On a day of confrontation between the LSU and Alabama football teams comes a reminder of young life that bridged that gap.
An ESPN feature posted at espn.go.com Saturday morning recounts the special relationship between LSU coach Les Miles and Sid Ortis, a 16-year-old cancer patient whose loyalty to LSU never faded despite living in Alabama. Ortis died Saturday, Oct. 31, after his battle with bone cancer.
After learning about Ortis’ fondness for LSU, Miles periodically called him to talk football and pray together. This season Ortis and his family watched the Tigers defeat Auburn in the Southeastern Conference opener in Tiger Stadium as Miles’ guest. In the ESPN feature, Ortis’ father says Ortis considered that the “best day ever.”
Ortis’ parents had been hopeful their son would live to see LSU play at Alabama in person. Miles had pledged to help make it happen.But the cancer progressed too quickly.
In the ESPN feature, Miles said he know Ortis’ body would eventually fail, but his spirit would hold strong. He said he told Ortis, “When you get to Heaven, save a spot for me.”