99 days ago, we started our second annual attempt to count down 100 days to KU football. This year, we had just 10 days without a football article (after going a perfect 100/100 last year). Obviously, there’s much more optimism surrounding the program these days, what with the ousters of Zenger and Beaty and the hiring of Les Miles.
But you can only write about optimism so much, so I feel pretty good about what we were able to do for our readers this summer. Last year at this time, I gave you “The Charge of the ‘Hawk Brigade.” This year, with so much optimism, we’ll take a little more light-hearted look.
With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore and our very own Mr. Fetch, I give you: A Visit from Les Miles.
Twas the night before football, when all through Lawrence
Just one creature was stirring, a man of importance.
The helmets were hung by the lockers with care,
In hopes that big victories soon would be there.
The fans were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of touchdowns danced in their heads.
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap
Had just settled our brains for a short nightly nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the glaze of a fresh summer rain,
Gave a luster of midday that I could not explain.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a black Escalade and eight men, crystal clear.
With a not-so-old driver in fancy textiles
I knew in a moment he must be Les Miles.
More rapid than wildcats his players they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now Pooka! Now Charlot! Now Herbert! Now Thomas!
On Mike Lee! On Hasan! On Kyron and Harris!
To the top of the Hill! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild tornado fly
When they meet with an obstacle - Jayhawks to the sky.
So up to Memorial Stadium they flew,
A bus full of guys, and Les Miles too.
And then, in a thunder, I heard on the field
The prancing and pawing of each player revealed.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Through the tunnel Les Miles came in with a bound.
He was dressed all in white, from his head to his toes.
And his hat was unblemished, striking fear in his foes.
A bundle of plays he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes – how they sparkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His grin in his mouth gave a sly knowing smile,
And the look on his face was hard to reconcile.
A clump of green grass he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.
He showed a glad face though his hand be a fist,
That shook when he laughed through the thin, hazy mist.
He was happy and grinning, a right jolly old coach
Though I laughed when I saw him, I did not dare approach.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Preparing his team for the league, and to go beserk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, down the tunnel he goes.
He sprang to his bench, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew to the field with a hustle.
But I heard him exclaim, as the crowd noise arose,
“Happy football to all, and ROCK CHALK” he bellows!