetence can be side-splitting stuff.'
The Les Miles experience is the equivalent of when you are hanging around with your friends reminiscing about old times and telling crazy stories like, 'Remember the time we went on that alligator tour and Scott fell into the water and wrestled that gator and we had to take him to the emergency room to get stitched up. That was awesome.' Then someone's new girlfriend who isn't part of your circle of friends is horrified by the story and says, 'How can you laugh at a story like that? He almost died.'
'But he didn't and it's hysterical. You see, if he had died well that would be tragic, but since he only needed five stitches, it's a cherished memory from college.' Same thing with Miles. Only one of his end of game meltdowns has cost LSU a win (Ole Miss) while the rest of them are simply a man, gasoline, a match and a house. Calamity is damn sure guaranteed to happen except it doesn't and the fact it doesn't defies all logic and the laws of the planet Earth thereby rendering it beautiful. I believe we'll be talking about the Les Miles Era with our grandkids as some magical time where unicorns, fairies, puppies, and the pixie dust under Miles' hat allowed the Tigers to win.
Remember that woman who had that infomercial who said, 'Stop the Insanity'? I'm going the opposite way with Les and I'm embracing the insanity. One commenter on my column from Monday put forward the idea Miles' end of game craziness is a strategy to confuse the opponent. Miles just dragged Tennessee into his wormhole you see and it was his brilliance that caused the Vols to have 13 guys on the field. Les Miles is the only sane person among us. He's so smart he uses incompetence as a weapon.
Now it all makes sense.
While I'm looking forward to Saturday night because of the Les Miles Experience, on Sunday the Saints game intrigues me for an entirely different reason. Can the Saints keep winning games in their current state?
On offense their running game is severely lacking without Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush. Drew Brees is more accurate than ever but can't hit the big play, has a gimpy knee, and it seems he is getting hit more than he ever has.
The defensive secondary which was supposed to be the strength of that side of the ball is shot to hell with injuries. The Saints don't have much of a pass rush either and Will Smith is missing practice which can't help. So how the hell are the Saints going to survive this? By the way, I fully expect they will because they have Brees I'm just not exactly sure how which is half the fun. I think post Super Bowl all my Saints fatalism has been extracted from my soul. The games seem much less stressful now. This weekend can't get here fast enough.
Last Week: 5-0
Bonus College Pick!
LSU (+7) at Florida: Wednesday, Les Miles said Gary Crowton may come down from the press box and call plays from the sideline. This is exactly the right move because as any fan of a circus will tell you, 'What any great circus needs is more acts!' The only thing missing now from the LSU sideline show is the flame juggler, sword swallower and, perhaps, a bed of nails. Eventually, all his mistakes have to catch up to Les Miles, right? Well doesn't LSU eventually have to have a decent quarterback performance? The last one was against Auburn last year. Everyone is mocking and ripping LSU and their crazy coach. I think LSU actually rallies around Miles. The loss of Sam Montgomery hurts the Tigers defense but Florida hasn't exactly been lighting it up on offense post Tim Tebow. We all know the ride Miles has us on will end in flames and possibly needing the jaws-of-life to extract us from the car. I just think after its all done Miles might pat us on the back and scream, 'That WAS one DAMN FINE car trip WASN'T IT?'
'I guess so coach. I think I should sit down for awhile.'
New Orleans (-7) at Arizona: I hate the fact the Saints have to play Arizona after they got dump trucked by San Diego. It's always better to play teams after they get their guts ripped out in a heartbreaking loss. Say Tennessee for example.
The Cardinals are horrifically bad. I'm surprised Larry Fitzgerald hasn't planned a kidnapping plot to get Kurt Warner back from 'Dancing with the Stars'. How bad did Matt Leinart have to be for the Cardinals to not even want him on the roster? Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said this on Monday, 'I think we're going to go without a quarterback this week. I think we're going to go with all Wildcat.'
It was either that or Max Hall. The Cardinals are going with the rookie which is excellent news for the Saints defense. Better news for the Saints; Arizona gave up nine sacks to the Chargers. I fully expect for Max Hall to look decent against the Saints because lately most QBs do. Gregg Williams will extract a late turnover and the then I'll happily read 40 emails saying; 'Next week will be the week the Saints return to 2009 form just you watch Ralph. And I hate you.' I appreciate the love.
Cleveland (+3) vs. Atlanta: Nate Clements fumble kept the Saints from being alone in first place but Joshua Cribbs will make sure that doesn't happen this Sunday.
Washington (+2.5) vs. Green Bay: I picked the Redskins to win the NFC East so if they are going to make me look smart they need to win this game. Are we sure Green Bay is really any good?
Minnesota (+4) at New York Jets: The Vikings got Randy Moss and it might just stop them from the commencing the death spiral they were headed for. Brad Childress is still the coach right? The death spiral will not be postponed.
New York Giants (+3) at Houston: I am not convinced the Texans are a playoff team. Then again I was completely convinced Steve Smith was going to destroy in fantasy this year. He might as well be in the witness protection program he's so deep on my bench. I hate you Steve Smith.
Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on facebook, or listen to his Saints podcast at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/forecastradio