Imagine ghosting the love of your life in the middle of a global pandemic while they are recovering from being sick as a dog.

Imagine saying that losing your soulmate is your life’s all-time biggest regret and then doing it all over again for the third different time — your soulmate… the only person in the history of your entire existence who was always there for you and responded when you reached out every time.

“Everything I do, every decision I make is for you. You are my whole heart walking around outside my body. I won’t do life with anyone else. I can’t. It has only ever been you. I will wait for you no matter what because there is nothing else out there for me. I need you.”

What a crock of shit. Lie after lie. Just like a decade ago. Even if our original plans were never foiled, you would have went out of your way to hurt me and fuck me over. That is who you are as a person at this point. It hurts beyond any words can articulate to accept that. It is painfully clear that you never loved me. You were just looking for a meal ticket to get out of Florida — once you got out of there is when you decided to randomly, gratuitously throw me away like a toy you got bored of playing with.

How can you look at yourself in the mirror knowing you have repeated the same mistake on three different occasions in the span of a decade? I feel like the most gullible idiot that has ever existed.

I don’t know what to do now. Everything I was working for was geared towards the future with you. I saved money, I passed on career opportunities, I grinded. I meant every word I said.

I told you that if you were going to leave again, to please tell me why. That is all I wanted. To know why. You routinely would reply, “Oh, baby, don’t be silly. I’m never leaving again. I was a fool to let you go twice before. I can’t leave.” Why peddle lies? It is mental and emotional torture to not know why.

A lot I’m hurt but not yet slain; I’ll just lie down and bleed a while, and then I’ll rise again.

The Health & Fitness World is Rife With Disguises and Tricks

The title of this post is something many of you realize. The supplement industry within the health and fitness world preys on gullible and oftentimes desperate people who will quickly part with their money in search for optimal health and vitality.

The nutrition world is still in the wild west stages of is infancy. You have people from so many segments of dietary regimens who believe their particular dietary lifestyle is superior to others. Vegans, Ray Peat-ers, keto, Paleo, ‘fruitarians’, even the ‘carnivore diet’ crowd.

I’m jaded. I’ve been around and have independently researched much of these ‘diets’ in my spare time for more than a decade. The bottom line is that the shills of every dietary clique will cherrypick any scientific, peer-reviewed studies that support their opinions and biased beliefs that are often passed off as stone cold facts while shunning opposing studies by convoluting the words to provide a faulty counterargument.

While I stay current with news in this side of things whenever I have the time, I became jaded back in 2014. June 2014 to be specific. Over the course of 2013 onwards, there was a troll who resided in the backdrop of TSTOS who would find posts I’ve written that are similar to others around the web and accuse me of plagiarism. After my first reply to this person, diplomatically asking them to knock it off, they continued to troll and pester me. That is the internet, though. Give somebody the chance for anonymity and they will take full advantage to reveal their true selves.

In June 2014, however, after I wrote a post involving bashing the paleo diet, this same troll instigated a feud between myself and this fairly popular health/fitness writer from Canada named James Fail by telling Fail that I was stealing his ideas. We had written about similar topics, but I had never heard of his James Fail character. However, I woke up one day to TSTOS being brigaded by the mindless cronies of Fail. I even received hateful emails from his followers — grown adults, I discovered after I looked them up, who had spouses and children! — many of which said to me, “I hope you get cancer, bro.” If you want to understand why people claim the world is in such shit shape where common courtesy is lacking among fellow humans, it may have something to do with people like that. I reached out to Fail to ask him to call off the brigade, but he double-downed. I had to shut TSTOS down for a week due to this inane madness. Afterwards, I swore off writing about anything health and fitness related to a while and stuck to mediocrely posting about MMA. I never heard from the troll again — maybe he finally got off to his ultimate fetish of watching my site falter for a temporary amount of time, but at the end of the day I won: TSTOS is still standing, whether it is on life support or not, a relic in the guise of a blog from the days of old or not, almost thirteen years after creating it. The troll ultimately [James] ‘FAILed’.

I digress.

I have never considered myself a health and fitness writer. I simply do not have the credentials. I’m just a guy who tries to be neutral and observe all sides of an argument before holding an opinion. We live in an age now where it is popular to be reactionary to any kind of news and impulsively deliver snap opinions and judgments on something before allowing it to sit and bake.

I struggle with taking the charlatans of the health world seriously. One example: I don’t consider Ray Peat to be a charlatan, but many of his dietary followers could be considered legally insane in some states.

Dave Asprey is someone I believe to be a charlatan, though. Y’know, the creator of Bulletproof Coffee — the coffee that you put unsalted butter and MCT (the type of dietary fat found in coconut oil) oil into. I love butter and coconut oil, but Asprey and the Bulletproof bunch concocted outrageous claims that the coffee may as well be the real life version of NZT-48.

I enjoy reading stories about successful people. They are inspiring to me. I would much rather read an old fashioned American success story than one about someone’s life falling apart. Even better, though, is a story about somebody becoming a success after their life has fallen apart (comeback stories are the best). However, sometimes what you are presented with, passed off as facts and truths, is not the full story. This is relevant to Davey boy.

From a marketing standpoint, Asprey attributes his energy, alertness and overall ability to stay in shape to Bulletproof Coffee and supplements that you can just pick up at your local Vitamin Shoppe. The thing is, he takes daily metformin and modafinil. Yes, I said metformin – the diabetes treatment drug; I haven’t delved too deep into the research, but apparently one of its alleged side effects is somehow improved cognition and another is related to anti-aging. Whatever. Modafinil is prescribed for folks who deal with narcolepsy and sleep apnea. Modafinil acts as a secondary nootropic.

Furthermore, Asprey is on a TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) program, from hCG, anastrozole (an aromatase inhibitor) and finasteride to halt balding. A lot of this is left off his website. I could keep going, but meh. It is irritating to watch people who don’t know any better accept his marketed methods at face value rather than look deeper. His appearances on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast are my least favorite.

You wanna be ‘BuLlEtPrOoF’ like Mr. Asprey? Better adopt the real protocol (testosterone, finasteride, anastrozole, metformin and modafinil), because it overpowers his public, oft-marketed protocol (butter, MCT oil, caffeine and OTC supplements). Give me a break.

Y’know the little advertisements from the 1980s (I wasn’t around back then, but thank goodness for YouTube) featuring Hulk Hogan advising people to say their prayers, eat vegetables and take vitamins, extolling the virtues of such things as to why he was as big and jacked as he was? That was stated all the while he was behind the scenes juicing up with anabolic steroids and cracking jokes to his pals about all the ‘vitamins’ he actually takes. That reminds me of Asprey, here in the tail end of the 2010s.

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever forget that people in the health and fitness world are in the money making business, and on one hand I don’t blame them because there is a career to be had. That said, do not let it slip from your mind’s grasp that Asprey got his start in the nootropics arena of things by emitting exaggerated claims about raising his IQ by 20 points and curing his own health issues. When he started selling coffee, he did so by making people believe that any other coffee is basically poisonous (I remember when every one of his articles featured the word, ‘mycotoxins’). This man attempts to brand anything he teaches, and whatever he doesn’t he touts things as horrid. What a classic money making trick.. er, tactic. If people find out that his coffee isn’t a special cure-all panacea/elixir, he might as well be a pot roast that has been in the crockpot for eight hours, because he would be done.

Dig deeper. Do the research. Be wary of accepting truths from somebody who is making money off of what they tell you in case they are selling something on the side. What they write is quite genuinely existing for the purpose to extract money from you. You only have yourself to rely on for searching for the truths you want to latch onto when it comes to your health. It is the wild west, baby.



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.


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.


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.

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

: 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’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.

A Few 2018 NFL Reflections and Questions

In September, I admitted that my Rams actually wielded an NFL offense after they spanked the Indianapolis Colts. Even though the Colts have the worst roster in the NFL asides from the Green Bay Packers (you may want to dog the Cleveland Browns, but they played hard under Hue Jackson this season in spite of their 0-16 record), watching that game told me the Rams have something to build on. It’s called the eye test, and every true Rams fan watching that day saw a glimpse of hope.

Nobody, and I don’t care who, truly thought the Rams would turn around from a 4-12 season into NFC West champions this year. This season was a blast and I can’t wait until this September for some Rams football to return to my television screen. Just a few objective NFL thoughts and reflections going forward:

Can we stop judging football teams by how well they are doing in September and October and pay more attention to what is going on in November and December? I know the media needs headlines and storylines to make money, but it blows my mind how many people were crowning the Kansas City Chiefs the quasi-Super Bowl champions and Alex Smith the second coming of Tom Brady after the drubbing of the New England Patriots to open the season. Don’t get me wrong — I loved the bitch slappin’ the Chiefs gave the Patsies to open the year, but the way they faltered and ultimately limped into the playoffs, blowing an 18-point lead to a mediocre Tennessee Titans squad and losing… yeah, how about we stop the horse shit early season prognostications and give the season a little bit of time to bake?

I can’t believe the Cincinnati Bengals have given Marvin Lewis an extension. He’s been the coach for so damn long, so much so that woman who are poppin’ out offspring left and right from multiple fathers were just little babies themselves when he was first hired. This guy is like the Jeff Fisher of the AFC North. I understand that he stabilized the Bengals’ franchise and turned them into mediocre from the laughing stock they once were, but… this feller has not even won ’em a playoff game despite the Bengals being in favorable postseason positions multiple times. I love the argument, “Well! Replace he’em and see what happens! They’ll go back to being the Bungles!” As opposed to what? Making the playoffs and losing in the first round every year or missing the playoffs every other year nowadays? Lewis gets more chances than a suicidal cat.

~ Why in the world is the AFC so weak nowadays? Back in the early days of TSTOS, the AFC was the best conference in football. Now, there’s the Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and then everybody else.

In 2017, we found out how truly important it is for an offensive minded head coach (or quality offensive coordinator) to teach a young, rookie quarterback. Look at Jared Goff under Jeff Fisher, and now look at him under Sean McVay. Night and day. A detractor I know — a supporter of Fisher — says that Goff naturally improved from year one to year two, but come on, he went from being a veritable bust to a formidable franchise quarterback, and that is not a natural progression by proxy. I’m excited to see what the new Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy does with Mitch Trubisky & Co.

~ The biggest thievery of the season happened when the San Francisco 49ers traded for Jimmy Garoppolo during the regular season. This is why I have my doubts with my Rams going into next season. Repetitive success in the NFL is never guaranteed (unless you are the impressive Patsies), and I can imagine that division being an absolute battle.

~ The Colts should look to hire Josh McDaniels from the Patsies. Hell, in hindsight, they should have kept Bruce Arians around and ditched Chuck Pagano after the 2012 season, but that would have been a horrible look considering how Pagano was fighting cancer at the time, but after the smoke has cleared and the dust has settled, look at the Colts now. Disarray. And many idiots are writing off Andrew Luck.

~ Finally, and this isn’t an NFL reflection… I used to troll my buddies (just because I loved riling them up) over the SEC in college football. Aaaaaaaaaaand then I ended up with an Alabama gal who reminds me all the time about the SEC and Alabama’s dominance. Holy shit. This is some kind of crushing karma. To add insult to injury, my Hokies lost their bowl game to Oklahoma State. Also, the team I cheer for in the SEC — the Tennessee Volunteers (hey, I was born in Tennessee and have always cared for them as if they were a second team as long as they aren’t playing the Hokies) — had an abysmal year and I doubt they’ll change their ways anytime soon. To be frank, the SEC isn’t that great. Outside of Alabama, they are virtually meh. Georgia had an anomaly of a year, but so what? It’s the most overrated conference in college football, but that means jack squat when you listen to an Alabama gal have the right to talk trash with her team winning yet another national title.

Experience is the Best Teacher: The Rams’ 2017 Campaign is Over

I feel strongly in my heart that this season’s Los Angeles Rams squad is better than the Atlanta Falcons. Last night, the final result of the wildcard game between the two did not reflect that opinion, but I still hold it. The Falcons won due to their calmness and poise backed by their playoff experience.

The Rams dropped a couple of passes and turned the ball over twice in the first quarter, setting the tone of the game and giving the Falcons 10 free, easy points in the process. No matter how good a team’s defense is, the Rams were wore out by the end, and the Falcons held on.

Am I disappointed? By the way the Rams offense played, yes. They did not maximize their potential or play up to snuff. While I feel that Atlanta’s defense is pretty good, the Rams’ receivers dropped catches and quarterback Jared Goff was off more than he ever was in the regular season. When they didn’t score on their first two offensive possessions, I knew they were in trouble, and when the first punt was muffed, ohhh boy…

Hats off to Atlanta. They aren’t that great of a team this year, but they don’t have that bad of a road, only facing the Carson Wentz-less Philadelphia Eagles next week. I can only hope the Rams will come back stronger next season with this new experience under their belt, avoid serious injuries and ran the gamut in the NFC West again.