On Rams Fans

I’ll be 28-years-old this year. I became a Rams fan a little less than 20 years ago. Yes, I bandwagoned the St. Louis Rams during the shining inception of the Greatest Show on Turf era. I am from southwest Virginia where no professional football teams exist. I guess the closest NFL team from where I am from is the Carolina Panthers. A lot of people who hear that I’m from Virginia will immediately ask me why I’m not a Washington Redskins fan. Why would be I be a Redskins fan? D.C. is 6 hours away. Hell, I’m a tad closer to Nashville, TN than I am to D.C. from where I am. Besides, my father was a Miami Dolphins fan who hated the Redskins. I reckon my dad ‘bandwagoned’ the Dolphins in 1972, but hey, he was a fan up to his untimely death in 2003. His brothers had different favorite pro squads, too, from either the Dolphins to the Oakland Raiders. My dad’s brother, Corky, was a massive Raiders fan.

I’d wager that 60-70% of the NFL fans from where I am from are Pittsburgh Steelers fans. This area has no team. Southwest Virginia is more-so a college football area than pro, with Virginia Tech, Tennessee and West Virginia being favored around here.

I picked the Rams as a team as a little boy in 1999 and I’ve stuck with ’em through thick and thin. They were the St. Louis Rams all the way until January 2016, when Stan Kroenke officially moved the team back to Los Angeles. I started this blog in March 2007, full of hype and hope for that ’07 season when the Rams looked like contenders on paper. This Rams franchise was atrocious for the majority of the history of TSTOS and downright mediocre and subpar during the Jeff Fisher Horns era.

I have never cared where the Rams play.

When the Rams left St. Louis, a slew of people I’ve met online reached out to me and said, “I’m sorry”. Sorry for what? It was a little sad, to me, because I had only ever been a fan of the Rams while they were in St. Louis up to that point, but overall, also being a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and knowing fans from the area, I encountered an overwhelming amount of people who declared that St. Louis was a baseball town and did not truly care whether or not the Rams left. Obviously I know that doesn’t account for all the fans who did/do care, but the Cardinals fans I encountered were rather ambivalent.

I have negative opinions towards the Rams fans in Los Angeles. I can’t help it. I know there are diehards who exist in southern California, as well, and I do not discount them, but I have also been told by many folks in that region that the USC Trojans are the football team and that the Rams come second. Anecdotally speaking, I’ve heard from a ton of people in SoCal who have repeatedly told me that the reason the city couldn’t hold a sports team is because primarily they do not care about pro football there as much as what most people try to say, not to mention the alleged ‘favorite’ professional sports team there is the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA.

On a Rams forum about a year ago, I made the mistake of making a comment about how Los Angeles sports fans are fairweather. I got blasted; rightfully so, I guess. Of course I would get blasted by fellow Rams fans on a Rams forum, because well, these folks are the true anomalies. Die-hards, like I am, except many of them have been Rams fans for several decades, going back to the ’60s and ’70s, and maybe even the ’50s! If you were an original LA Rams fans who stuck with the Rams through the St. Louis years, I salute you. I don’t know what to think about the fairweather fans who gave up after the ’94 season with the move to St. Louis on the horizon, only to become fans again in 2016… I understand there may have been some heartbreak on the table, but if you are going to be a fan of the Rams, be a fan of the Rams. Don’t slob on the knob of the city, especially some transient, ever-changing prima donna celebrity playhouse like Los Angeles.

Regional bias is interesting. I’m sure if I grew up in Buffalo, NY I would be a Bills fan, or Chicago? A Bears fan.

But I’m from southwest Virginia where there is no local team nor a local favorite.

I picked the Rams in 1999 and I’ll always be a fan regardless of where they play.

I watched them be the butt of the joke of the NFL for 12 seasons from 2005 to 2016.

Now they are going to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LIII in a revenge game (revenge for all of us Rams fans who were heartbroken by the result on February 3, 2002).

Thankfully, if anybody ever accuses me of being a bandwagoner, I can use my blog as proof that I’ve been a fan through the dark years.

From this Rams fan from southwest Virginia: HORNS UP!

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THE RAMS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!

ramstothesuperbowl
All credit for this image goes to @hornsupgfx on Instagram

That is all I have to say.

I am thrilled.

Horns up!

Edit (8:03pm):

New Orleans Saints fans are bawling their eyes out over the poor officiating in this game. First of all, the officiating was horrid all game long for both teams. They missed calls against the Saints that should have been called, too, including multiple missed facemasks and a delay of game penalty.

The game was in New Orleans, as the Saints had homefield advantage. The Rams offense could not communicate with one another or hear a thing for most of the game. The Saints held a 13-0 lead they couldn’t manage to hold onto with one of the most celebrated, prolific quarterbacks in NFL history at the helm against a Rams defense that was disappointing throughout the season considering what most people expected of them.

Jared Goff made some terrific throws down the stretch, Drew Brees tossed an interception in overtime and Greg Zeurlein connected on two incredible field goals despite the overwhelming noise. The Saints lost this game; the refs did not lose it for them. Take the emotions out of it. Replay the game and watch the plays the Rams made down the stretch. The missed called on the Saints was an uncatchable ball, anyhow.

Oh.

Gumbo is soup.

Second edit (8:28pm):

Expected rebuttal from detractors… “If you were a Saints fan, you would be livid!” Of course I would. As a die-hard Rams fan, I’ve watched the Rams be swindled by bad calls and no-calls for years.

I watched the Rams lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI 17 years ago on February 3, 2002 where there were plenty of no calls as it pertained to Willie McGinest holding Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner being hit late and Tom Brady not being called for intentional grounding. I wrote a ton about this 11-12 years ago in 2007 and 2008 when the Spygate crap was going on.

It happens.

Welcome to the National Football League.

HORNS UP

Legion Triumph Multvitamin Review: Worth The High Price?

I have taken multivitamins off and on ever since I was a teenager. I am 27 now. The general consensus in the overall collective nutritional science community on the world wide web indicates that multivitamin use is either hit or miss, providing a placebo effect where users may feel like they are reaping benefits even when they are not.

A multivitamin contains a wide spectrum of micronutrients necessary for the body but usually condensed into a pill or two (or more).

I have used at least 12 bottles of Legion Triumph in the last two years. Click the highlighted link to check out what Triumph is all about (free advertising for you, Legion; your lucky day). I am not affiliated with the company in any way. I saw it advertised sometime back in 2015 and wanted to check it out. I finally did so in January of 2017.

Triumph is probably the most expensive multivitamin out there, or at least one of them (I know more expensive options have to exist, by guess). Look, I get it, raw materials that go into vitamins like this can get costly if the sources are expensive and the vitamin quality is high enough. One bottle of Triumph is $40 and it is a 30-day supply, which you might as well describe as a one month supply. There are 240 capsules per bottle, so if you take the recommended serving then you are taking a whopping eight capsules per day, which is pretty wild. The company markets to athletes, so if you are already used to taking a multitude of supplements, it probably isn’t that big of a deal.

The micronutrient profile is fine, but for the price one is paying, a couple of things stick out to me:

1.) Zinc. I remember when Triumph was a few dollars cheaper. When I reached out to their customer service squad (which is excellent, by the way) inquiring why the price had gone up, they reasoned with me by telling me that the source materials that go into the multivitamin have increased over time due to market changes. Understandable, whether true or not. I believe that excuse, because inflation is a thing. Anyway, while I see that the micronutrient sources feature high quality minerals/material, I noticed that the form of zinc that is in Triumph is the citrate form. The citrate form is much better than, say, oxide, which is cheap and useless, but a better form would be picolinate. Zinc picolinate is the best form of zinc, period. Citrate is run-of-the-mill and middle of the pack as far as absorption goes. Now, I’m not a chemist and you can go ahead and write off my cheap opinion as being nothing more than unfounded bloviation, but it disappoints me to pay $40 bucks for a bottle of Triumph when one of the ingredients is lesser quality compared to the rest in the bottle. Triumph contains 30mg of zinc, which is excellent.

2.) Magnesium. Why cheapen out and only include 375mg of magnesium when the RDA is 400mg? It is said that the average American does not get enough magnesium from their diet alone. 375mg is close to 400mg, sure, but why not just add an extra 25mg to hit the mark? Zinc and magnesium can counteract one another in high enough doses, but correct me if I’m wrong: I believe the overall dose required (collectively) to to negate one another would be around 800mg, which is far off the mark here. Sure, you could easily obtain the extra 25mg from things like almonds and spinach along with the trace amounts in coffee and chocolate, but not everyone is consuming that much every day. Regardless, I’m probably just sounding whiny here and making a poor point just to make a poor point, not to mention that, again, this multivitamin is marketed towards athletes who are assumed to already be eating a quite healthy diet which may lend itself to more magnesium from whole foods, but still… another qualm I have is that the form of magnesium is magnesium gluconate. Again, much like zinc citrate, it is a much cheaper form of magnesium where a chelated magnesium such as magnesium glycinate would be preferred for absorption purposes.

NOW Foods zinc picolinate and Doctor’s Best chelated magnesium glycinate are the two best forms of zinc and magnesium on the market (respectively), in my limited opinion.

As stated, I have used at least 12 bottles, maybe more, of Triumph over the past two years. I lead an active lifestyle and eat an OK diet full of mostly whole foods, but it could be better, which is why I sought out Triumph in the first place, in order to correct potential micronutritient deficiencies.

Now, onto the bread and butter of the review: did I feel any tangible effects from Triumph?

It would be truly unfair to say yes or no, overall, because you don’t really ‘feel’ multivitamins working, and the best test is to take one for a consistent time period (which I have done so, once taking Triumph every day for over six months).

I suffer from dealing with a ton of canker sores. Sometimes, they get so bad that I will get six to eight of them in my mouth at one time. It sucks, because both eating and talking becomes painful. My go-to for eliminating canker sores quickly is by applying alum directly onto them. What about preventing them, though? I’ve heard a variety of potential causes for canker sores: stress, stomach acid, spicy food (coinciding with the stomach acid theory), digestive issues and micronutrient deficiencies. Well, I do deal with a lot of stress and love spicy food, so maybe that is the name of the game here. I have read a great deal about vitamin B12 (thankfully, unlike for zinc and magnesium, Triumph did not cheapen out here, and it uses the highest form of B12 — methylcobalamin). Every time I have taken Triumph, the amount of canker sores I get are drastically reduced, so that is all swell and good, but whenever I have used a high quality vitamin B complex in the past, I have experienced reduced canker sores as well, and even a high quality B complex is much cheaper than Triumph.

Asides from the reduction of canker sores, I cannot pinpoint how I have benefitted from Triumph. I did not feel that I recovered from muscle soreness any faster than before nor did I feel I experienced any benefits as it pertains to my immune system by taking Triumph. Actually, even while taking Triumph I still dealt with undue fatigue, a sinus infection, strep throat and a horde of other colds/sicknesses.

Overall, Triumph has a solid micronutrient/mineral profile, but its high price point kills it, for me. If I ‘felt’ more from it, or at least felt like some benefits were reaped from its usage, I would defend the pricey nature of the product, but as it is, I do not recommend it.

Value: 3/5 — A great micronutrient/mineral profile is weighed down by a budget killing price point.

Price
: 1/5 — $40 for a one month supply featuring 8 pills per serving is a killer.

Quality
: 4/5 — The micronutrient/mineral profile is phenomenal. Asides from a couple of issues I have with Triumph, Legion uses the highest quality materials in its multvitamin. Bravo.

Overall: 2.5/5 — Legion is a solid company with a great customer service team, but this multivitamin costs too much in juxtaposition to the lack of benefits gleaned from this multvitamin for it to be a consistently used, viable option as a supplement. Stick to a whole foods diet, which is much cheaper. If your life involves being on the go constantly, plan your meals ahead of time; it is easier said than done, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t doable.

The Rams are 8-0 and Continue to Find a Way to Win

2007, the Rams were supposed to be a dynamite football team, I thought. 3-13 is how they finished. You can look back into the archives of TSTOS and check out how I thought the Rams were going to perform prior to the beginning of that season. Almost embarrassing, actually.

In 2008, I thought they could turn it around. Nope. 2-14. In 2009, I was excited that Steve Spagnuolo had been hired as the head coach earlier that year, but alas, they finished 1-15. Sam Bradford came on board in 2010 and the team showed flashes of winning capabilities, missing the playoffs by just one game (albeit in a terrible NFC West division). From 2011-2016, I witnessed the Rams go 2-14 in the final season with Steve Spagnuolo followed by a steady run of mediocrity with Jeff Fisher. I remember when Fisher was hired to coach the Rams; a fellow Rams fan stated that Fisher’s archaic, old school smash mouth football values would hinder the Rams. He wasn’t wrong. Finally, in 2017, the Rams hired Sean McVay to be their head coach, a guy who is barely older than me, and he has been nothing short of spectacular as the leader of this football squad.

Being a Rams fan these days is so exciting. Whether they are in St. Louis, Los Angeles or Anchorage, Alaska… I’m a fan. They just defeated the Green Bay Packers this Sunday to move to 8-0 on the season. I can’t believe this! They only won six combined games in three years from 2007-2009. Now look at ’em! A division win and a playoff appearance last year to… whatever the hell this is going to be. I want to thank Ty Montgomery for going rogue on the Packers and running out of the endzone on the final kickoff of the game, or else I am absolutely positive that Aaron Rodgers would have led the Packers down the field for a game winning Mason Crosby field goal.

I know I’ve probably written about it before, but I keep waiting for the bottom to fall out with this team. I’m not used to this type of winning. The last time I was used to the Rams winning, I was just a kid. The 2001 Rams are my all-time favorite team; they ended up falling to the Patsies in the big’en, but I have so many fond memories from that season that featured all my favorite players from my childhood.

This current team is something special. They apparently are only getting better, as they traded for linebacker Dante Fowler from the Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday. This team, on paper, is stacked. The defense has seemed to underperform when you consider what they should be capable of, but when you think about the potential for this squad to possibly manifest by the end of the season, especially with a returning Aqib Talib by the beginning of the playoffs? I’m stoked.

I’ve been waiting quite some time for the Rams to be a competent football team again.

This team played its worst game of the season against the Packers and still managed to win it. Although I thank Ty Montgomery for being a dipshit, the Rams shouldn’t have even been in the game the other day due to how they were really playing.

They are playing the Saints this weekend, and I wouldn’t be surprised if N’awlins takes the W. Drew Brees is busting his ass for (at least) one more ring, and that team is balling out like nobody’s business. This is a matchup that might be a preview of the NFC title game in January. I’m calling it now: it will be. I know there is a ton of football left to be played, but it is easy to say that the Rams and Saints are the two best teams in the NFL right now, let alone just the NFC.

Still… tick tock, tick tock… I’m pacing myself as a fan, because I’m just waiting for something to blow up. I’m so used to this organization having a losing culture.

Edit/update: this is the 1000th post in the history of TSTOS!

The Rams Might be the Team to Beat? Whoa!

For the first time since 2001, the Rams are 4-0. For the first time in TSTOS history, the Rams are lookin’… the way I thought they would have in 2007! For most of the existence of this blog, the Rams have been the butt of the joke of the league. Fortunately, if anyone excuses me of being a bandwagoning fan, I have this blog to show them.

I’m a Rams fan. I’m originally from southwest Virginia, where there are no pro football teams around, and I’ve been a fan of the horns since I was 8-years-old, right when the Greatest Show on Turf was recognized as a thing.

I remember back in 2011, when the talks about the Rams coming back home to Los Angeles were pretty hot. I asked a few of my fellow St. Louis Cardinals fans, who resided in the ‘Lou, what they thought about the Rams possibly leaving. The consensus was, “We don’t give a damn. This is a baseball town and the Rams are irrelevant”. Noted. I was amused in early 2016 when it became official that the Rams were going home to LA, because all of these ‘underground’ St. Louis Rams fans popped out of the woodworks and started bitching about it.

Hey, you folks didn’t want the Rams in your city when I asked years prior to them leaving, but now that they were/are leaving, you are sad? Hell with yee.

The Rams are 4-0. Their defense largely looked awful last night, after they defeated the Minnesota Vikings after Jared Goff tossed five touchdown passes, but it was also four days after playing the San Diego — I mean LA… — Chargers on Sunday. Now the Rams get a lengthy break that hopefully culminates in whipping the piss out of the Seattle Shesquawks next weekend.

Over the history of Troy’s Thoughts on Sports, I watched some of the worst football performances you can imagine with the Rams. I witnessed the Arizona Cardinals go to multiple NFC title games and a Super Bowl. I saw the San Francisco 49ers return to competence for a short window before their simple minded, egotistic owner forced John Harbaugh out. I watched as the Seattle Seahawks visited the Super Bowl twice and won one of ’em.

It’s the Rams time now, I’d like to think. I hope.

Watching that offense perform last night gave me glimpses back to 2001, when Kurt Warner was slingin’ the ball all over the field. Goff made some gorgeous throws last night. For anybody to think of this man as a system quarterback, you have to be ignorant to believe that now.

I still have doubts about this season, but maybe that is years of Rams-induced letdowns weighing heavily on my mind. Until disappointment occurs, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy whatever happens this season.

Life Update, LeBron to the Lakers and UFC 226: Cormier vs. Miocic

I’ve neglected the hell out of TSTOS, but these two pictures depict in my life (whenever I have free time) in a nutshell:

The ol’ bend test with the brisket I smoked on Monday, July 2, 2018. It was a damn good cut considering it was select (marked down). You can never go wrong with Caribeque Big & Bold beef rub or any of Uncle Kurt’s Caribeque products.
As the caption says, the pump from C4 Ultimate On the Go is pretty legit. Also, rocking the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ tank top from, well, the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival in Knoxville, TN back in May.

Grilling, barbecuing and staying active. This post was prompted because I was just talking to somebody about the year 2007 the other day and how it doesn’t really feel all that long ago, even though it has been eleven years. I’ll never forget when the original idea of TSTOS came about in 2016 and I brought it over to WordPress from Blogger in 2017. What a ride it has been since then.

I’ve been asked by people who will go, “Why is your Instagram username what it is?” or “What’s the motivation behind Grizzly BBQ?” Well, there ya go. When you are called a bear and the definition of ‘grizzly’ is “gray-haired” (I’m salt and pepper right now, but the pepper is fighting a losing battle — wisdom whiskers, yo! Why do you think I’m so wise? 😉 ), I gotta roll with it; besides, I’m a big, hairy fucker.

It’s amazing looking back over the last eleven years and seeing all the times I’ve defended LeBron James, from the time he went to Miami in 2010 to all the ‘villainous’ bullshit from that season to the greatest of all-time arguments over the years.

He announced last Sunday that he’s going to the Los Angeles Lakers.

I’ll defend him again.

I actually hated it when he went back to Cleveland in 2014. I never felt the city deserved him. I’m pretty sure I ranted about this at some point during the last four years. Anyway, I rolled my eyes when Cleveland fans burned his jersey back in 2010 after he ditched the Cavs for South Beach. Sure, the entire situation could have been handled better, but he is the greatest athlete to ever put on a Cleveland sports jersey (yes, even over Jim Brown who played in an ancient era of football) and that fact was cemented in 2016 when he propelled the Cavs to a title.

I’m sure he’ll end up retiring in Cleveland one day, but this move to LA makes perfect sense from the standpoint of Magic Johnson, being one of the top three greatest players in the history of basketball, being able to speak the same language as LeBron, and that language is winning and understanding the mindset of a generational talent such as LBJ. They won’t even sniff a title this year, but with another pickup next offseason, I have no doubt they’ll be in title contention, especially with the Golden State Warriors inevitably experiencing dynasty fatigue soon enough.

I’d like to see yet another edition of a Celtics/Lakers NBA Finals, this time with LeBron James facing off with a healthy Kyrie Irving. THAT, my friends, would be quality television.

If LeBron wins a title in Los Angeles, he will be the only player in NBA history to lead three different squads to a championship. That would be more than impressive. I’m excited to see what unfolds over the next few years.

Shifting gears to Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic for UFC 226 tomorrow night… I’m biased. I love Stipe, but I want Cormier to win the title and become a 2-division champion. I think there’s a possibility he could retire if that happens, but it would be pretty great to see. Cormier should be in GOAT conversation given how he has only ever lost to coked up, steroid-riddled Jon Jones. Outside of a roided up fighter, he has never lost at this point in time. We are talking about a decorated fighter that has destroyed heavyweights despite being an undersized heavyweight himself, only to go down to light heavyweight and command that division other than the Jones’ blemishes. Either way, I’m looking forward to hanging out with close friends and enjoying the fights tomorrow evening at Buffalo Wild Wings.

A Hell of a Time to be a Los Angeles Rams Fan

I meant to post the above picture back in February. I was swillin’ and starting the grillin’ (chicken wings on Roxanne AKA the limited edition red Weber kettle, vortex style) on an anomaly warm low-70s day in the middle of February. Now it’s late March, windy and cold as usual. I can’t wait for proper spring weather.

The Los Angeles Rams are being hyped up as Super Bowl contenders for next season. Check out the title of this post — a hell of a time to be an LA Rams fan. It is, my friends. It is so odd to me that I watched this franchise wallow around in hell from 2005-2016, and all of a sudden, a year after coming back to Los Angeles after a 22-year reprieve, they win the NFC West for the first time since the 2003 campaign and their running back, Todd Gurley, finished second in the MVP voting.

Next season, they are going to be rolling in hot, fresh off of signing Marcus Peters, the best defensive back in the league, from the Kansas City Chiefs and Aqib Talib, a well seasoned veteran who most recently played for the Denver Broncos. To beat it all, a couple days ago they signed Ndamukong Suh and they are gonna stack that offensive line wreckin’ sumbitch next to Aaron Donald, a generational talent and the undisputed best defensive tackle… nay, defensive player… in the NFL.

The last time we saw a franchise go out and stack one side of the ball, it was the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, when they formed the, ah, ‘Dream Team’ only to fall to a mediocre record of 8-8. I hope the Rams don’t under-perform this upcoming season. The Seahawks are worse, but the 49ers have greatly improved with their high paid but still unproven quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

It is reasonable to assume the Rams will take a step back next season, though. I’m not trying to be a Cynical Cindy here, but teams have footage on a team that played above expectations from last season, the Rams lost a few pieces from their coaching staff and, lastly, the Rams will be playing a first place schedule.

Years of watching the franchise play like shit (2007-2009 when they only won six games in three seasons, and then going 2-14 in 2011) has tarnished any trust or faith I have in watching this squad perform up to expectations or better. But hey, this ain’t Troy Sparks Jr.’s old squad. This franchise appears to be in good hands under the capable leadership of Sean McVay now.

I can’t wait to see what happens, but as always I’m seeking to avoid being caught up in the Horns hype.