BATON ROUGE, La. — When his coaching career started, the only time Les Miles had to worry about things going viral was during cold and flu season. Times change.
Miles spent a portion of his Thursday press conference addressing the video of star running back Leonard Fournette “slap boxing” with teammate Garrett Brumfield in the players’ parking lot that spread like wildfire Wednesday afternoon thanks to TMZ Sports.
In short, Miles assessed that Fournette’s actions were not a big deal, but at the same time not exactly the smartest course of action.
“Back when I was a kid, we didn’t call it shadow boxing, we called it slap boxing. And we thought it was really cool,” Miles said. “Until the first person hits you in the nose. I think we’re finding out that it can be not-so-cool.”
Miles talked to the team about the incident, which was interpreted by some as more ominous than two guys horsing around.
“There’s no question they were involved in a game called ‘Tap-Out,'” Miles said. “It was certainly entertaining for the guys taking the video. They kept score. But I made the point, certainly, let’s not be at risk for injury. Let’s not get involved in a highly active off-the-field game.”
As for how the video reached the Internet Age tabloid that is TMZ, Detective Miles doesn’t have many leads, but he suspects it stems from players misunderstanding the potential permanence of Snapchat.
Part of the popular phone app’s appeal is that photos and videos vanish after a period of no more than 10 seconds. However, posts that are not direct messages stay up for 24 hours before disappearing completely, which allows for a third party to capture and save images such as the Fournette video.
It’s possible — and perhaps probable — that not all users are fully aware of that capability since very little of anything on Snapchat is in writing.
“We don’t know exactly how (it got to TMZ),” Miles said. “I think Snapchat — you think it’s nothing, but then it’s captured and apparently everywhere.”
Not that Miles would know from personal experience.
“I don’t have Snapchat,” he said with a grin.