SEC Media Days have thankfully limped to a finish, and we can soon forget this tiresome ordeal even happened. With the notable exception of Bert's always effervescent self, there wasn't a whole lot to glean from this week's cabal in Hoover. Nick Saban and Pawl got in an overplayed dustup, Dan Mullen made an ass of himself, and that's about it.
It was Les Miles' turn on Thursday.
So, now I'm going to go to football and what would be my normal running spiel. Miles' summer update. I was shanghaied in Austin, Texas, and taken to Cleveland, Ohio, to watch a Game 6 in the NBA Finals and root for LeBron James. I'm so happy for him. I could not tell you. But it happened very unusually. I was meeting my eldest daughter in Austin, where she attends. And my son, North Carolina quarterback backup, decided to come. And I said, Okay, this is going to be my vacation. I'm going to Austin. We're going to get sun. We're going to work out. We're going to eat big. I'm going to be with the two eldest.
SHANGHAIED IN AUSTIN is a phrase I'm relatively sure has been crossed off as potential Hold Steady track names, but also makes me think he could parlay his post-football life into a stint on the Travel Channel. (Editor's note: I will never like The Hold Steady and you can't make me.) Consider:
1. Travel buddy for Anthony Bourdain
BOURDAIN: Tokyo. The energy of the city is overwhelming, pulsating, relentless. It gets into the corners of your soul you haven't seen in a while, and throws you headfirst in the current of life here. The sights, sounds, smells -- and yes, tastes -- are simply too much to process for a shoshinsha.
MILES: I'm struck by how busy everyone is. Yow. First thing, I think it's good to stop and get one's bearings in a strange place. I'm all for headstrong impulsivity, but care must be observed. But after that? Heck, I'm hungry.
BOURDAIN: The bond between the Japanese people and the sea is stronger than the steel that holds the city's skyscrapers pointing to the heavens. Since time immemorial, they have made their life from the sea, and its presence in their culinary tradition is central. Just to put it mildly. People spend their whole lives attempting to perfect the art of sushi making, and the fruits of their decades of labor are just stunning.
MILES: I do not believe this is properly cooked, Tony.
2. Guest stomach on Bizarre Foods
ANDREW ZIMMERN: We're here in a bustling marketplace in Taipei, a place where a whole galaxy of of items, some of dubious legality. But tonight we're keeping it on the straight and narrow, relatively speaking, and trying an ancient beverage that has been turning stomachs of Westerners for generations. Tonight, we drink snake wine.
MILES: I find the placement of the snake inside the wine to be curious, myself, but as a man who has spent considerable time in the great state of Louisiana, you tend to lose your surprise at the spectacles.
ZIMMERN: The snakes are kept in these bottles of rice wine and other types of alcoholic drinks, allowing the venom of the snake to leech into the alcohol. It's not going to hurt you. We think, anyway. Cheers!
[The two drink, with Zimmern finishing with a coughing fit while Miles smiles and converses with the wine vendor, unfazed]
MILES: The flavors... are unfamiliar, but I bet this would pair like gangbusters with my mother's old beef stew recipe.
ZIMMERN: [eyes water]
3. A litany of solo pitches
Riding a motorcycle across the country to visit powerlifting gyms.
Thanksgiving cooking competition host and/or judge and/or participant.
Searching the nation's boardwalks for the perfect game of skeeball.
A show where he relentlessly tries to set as many stupid Guinness world records as he can.
Traveling the midwest building physical gyms for Pokemon trainers before a producer finally tells him the truth midway through season two.
Tours the world's tallest skyscrapers, but all he asks about is the cafe on the ground floor.
Hopping in the old Studebaker, picking up Cam Cameron, and looking for America's most-corned corned beef.
Many thanks to And The Valley Shook's Billy Gomila for his assistance in the creation of this nonsense.