Notebook: Les Miles delighted to share grass-eating habit with another champion

Newly-hired Kansas football coach Les Miles tastes a piece of Kansas grass as offered by Baby Jay as he is introduced to the Allen Fieldhouse crowd during halftime of the Jayhawks’ game against Stanford.

If Les Miles’ sporadic dietary urges spawned a trend it was news to him.

The Kansas football coach, known through the years to grab a blade of grass or two from the playing field for a taste, didn’t know that another prominent sports figure shared his eccentric habit.

At Big 12 Football Media Days earlier this week, one reporter asked Miles whether he saw Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic polishing off his victory with a bite of grass this past weekend.

“Did he really?” Miles responded excitedly. “Well, you know what? I recommend that those people that enjoy a relationship with green grass to take a nibble now and then. I don’t think we need a big bite, but I think a nibble now and then. Now if it happens to coincide with a championship so be it.”

Now a five-time Wimbledon champ, Djokovic didn’t just join Miles as a notable grass-eating winner. He noted to the BBC after winning the major in 2015 that the grass tasted “very, very good” that year.

“I don’t know what the groundskeepers have done, but they’ve done a great job,” Djokovic said at the time, after his third career Wimbledon title. “It’s a little tradition obviously. As a kid I was dreaming of winning Wimbledon, so, like every child, you dream of doing something crazy when you actually achieve it — if you achieve it — and that was one of the things.”