I wasn't around for the invention of Thanksgiving, but I'm fairly certain that, at its forefront, it had a purpose that paid homage to our forefathers who paved the way for us as Americans to have a better life.
I think that was the original reason for the holiday. Pretty sure.
Somewhere along the way, though, Thanksgiving devolved (evolved?) into a reason to overload on turkey, stuffing, bread, cranberry sauce, and a stray vegetable here and there, before passing out in a tryptophan coma on a recliner in front of the broadcast of another ass kicking of the Detroit Lions.
It's standard selfish, ugly American stuff, and to be clear, I have no problem with it. You know who else doesn't have a problem with it?
LSU head football coach Les Miles, that's who!
On Monday, Les Miles met with the media to discuss the Tigers' upcoming game with the Arkansas Razorbacks this Friday. For years, the game against Arkansas has been a rivalry (based in geography more than anything else) where they play for some trophy shaped like a boot.
(NOTE: If you think your school has a rivalry with another school, ask yourself this: "Do we play for a trophy shaped like a random, scuffed up noun that you would find in Fred Sanford's front yard?" If the answer is "No," then you do NOT have a rivalry. Golden boot, brass spittoon, pewter dildo...whatever. If you're drawing a flow chart and the answer to the random noun question is "NO," the "rivalry" discussion ends. Sorry, people, I don't make the rules.)
The game this Friday (which, as an aside, I will be in attendance at...yeah, you don't care, I know) is expected to be one of the more lopsided ones in the history of the rivalry, with LSU favored by more than three touchdowns, which is saying something because this LSU team is in the bottom third of Miles-coached teams at LSU. The first iteration of the Bret Bielema Era Hawgs are that bad.
So with a soft opponent on the horizon, Les Miles can let his hair down at his weekly press conference and answer some random non-football questions. (As opposed to Miles's press conferences leading up to more difficult opponents where, frankly, he would do the exact same thing.)
On Monday, Les was asked a simple question about his favorite Thanksgiving food, and what transpired was Chapter 317 in the box set of YouTube greatness that is one Leslie Edwin Miles:
Can I mini-Zapruder this thing? I didn't think I could at first, but let's try...
0:04 -- "I am the easiest man to please when it comes to food." All due respect, Les, you're not even in the top half of your own profession when it comes to "easiest men to please when it comes to food." Somewhere, Charlie Weis is hearing this soundbite and is pissed that Les is infringing on his gimmick. Mark Mangino just saw this YouTube clip and angrily threw his turkey leg at the computer screen (before waddling over and picking it up off the floor and resuming consumption of it). What I'm saying is this, Les -- until you coach at Kansas, you have no business trying to usurp the "easiest man to please when it comes to food" title belt (size 76 waist).
0:10 -- "I think it's the turkey with a warm gravy..." A pretty standard answer to "favorite Thanksgiving food," but with Les, you never know where one innocent food item will send his brain. Here, it sends him to a euphoric corner inside his head where he begins to think in specificity about the exact moment that he has his Thanksgiving food climax each year...
0:14 -- "Maybe it's the last spoon or fork of food on the plate, you know, that has a little bit of salt and pepper, maybe a little bit of the turkey and gravy and..." CONFIRMED: Les Miles eats his turkey with a spoon. I knew it! Continuing...
0:26 -- "...and some of the stuffing that would be there, and maybe just a smidgeon of that cranberry stuff, right?" This description of the last bite of Thanksgiving dinner makes me wonder what kind of waiter Les Miles would have made at a fine dining establishment. Can you imagine Les having to memorize and then describe the specials to patrons? "Today we have some of the, uh, rainbow trout, seared, and it's covered in some of that goopy, buttery stuff with chunks of shrimp all up in there...that's a damn strong special right there..."
0:33 -- "Not kind of big, not to overwhelm the last bite, but that right there...oh my goodness, right? That last bite's worth a lot..." So if you're keeping track, Les Miles has managed to take the question "What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?" and turn it into a vivid description that makes the last bite on the plate sound like the small of a woman's back. I mean, if the author of Fifty Shades of Grey ever decides to do a cookbook, she needs to have Les Miles voice the audio version of it and a picture of Les scooping the "last bite" into his mouth needs to be on the cover. (And yes, Les eats with a napkin tucked into his collar, and yes, his face is covered in gravy and stuffing like a hyperactive three-year-old.)
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0:43 -- "I might add that the turkey sandwich with mayonnaise, mustard, onions and a little salad...a little, uh, lettuce...kinda makes for good eating, too, doesn't it?" The odds on Les Miles calling lettuce "salad" were -1,000. Go ahead and cash your ticket.
In my own effort not to lose sight of what the Thanksgiving holiday is all about, I want to proclaim loudly that I am thankful that Les Miles has a live microphone every Monday. He makes the world a better place. He is the "last bite" of college football coaches.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.