Les Miles Gives a Commencement Speech



Commencement ceremonies for Elyria High School in Elyria Ohio. The graduates watched stunned as LSU Football Coach and Elyria alum Les Miles wanders to the podium. His appearance was not mentioned in the graduation program.

"Elyria High School. Looks like I picked a good time to show up. Graduation day. Big day in a young person's life. Some of you won't be coming back for the 10-year reunion. The rest of you, definitely won't. This is Ohio, after all.

Now, I'm sure you're wondering what I'm doing up here. So are your parents. So are the administrators. Heck, I'm not sure myself. But that brings me to my first point. Walkabouts are good for the soul, and I highly recommend them. Bo Schembechler taught me that in 1973. Used to wander the hills of Northern Manitoba every June. I think that's where he found Gary Moeller...

Anywho, good for the soul is what I'm sayin'. A walkabout brought me to Stillwater, Oklahoma and it brought me here today. Your parents didn't know, and neither did Principal Jama. But my buddy Alphonse, the Alligator I keep in my water fountain told me, ‘Go north, Les. They need you,' and here I am. It's important to commune with nature. The woodland critters are our partners on this Earth, and to a man they can all teach ya something. A dog might be man's best friend, but nothing will have your back in a barfight like a nutria. Handy with a pool cue. The North American Black Bear is a fair trader, and they've never gouged me for a night in their den when it's cold out. I've always appreciated that. And skunks catch a bad rap. Sure that musk is a bit pungent, but tomato juice helps with male pattern baldness, so a good bath every now and then will do ya fine. Raccoons, on the other hand, are not to be trusted. They'll lick the jam right off your face the first time you let your guard down.

Next, swagger. It's important in life, you see. Swagger really means style. I've never met an Elyria High graduate who didn't have style. Comes from the chest. Takes you far in this world. Swagger brought me my beautiful wife - punched out Lloyd Carr the second I saw her one morning in Ann Arbor. She'd never seen a man deck a cave troll like that, and she's been mine ever since. But I'm not the only one that's gone a long way on swagger. John Gruden lost a quarter of his brain to a botfly attack in 1990, but swagger brought him a Super Bowl championship and swagger brings him to America's living room every Monday night.

Finally, taffy. Some of you may know this, some of you may not, but saltwater taffy is both salty and sweet at the same time. Can you believe that? Wonderful substance. It'll hold a McDonnell F2H Banshee together in a rough landing, and give you something to snack on during an interrogation. It's ankle tape, shoulder pads, a handy distraction during a Tiger attack and one hell of an aphrodisiac. It's nature's miracle drug. Keep your hands off the taffy tree in my yard, though. I only shoot to kill.

So in closing folks, if you're going to work at a gas station, get there early and get it right. Don't trust anybody that wears red, and when life gives you lemons, call a fake field goal. But mostly the taffy. Remember that part, and you just might make it in life. I am excited about the opportunity of my damn strong football team. Have a great day."

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