Matt Stafford and the LA Rams

Back in 2017, early in the NFL season, I posted something along the lines of, “WOW! The Rams are actually a good football team for the first time since I was 12-years-old!” And I alluded to, “Well, I’m just waiting for the bottom to fall out of this seemingly well oiled machine.”

That was the first season of the Sean McVay era. The Rams went 11-5, won the NFC West and lost in the opening round of the playoffs to the Falcons.

In the seasons since:
2018: 13-3 — Super Bowl loss
2019: 9-7 — missed playoffs
2020: 10-6 — lost in divisional round

The Rams haven’t had a losing season (even though they did miss the playoffs in the 2019 campaign) since 2016, and I’m still not used to that.

Matt Stafford made his debut last night, and he threw a gorgeous touchdown pass to Van Jefferson in his second pass of the game, a long ball that us Rams fans really haven’t witnessed since the 2018 season.

Stafford went on to toss two more touchdown passes, one to a wide open Cooper Kupp and another on a crazy strike to Bobby Trees AKA Robert Woods in the end zone.

It was a sensational offensive showing. Not perfect by any stretch, but it was a beautiful way to open the 2021 season. The Rams weren’t able to run the ball worth a damn until the fourth quarter, but a 34-14 win over a Bears team that still features a solid defense (at least on paper) was nice to see.

Despite the 20 point victory, the Rams defense only looked good in spots last night. The soft coverage allowed Andy Dalton to pass the ball all over the field, and David Montgomery had himself a night on the ground with over 100 rushing yards. Yet the Bears were only able to come up with 14 points.

Even though Stafford looked great, just like in 2017 I’m waiting for the bottom to fall out. I want to see Stafford play this well against Tampa Bay, Seattle and San Francisco. We’ll find out about Tampa Bay in week 3 and Seattle in week 5.

No additional thoughts, asides from a smirk directed towards Colin Cowherd. He posted after the first half, “For all the noise and hype — Matt Stafford, with a better roster and head coach, leads Andy Dalton, at home 13-7.” Not another tweet from Cowherd for the rest of the evening as Stafford pieced up the Bears defense that led to three more touchdowns, which including one on the ground from Darrell Henderson.

But hey, that’s Cowherd’s job: to rile people up and attract views for his shows. Definitely not going to hate on that. He’s a modern day, refined shock jock. He’s entertaining, especially when he starts bad-mouthing Aaron Rodgers and Baker Mayfield, causing both Packers and Browns fans to lose their shit. As soon as Stafford has a less than thrilling game, he’ll be back to sling the, “He’s marginally better than Jared Goff” shade. It is what it is.

In the meantime, I’m trying to avoid being too hyped about the possibilities down the stretch. There’s a lot of games left to be played.

What the Hell Happened to Jimmy Garoppolo?

Several years ago (it was in 2004), I was at a flea market and overheard an NFL discussion between a couple of really old fuckers.

“Eli’s gonna be better than his brother,” one of them quipped. “I don’t see it,” the other one struck back in disagreement.

They were talking about Eli Manning, who was going to be a rookie that season. The old dude with the original comment about Eli being better than his brother (Peyton) went on to state (I’m paraphrasing this because I can’t remember the exact words from seventeen years ago), “I judge quarterbacks by how handsome they are. The more handsome they are, the better they are, because usually quarterbacks like that have had confidence all their lives, and that’s what’s needed in pro football.”

I remember thinking, even back then, that it was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life (truth; I mean, thirteen years of life experience didn’t lend itself to hearing a whole lot of ridiculous shit), asides from being hilarious to hear some dude who was probably in his 70s saying it. Obviously it’s flawed thinking, but even Colin Cowherd said something on his show in line with this about five years ago. However, c’mon now, some of the all-time greatest quarterbacks are weird lookin’ fuckers, but I’m not here to bloviate about that.

I just wanted to pipe in and say that if that old dude is still kickin’, he probably would have thought that 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is the second coming of Joe Montana when they acquired him in a trade from the Pats back in 2017.

Garoppolo’s time with the 49ers is likely coming to an end either by midseason this year, or after the season is over. Only two seasons removed from a Super Bowl appearance.

It’s weird to say that, but not truly uncommon. Kurt Warner went to two Super Bowls in a span of three years with the Rams in ’99-’01. After the second appearance, he was gone in two years. Carson Wentz had an MVP caliber season with the Eagles in 2017; the Eagles were all but done with him last year, and now he’s with the Colts.

The Jimmy G thing is interesting, though.

He’s 24-8 as a starter under the tutelage of head coach Kyle Shanahan. Wins and losses are a collective team stat, but when you consider Shanahan’s record when Garoppolo isn’t playing… Shanahan and the 49ers are 7-26.

When Jimmy G was traded to the 49ers in 2017, he helped the team win five games in a row to close out the season. Going into the 2018 campaign, the hype was higher than a giraffe’s ass. However, three games in, he tore his ACL and that was that.

In 2019, everything clicked for Jimmy G and the 49ers. They thoroughly handled my Rams and went on to win the NFC West en route to a close Super Bowl loss in which they choked away a lead to the Kansas City Chiefs. Anywho, anyway, anyhow, Garoppolo finished the 2019 season with 27 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and passed just shy of 4,000 yards.

Going into the 2020 season, the 49ers appeared to be primed to make another run, but they lost their first game to the Arizona Cardinals, and all hell broke loose beginning the following game when their key players, including Garopollo, caught the ol’ ‘injury bug’. When Jimmy G returned in week five to play the Miami Dolphins, his poor performance relegated him to a place on the bench. In week 8, he re-aggravated an ankle injury and that was really it for him last season.

During the 2021 NFL Draft, the 49ers drafted Trey Lance, who impressed the organization during the preseason.

Now, the question is, “Who ya startin’? Jimmy G or Trey Lance?”

Right now, it looks like Garoppolo will be the starter, but there’s a possibility that Shanahan will use him and Lance in a rotation all season long. Thing is, is Jimmy G up to the task of returning to his 2019 form? He didn’t look good when he played last season, and he appeared underwhelming in the preseason.

Three things will eff up a quarterback’s confidence:

1.) Injuries
2.) The head coach loses faith in the starting QB
3.) The front office drafts the QB’s replacement

All three factors are relevant with Jimmy G, as he ticks all those boxes. Obviously the injuries, but Shanahan lost faith in him last season while hiding his thought process under the guise of, “Well, we were worried he hasn’t fully recovered from his injuries.” Then, they drafted his replacement.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s traded by midseason if Lance is looking stout and they can acquire a key piece from another team for him, even if it is just for depth if we consider the 49ers’ bad luck with injuries.

The 49ers have thoroughly dominated my Rams for the last couple of seasons. I blame Jared Goff more than anybody for that, since his piss poor play led to at least three of those defeats (the second game in the 2019 season notwithstanding).

The NFC West is a toss up this season. Will Arizona make a leap (finally)? How will the Rams look with Goff gone and Matt Stafford lining up? Will the 49ers stay healthy and compete? The Seahawks ramped up their team, but will they finish strong down the stretch?

My Thoughts on Vaccinating, Since You Asked: An Obligation?

I have received at least five comments this year with people asking me for my thoughts on getting vaccinated, yay or nay, and I’ve avoided them all until I encountered the most recent comment which said something along the lines of, “You need to post your thoughts on the COVID vaccine, because your words could impact someone’s opinion. You are obligated.”

Sounds a bit dramatic, but I’ll take the bait. When I started TSTOS at 15-16 years old, I never would have predicted that, about fifteen years later, I would be writing about a pandemic surrounding a very serious, potentially deadly virus or giving my thoughts on a vaccine on what is supposed to be a sports blog where I used to consistently vociferate my avid complaints on the then-St. Louis Rams, but here I am. I have almost 100 pending comments on here that I need to read and scroll through. Some are written by sports heads, some are by people telling me to go fuck myself, some are by incels who were triggered by a couple of posts I made in 2014 and one from the last couple of years, and all in between. I just haven’t given enough of a shit to go through them all, respond or approve the comments.

But the vaccine comments are interesting to me. The fact that anyone would care to ask of my opinion, especially when such a comment appears on one of the most viewed TSTOS posts ever, from December 2008, titled: “Tim Tebow is a Douche.” It’s pretty comical. Anywho, anyhow, anyway, here goes:

I’m vaccinated. My closest family is vaccinated. My closest friends are vaccinated. My girlfriend is vaccinated. I think most of her family is vaccinated.

In saying that, we humans are beautifully flawed creatures with inexplicable needs and impulses that run counter to our best interests. Over the years I’ve been trying to understand this and empathize on a deeper level, especially after going through some excruciatingly painful times in my 20s when I had to try to predict and consider why other people make the decisions that they do, gratuitously impulsive and without a given reason.

I fully believe there is enough data on the vaccine that merits going ahead and getting the jab. The only side effect I had was a sore arm for a day and a headache for three days, but I’m not so sure the headache wasn’t from allergies or sleep apnea, since I’m prone to fun headaches.

I’m tired of hearing about the anti-vaxxers stating, “We don’t even know the long-term effects of the vaccine!”

That’s really interesting to me, to hear. In one way, it is valid, y’know? We don’t. But at the same time, the people remarking with these claims are eating McDonald’s or smashing a shithorde of caffeine or slamming alcohol or smoking cigaretes or dipping tobacco or eating $0.79 packages of ramen daily but — interestingly enough — give no who-diddley shits about the long-term effects of all those things, yet all of a sudden a vaccine is making them hesitant to receive it because of that reason? Seriously?

Furthermore, if you are so concerned of the long-term effects of the vaccine, why not be concerned with the long-term effects of COVID-19? You might experience mild symptoms and recover, if you are lucky, but how is that going to affect you in ten, twenty years from now?

Every day we take risks and do calculations on them, subliminally or not. The $5 latte you buy daily from Starbucks is a bit of a risk; $25 a week turns into hundreds of buckaroos spent a year. What about the possible sugar and extra calories from it? That takes its toll as well, pending on your dietary habits.

For these “but what about da long-term effects?!” people, I’ll stand corrected if I ever meet one who lives a pristinely healthy life, but I don’t see it happening. The majority of people have some vice or unhealthy habit that dismisses them from meeting the threshold of ‘pristinely healthy.’

In my mind, I will judge you if you give me the knowledge that you are unvaccinated. I will not lecture you nor will I virtue signal and pretend I’m on the side of the moral high ground.

What I fear the most is that this pandemic will drag on, and the anti-vaxxers will remain steadfast in their decision to not take the shots, and the virus will mutate until it is able to evade the current rounds of vaccines.

Virtue signaling isn’t going to help, at this point. Like I said, enough information is out there. Billions of people have taken the vaccine. But the stubborn anti-vaxxers will do everything they can to defend their ‘FREEDOM’ to not take it. They’ll play a game of whataboutism where they’ll point to those who have taken the vaccine and subsequently died afterwards. Yes, some people who have taken the vaccine have died. There has been at least one person take the vaccine and die in a car accident a week later, or commit suicide a month later, or any other unrelated event has happened afterwards. We’ll all die one day, y’know?

“But it’s on you to help educate people, Troy! You never know who you are going to influence!” The most influencing I do is convincing people to buy my barbecue, to buy Caribeque seasonings and rubs, to try out the butter from Chattanooga Butter Co., etc.

“Shaming people works!” Shut the fuck up, Patrick. You are in your 40s and your entire social media page consists of talking down to conservatives and writing, “Take the vaccine, you selfish dumbasses!” over and over. Given the information, the evidence that your entire persona as a human being is shrouded in political one-sidedness and simple-mindedness, that the only thing you offer on social media is that you are only able to impulsively post opinions and articles in line with your political affiliation, confirms that you have the personality of an old, wet rag. You offer nothing to this world, and your friends list consists of 99.5% of the same people who have the same opinion as you do, so when you do have one person commenting a dissenting opinion under your post, you and your buddies can write snarky, sarcastic comments until you or the devil’s advocate block the other.

It’s silly and damn near comical if it wasn’t so annoying. I’ve said it at other points, but I’m tired of virtue signaling liberals.

By the same token, I’m tired of the moronic right-wingers posting disinformation as well.

A few days ago, a 30-year-old anti-mask ‘Freedom Defender’ (LMAO) from Texas passed away from COVID. After his death, his wife stated that, “He didn’t want to see a doctor, because he didn’t want to be part of the stats with COVID tests.” She concluded that he tried gawdayumn ivermectin, a livestock dewormer that is NOT fit for human use (dumbfuck alert, dumbfuck alert, dumbfuck alert, weeooh, weeooh, weeooh, dumbfuck alert!), vitamin C, zinc, aspirin and an inhaler.

This guy could have potentially saved his life by going to see a doctor early on, when the symptoms first hit, but no. This guy avoided the doc just so he could ‘OWN THE LIBZ LOL’. He left behind four children, and my heart breaks for them, because they needlessly lost a parent just because COVID was twisted into a political issue when it never needed to be.

I will not celebrate this guy’s death, but I will partake in mocking the ‘own the libz!!! HURRDURR LMFAO HAHAHA’ narrative, because I’m so goddamn sick of political discourse that leads to nowhere. It’s bullshit, at the end of the day. You can have your cute, little cover photos on Facebook and post your sweet, little political opinions in the guise of memes all day long, but like I’ve posted about before: you are singing to the choir most likely, because as the saying goes: “you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.” In other words, your friends list or following on social media likely consists of the same fuckwits who have the same, or similar, political opinions as you do.

That’s why I called the, “Troy! Share your opinion on this shit! You are obligated brah!” comment, ‘dramatic.’

There. There’s my opinion. Take the shot. I would love to move past this pandemic. 2021 is just a continuation of 2020, if anything. 2020 was the worst year of my life, starting after March. I was heartbroken and in isolation for a long, long time. It fucked me up beyond words will ever be able to convey. From history repeating itself after people close to me promised that it would all throughout 2019 and having to admit to them that they were correct to being stuck in my head all the time, being unable to travel. It took its toll on me before I finally went to therapy, but there are days where I still feel down if I think about someone for too long, though that is where unconditional, blind, eternal love comes in despite their cruel, twisted and heartless actions of faux-lovebombing and lies. I digress.

I recognize that getting vaccinated and wearing masks make many people uncomfortable. It’s a sacrifice, an ‘infringement of their liberty.’ (FREEDOM AIN’T FREE, MUHFUCKAS.) However, suffering the consequences of COVID-19 seems to be a more significant sacrifice, and death: the ultimate and irreversible infringement on personal freedom.

Unfortunately, the voices on the extreme right and the extreme left drown out, even obliterate, the opportunities for the conversations we should be having. Harm reduction seems impossible in an age of unfettered and dangerous ideology, but it is a partnership opportunity worth taking on. I believe that the road out of this pandemic is through the messy middle, an imperfect but open-minded community of people willing to explore the conditions that will let us all move forward together.

At the end of the day, Patrick the 40-something year old bleating liberal who posts nothing of value on social media daily needs to shut the fuck up, and so does Thomas the 64-year-old unwavering PATRIOT who wears Grunt Style and ‘I BACK DA BLUE’ t-shirts and dons a bald eagle tattoo.

Patience and the Act of Following Through

Instagram is pretty much the only social media I use these days*, and for good reason: rarely do I ever have to see stupid shit, whether it features conservatives politicizing the coronavirus and drumming up conspiracy theories or loud liberals virtue signaling to people about how much more morally righteous they are. My feed features 90% food (by the nature of who I am following plus my own content being grub) and the other 10% is mostly memes of various kinds.

(* — I don’t see the upside to Facebook. I had fun trolling with one person once upon a time. The people who want to be a part of my life, I talk to daily and only share the in-depth nitty gritty of my life with them. Seeing the ignorant things some people post only makes me lose respect for them; I’ve never once concluded a Facebook scrolling session and thought to myself, ‘Huh, that was time well spent.’ Mostly just scrolling and thinking, ‘What a chucklefuck’ over and over. Twitter is the same. Holy gawd is Twitter the second most toxic place on the interwebz to be (second only to YouTube comment sections). I have no idea what the fuck the point of Snapchat is. I need to start slinging food videos on Tik Tok, but my tripod sux with an x, and I’ve procrastinated.)

Frequently, though, on the ‘gram I get hit up with ads by different ‘eNtRePrEnEuRs’ with some fickle faux-positive quote featuring some ridiculous sports car or ostentatious mansion as the photo. “DREAM AND TAKE ACTION; NO EXCUSES; LIVE IT UP AND WORK HARD AND ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS AND U CAN HAVE THIS LIFE RIGHT HERE IN THE PHOTO WITH ALL THE CARS AND HOMES AND SHIT.”

Now, that’s pure hyperbole, but that is usually the type of caption. I’m unaffected by bullshit like that, because I don’t give a goddamn fuck about fancy vehicles or big homes. I probably get slapped in the face with these ads because I follow Andy Frisella (who hasn’t even posted in forever because he said, ‘fuck IG’ and moved his content over to his site, which I don’t blame him for it since the IG algorithm can be a mess), Jocko Willink and Gary Vaynerchuk on the ‘gram.

Anybody and everybody is calling themselves an entrepreneur these days. This is another topic for another time, but I just wanted to complain about it for a moment. All these “DOMINATE DA COMPETITION; EXCEL; DESTROY; MAKE OUT WITH ANOTHER MAN’S ””’ESTRANGED””’ WIFE IN A BOOKSTORE PARKING LOT” (more exaggeration) ‘business’ pages usually have a shithorde of followers (mostly fake, likely) and they are attractive to those lured in by ‘get rich quick’ or otherwise ‘achieve success as fast as possible’ schemes.

It’s all smoke and mirrors. Any real, established entrepreneur won’t spew bullshit lines like that. They’ll tell you to invest, consistently work at what it is that you are doing and provide their opinions on what decisions to make along the way. Most of all, they will explain that anything worth a fuck in this world takes time and patience to achieve. That doesn’t sell, though, and it isn’t exciting or flashy.

The need for instant gratification and all that is the cause of a lot of depression now. Waiting for something? Aw, nah, fuck that, dawg, gotta have it now. Now, now, now.

And it really isn’t a new concept. Maybe more prevalent, but nothing new.

Since at least the 1980s, lots of Americans started gaining weight and eventually struggling to shed it. Back then, the purported enemy was dietary fat. Enter crash diets. Nowadays, people like to blame sugar and carbs in general. Crash diets still exist. They always will, for as long as people try to avoid the inevitable, which is the time it takes to shed excess body fat from the body. People will spend a year or longer trying a bunch of different diets, failing and returning to an unhealthy state, and trying again only to fail, when they could have just gone on a caloric deficit for that period of time, ate sensibly with grub from whole food sources and lost it all anyhow.

But that’s no fun, right?

It’s the same with goals, whether it be business-related, personal-related, relationships-related, etc. You can’t start a business and expect to make an outrageous amount of dough immediately. If you are, you are probably running a pyramid scheme, scamming people or there’s a catch; those foundations will eventually fall apart because they are simply not sustainable.

We live in a time where we have virtually all the information we could want at our fingertips at all times (if you have a smartphone). The shit I’m spouting isn’t some unique concept: the idea that only time and patience will see you follow through. You can find this mentality espoused everywhere, but again, it isn’t glamorous or alluring.

There is so much pressure for young people in their early 20s to thrive, and that’s doubly difficult these days. It used to be, “go to college!” Now, it’s “go find you a trade!” A person’s inner circle, closest friends, etc. are big motivators as well, especially if their actions influence you to want to ‘catch up.’ It’s like someone hopping into a marriage that they genuinely don’t want to be in deep down, with someone they secretly claim to ‘feel nothing for’, and ultimately have kids they might feel emotionally disconnected from, only to wake up in their 40s one day thinking, “Wow, my life could have been different and gone how I wanted it to if I didn’t impulsively do all of this shit that I really didn’t want to do, and only did it because everybody else was doing the same thing.” Be with someone who lights your heart up with gusto and makes you smile when you see them; sure, you might get occasionally annoyed if they leave a dirty plate on the dining room table or a wet towel on the bathroom floor, but that’s minuscule life bullshit in the grand scheme of things. If you don’t, it won’t be a surprise when you are extra-miserable in due time or when you go completely out of your whole ass way to commit adultery because you have jack shit in common with the person you are unfortunately legally bound to.

I’m turning 30 in a few weeks, and I see so many of my peers at this age feeling so down about it. Nonsense. But I guess it depends on one’s personal perspective. I’m not going to say I’m the best version of myself today than what I’ve ever been, but I can say with confidence that I am when compared to 25-year-old me and especially 20-year-old me. Plentiful experiences and hopefully some wisdom gleaned. Post-March 2020 throughout the rest of that year, I was more depressed than I’ve ever been. The future I was working and saving money towards was gratuitously ripped away from me in a single day without an iota of a reason given. Being stuck in isolation, working from home, alone with nothing but my thoughts sunk me. I slept more than I have in years, because it was the only escape from all of that.

Time reveals perspective. Gratitude reigns supreme. I’m thankful that I’m not stuck in a farcical, pathetic excuse of a marriage with someone who doesn’t genuinely give a shit about me; I took the money that I originally saved for the aforementioned future above and moved away, which has been a breath of fresh air. I’m in the best shape of my life physically (constantly working on that mentally and emotionally), I met someone, I strengthened the friendships I already had, developed some new ones, switched jobs, and most of all: for the first time in years, my family is healthy; 2018-2019 was a shitshow in that department.

When I first moved, it was an adjustment in so many ways, but one thing bothered me for a while. The nagging feeling of, “what could have been” or “what was supposed to be.” It hurt, as I pondered what I could have done differently, but eventually I realized that no actions of mine would have changed anything about what happened last year. What happened was inevitable, even if I still have no idea why it did, and it would have happened even if plans had gone accordingly. It still hurt, but that perspective helped me begin to move forward despite the pain. I’m still figuring out the future. It takes time.

Anything worth a damn in life takes time to reach fruition.

The Carnivore Diet? LOL!

If you have read TSTOS over the last decade or so, you have probably gleaned that I’m a fan of no diet. By ‘diet’, I mean of any dietary regimen, temporary or long-term, that involves any form of singular focuses or restrictions, barring the possibilities of food allergies, Celiac disease (gluten intolerance), Chron’s disease, diverticulitis, etc. leading to such restrictions.

I have mocked paleo, keto, vegan, the ‘Ray Peat diet’ (probably the worst offender of all ‘diets’ I have ever heard of — holy shit… a gallon of milk a day, a gallon of orange juice a day? What in the good hell?)… go on and on.

I have never given a fuck about following a diet. My simplistic view of health comes down to a few basic factors — what one might call the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) method of living: as often as you can, eat foods from natural whole sources. Fruits, vegetables, beef, chicken, pork, venison, duck, seafood, what the hell ever.

I suppose I do follow one dietary regimen, in a way: intermittent fasting. But that is merely out of habit. I can’t stand eating during the mornings. I’m not hungry until 5-6+ hours after I wake up. I eat two meals a day, and sometimes only one. I would rather eat one huge meal than multiple small ones. This is merely a personal preference. It has always worked for me. Again, just a habit. There is some evidence of intermittent fasting (as long as you are staying hydrated with water, for saliva production) being beneficial for your oral health.

I don’t believe sugar is inherently evil in the least. I could write a rant about processed foods, but processed foods are everywhere. I don’t worry about GMOs, because GMOs are in everything and aren’t necessarily a net negative. MSG (monosodium glutamate) isn’t bad for you; the propagation of MSG being bad for you was founded on racist propaganda. It’s utter bullshit. Google to read more, or you can check out this post from my dear friends of The Killer Cook BBQ and Spice Shop.

Everybody has a different opinion of their own. As always, anything expressed on TSTOS are opinions of my own unless stated and/or sourced otherwise. I’m not saying I’m right; I’m just spewing my own bullshit here. Speaking of bullshit, how about I discuss the good ol’ CaRnIvOrE dIeT.

The Carnivore Diet Ate My Dead Ass Up

The late Wesley Willis’s hit tune, “The Vultures Ate My Dead Ass Up” is stuck in my head right now. I don’t know why. I haven’t heard that song since I played it while on the phone in August 2009. I digress. I just turned it into a heading for nothing more than gratuitous purposes as a result.

I love saturated fat. It ain’t the devil, Alicia, so go on back to your MLM shitposting trying to sell women some needless foundation or whatever. Dipshit Ancel Keys was, er, key to demonizing it in every way about 60 years ago. Baby boomers like my parents largely grew up, as a result, eating shit like vegetable oils, Crisco and all that when they were growing up. My mom grew up on a farm, so there was always fresh butter around, but it was for biscuits and other treats like desserts. My dad grew up in a valley, or a ‘holler’ as they call ’em in my hometown region of the southwest by-crackey; he had nine siblings, so their mother was always making a shithorde of food, probably cooked mostly in vegetable oils.

(This is why I’m not a committed writer and clearly not an editor: lazily overusing ‘grew up’.)

Vegetable oils were lauded once upon a time; these days, clearly they are not. Reason being: PUFAs and the fact that their smoke points are low as far as cooking temperatures go, so when you cook with them they are susceptible to oxidizing quickly and turning into the universally agreed-to form of ‘bad’ fat, like the evil villain of fats: trans fat.

I don’t obsess over PUFA consumption, nor the use of vegetable oils like canola, however. A few times a year, I deep fry, and it’s usually with canola oil. Wings, fried chicken, General Tso’s, bang bang shrimp, duros, random shit. Shallow-frying flour tortillas for tacos is always delicious. I’m just saying. If vegetable oils cause you to have a panic attack, pop an aspirin (unless you have an allergy) or a vitamin E gel-cap that is sourced from mixed tocopherols. Both appear to be protective of fighting the oxidation effects of PUFAs.

Now would be a good time to state: I am not a dietician nor a medical professional in any capacity. I’m just a random impending-30-year-old fuckwit with anecdotal thoughts and ideas that were founded on a decade-plus of personal research fueled by a thirst for the knowledge, understanding and premises of nutritional science and all the varying research topics behind it all. You should not take my advice if you don’t want to, but if you do, that’s at your own risk. Once again, these opinions are that of my own and of nobody else. This is just a post on a really old sports blog that features yours truly diving deep into his own BS.

With that out of the way…

I prefer cooking with refined coconut oil, ghee (clarified butter), rendered bacon fat, lard and/or beef tallow. Depends on what I’m cooking. A baked potato (even better: an air-fried ‘baked’ potato that finishes in 35-40 minutes pending on the size) rubbed with rendered bacon fat and a bit of salt before being cooked is unequivocally incredible. A fat-ass ribeye — while I prefer my steaks cooked over charcoal and cherrywood or pecan wood — seared in beef tallow or ghee is veritably amazing.

Whenever I do up a catering job for multiple briskets, I save the trimmed fat and make beef tallow with it. I made the greatest burger I have ever had in my life back in October when I used a food processor to grind up the fat as much as humanly possible, shaped it into a burger patty, partially froze it and then fried it. The flavor is more rich than I have ever experienced before, especially when compared to any restaurants or pre-ground (pre-grinded? Whatever) beef chuck.

Now, where was I? Oh, yeah, the Carnivore Diet…

The Carnivore Diet: Finally Delving Into It Without The Useless Wesley Willis Reference While Also Creating an Obnoxiously Long Headline Because This is My Really Old Sports Blog That Is Rarely About Sports These Days, Mothafucka!

I probably heard about the Carnivore Diet eons ago, but I dismissed it. It wasn’t until Chris Bell, a documentary/film maker (“Bigger, Stronger, Faster” is one of my favorite documentaries ever), started posting about it on Instagram.

Bell is either in his 40s or early 50s now. I’m not sure. He’s a physical beast, but he’s been into bodybuilding since the ’80s. He started posting about the carnivore diet on Instagram about three years ago and how much it changed his life.

The thing about Bell is, I think he takes anabolic steroids and HGH. Now, I add the word think because I don’t want to commit libel and get into some issues with this dude and cause another James Fail-type situation where a bunch of his cronies brigade my blog and throw vegetables at me since they aren’t eating them while they are on their carnivore diet in a physical state of high stress from all the cortisol.

Anywho, since I am of the belief that Bell might be using performance enhancing substances, his body is in a prime anabolic state to build muscle. His use of the carnivore diet necessitates that along with hard work in the gym.

Ever since, I’ve noticed quite a few people taking up with the carnivore diet. Usually they are wannabe bodybuilders.

With that hobby, I get it. On the forefront, it makes sense. High fat to promote hormonal optimization as well as adequate protein consumption to induce muscle growth after the day’s work has been put in.

The digestion of meat is pretty much cut and dry. If you are eating meat alone, it digests quite quickly. There is no fiber holding up the time of digestion. When combined with starches or vegetables or fruits, the transit time is a bit longer. I’ve read someone with IBS writing about how the carnivore diet is a net positive for them, because it has ‘straightened up their regularity’ and mitigated issues as far as digestion goes.

I get that. Valid.

My issue with the carnivore diet is that it is simply unbalanced.

For the same reason I disagree with the keto diet: if you are a man, carbohydrates are important for testosterone production, especially potatoes.

My girlfriend’s brother is a sharp dude. He’s 35-years-old and has been into bodybuilding as a hobby for almost two decades. I have never gave a shit about bodybuilding other than the topic of nutrition that emanates from and coincides with the hobby itself, and because building and maintaining muscle mass is essential for the health and physical balance of the body as it pertains to aging and keeping upright (I don’t want to become a feeble old man incapable of properly living in the day-to-day and going about the minutiae of life).

I say he’s a sharp dude, ’cause he’s a financial analyst in Atlanta, is constantly busy and his mind is always being put to the test.

But he’s all about the carnivore diet, and I can’t help but give him shit about it. The first time he mentioned this to me, I naturally asked, “Why?” His response? “Vegetables hurt my stomach.” Dude doesn’t have any digestive issues that I know of, but his opinion of vegetables stems from the consumption of raw vegetables and the idea that cooked vegetables are no good because he thinks that cooking them removes the nutritients.

There have been studies that show cooking vegetables will result in an insignificant loss of nutrients, but most of the same studies make it a point to emphasize that it is an insignificant loss unless you are boiling the ever-loving fuck out of said vegetables. I have sent the fucker links to studies backing this, but he stands by the aforementioned statement: “Vegetuhbulls hurt muh stomach, brah.” No fruits, either, ’cause “sugar be villainous, bruh.”

The first time I ever made barbecue for my girlfriend’s family, a few months ago, I smoked a couple of pork butts, and her brother just about lost his mind because he found out that there is sugar in the rub that I use. Much less than a gram per serving, and he went all to pieces. Ever since, whenever I throw down some grub for them, I tell him, “Oh, hey, brother, there’s point-0-0-0-0-0-0-7-6 but a 6 that is repeating-milligrams of sugar in this” or “OH GAWD! I made this bolognese sauce with a bunch of carrots, and they were cooked, so the loss of nutrients paired with the natural sugars might fuck up your stomach and harm your carnivorous dietary plans!!!”

Dietary extremism like that grinds my gears, ruffles my feathers, rustles my jimmies, swindles the soggy socks right off of me. As much as I dislike food elitists, dietary extremists are just as bad. Hey Brian, if you are reading this, stop crying about sugar in pulled pork, you dopey fuck. I don’t dislike ol’ Brian; he’s a swell guy. His tastes in sports teams are even more shit than his dietary ideals (delusions), but he’s a swell feller, as the folks like to say in the southwest by-crackey.

Carbohydrates… sugars… lowers cortisol in the body, helping you feel calm and combats stress. The flipside, when you are going through higher levels of cortisol, as seen in keto and otherwise carnivore diets, you are in a state of stress even when you don’t realize it, causing you to physically age qucker in due time. Going back to Chris Bell: that motherfucker looks old. I have more sexy (source: I’ve been told, multiple sources, so therefore it is a scientifically peer-reviewed fact at this point) gray hairs — wisdom whiskers from all the years of life’s bullshit — than dark hairs now, and I’m only just turning 30 in a month, but hey, I reckon I still look young as fuck despite the extreme stress and depression from the last near-three years.

Meat and potatoes have been a legendary combo for a long, long time. Michael Jordan, otherwise known as the greatest professional basketball player ever, used to eat steak and potatoes before games. He won six NBA championships and never lost in a Finals series. There’s some weak evidence to promote the carnivorous and starchy tuber combo of the Gods.

Detractors of saturated fat-laden meats point to the idea that it raises LDL cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. However, that has been debunked in a variety of cases. It appears that the risks there involve when/if you are a sedentary fat ass eating a bag of Cheeto’s after eating a steak.

You need fiber. Some high fiber diets do mess people up, but fiber has been shown to be beneficial for not only your digestive health, but also for regulating your blood cholesterol levels, mitigating any spike in LDL cholesterol.

My biggest qualms with it is still the cortisol spike and the process of being in a state of high cortisol all day long, especially if you consume caffeine or live a life of high stress. That’s a rough combo if you are only eating meat.

Not to mention that, again, it is nutritionally unbalanced. You are going to be missing out on so many key vitamins and minerals. Fruits, vegetables and legumes are kinda important for that, wouldn’t you say? Naturally occurring antioxidants are good for you. Compounds like I3C (indole-3-carbinol) and DIIM (diindolylmethane) found in greens are fantastic for lowering estrogen in the body (mushrooms are great for that, as well). It is important to inhibit aromatase (the enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen).

If you are obese, going on the carnivore diet doesn’t make any sense asides from using it as a tool to be in a caloric deficit…

Carnivore Diet FAIL. Yikes. The Triple H meal on the road.

I saw the above post on Instagram. Dude is morbidly obese. He has another post where he cooked six scrambled eggs and mixed it up with a lb. of ground beef.

WTF?

The ol’ bunless burger from a fast food joint trick was a popular (might still be?) ‘meal’ for professional wrestlers back in the 1990s while they were traveling on the road. Paul Levesque (Triple H) used to go to Wendy’s and order a ‘quadruple-stack’ burger, no bun, no cheese. Just plenty of protein.

The thing about wrestlers, though, and the difference here is that they would hit up the gym and would be wrasslin’ in matches. Plenty of physical activity, and that quick bite would fuel their glycogen stores in the body.

The dude in the post, again, is morbidly obese, works a job at a bank where he sits all day, doesn’t walk or engage in any kind of consistent physical activity, and his choice of weight loss is the carnivore diet, when his body is already inevitably in a source of high cholesterol, a broken pancreas (probably) and a fucked up digestive system.

When you are losing weight, it’s a good idea to try and obtain nutrients to physically support yourself. The shitty One-A-Day multivitamin found at Walmart or your local dollar store ain’t gon’ do much.

Instead of restricting yourself to a weak routine when trying to drop pounds, why not look at what you are eating with some sense? Try to walk 10,000 steps a day, eat whole foods (read: from all sources), attempt to get enough sleep at night and stay hydrated while doing what you can to reduce the stress you feel pending on what is going on in your life.

If the carnivore diet works for you, then hey, by all means continue. No reason to get upset with me for being a critic. I’m not hatin’; just statin’. We can compare/contrast bloodwork if you want to.

What’s Up With All the Celebrity Boxing Bouts?

My life was better before I knew who the fuck the Paul brothers from YouTube were.

A couple of years ago, my quasi-nephew asked if I ever watched any of Jake Paul’s videos on YouTube. One of my long-time closest friends has a name that rhymes with Jake Paul, which is what I thought he said, and when he clarified, “Nope; never heard of him.” That was that, and then one of the Paul brothers (can’t remember which one it was; too lazy and lack the necessary damn to give to Google and confirm) got in some morality trouble for walking somewhere in Japan and filming at a place where a person had committed suicide.

Asides from that, before the last two years, I’d never heard of the Paul brothers.

Then they both got into boxing and the rise of celebrity boxing exhibitions experienced an uptick.

Boxing is a great sport, but as a whole it’s been in the shitter for a long time. Crummy marketing, greedy promoters, too many title belts, the rarity of top boxers facing each other during their primes and otherwise taking years to come to fruition in actually happening (looking at you, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao). Because of these factors and others that I’m failing to mention, I haven’t met any casual sports fan who has cared about boxing in a long time.

The whole Paul brothers boxing thing started a few years ago. A couple of other YouTubers challenged them to some bouts, and the trend took off. I don’t know why or how it became a selling point. Maybe people just wanted to see them get knocked out. I’ve never watched any of their YouTube videos, but from what I’ve read, these fuckers are quite polarizing.

I thought Jake Paul boxing former NBA player Nate Robinson was pretty weird, but then former NBA player Lamar Odom fought Aaron Carter (yes, the Aaron Carter who sang a cover of ‘I Want Candy’ as a star-kid-singer-act that was played ad nauseum in the year 2000) and knocked him out. WTF? Now Lamar Odom is going to face former heavyweight champ Riddick Bowe. WTF?!

I get why these fights are happening. Money. Money drives the world, no surprise. People will buy the pay-per-views just to watch these circus acts. I don’t get it as far as entertainment goes, but I guess it is more appealing than watching the no-namers in professional boxing square off when all the promoters are failing to do what their job titles explicitly state.

You have to do some serious mental gymnastics to figure out how Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren sold over 1.5 million pay-per-views.

These are just spectacles; circus acts in the guise of exhibitions.

A lot of people criticized Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. when they squared off, but at least they are two former decorated boxers, not YouTubers or basketball players.

Now, if Jeff Bezos decided that he was going to get into a boxing ring with the moustached ‘Doug’ character from the Liberty Mutual emu commercials, I’d probably watch that. Won’t happen, though, dawgs. Bezos is too busy wasting his mansions of cash on stupid shit like rocket ships instead of positively contributing to humanity*.

*Speaking of which, that’s another post for another time. Why do regular ol’ people defend billionaires? It’s always the ‘pull urself up from da bootstraps’ crowd. In that prospective post, it’s my time to shine. I can sound like the notorious virtue signalers on Facebook who preach to the choir for dem likez + attention, yeah?

Aaron Rodgers: The Non-Giver of Green Bay Fucks + Thoughts on the Upcoming 2021 LA Rams’ Season

Somehow, someway, Aaron Rodgers has harnessed his ‘who gives a shit?’ powers. In an offseason full of drama between him and the Green Bay Packers, with the sports media circle jerking any rumor they could create, he’s coming back for at least another season as quarterback for the Pack, even after causing Vegas to consider the odds of him retiring to be high.

This fun, little controversy seems to have started when the Packers drafted quarterback Jordan Love with their first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Rodgers became butthurt over this decision, because the Packers did not inform him that they were selecting his potential future replacement, and because the Packers could have used a pick on, say, an offensive lineman or a wide receiver instead.

Most fans have mixed opinions on this. I’ve heard the, “I could be replaced at my job without notice; why is Rodgers special in that he needs to be notified first?” Maybe because your job isn’t that of an NFL quarterback? Clearly apples and oranges.

When I started TSTOS, Brett Favre was still the starting quarterback for the Packers, while Rodgers did not start a game until the 2008 season, when Favre was in the last couple of years of his personified ‘fuck around and find out tour’ with the New York Jets and subsequently the Minnesota Vikings.

Rodgers’ pull in Green Bay convinced the franchise to bring back former — and now, er, current — Pack wide receiver Randall Cobb: one of Rodgers’ favorite targets during Cobb’s previous tenure with the Packers.

I’ve never been the biggest Rodgers fan. His attitude after the NFC title game was silly; he acted like a child pouting at the podium during the post-game press conference when he talked about his future. There were plenty of opportunities in that game when he ultimately shit the bed in the clutch moments. Rodgers has pulled off some clutch moments in his career — Bears and Lions fans can tell you about this — but I can’t remember many comeback wins from his career. Whenever the Packers have gone down big in a game, he goes into sulk mode. Frowny face, pitch-a-bitch levels of moodiness.

Still, dude’s a bad motherfucker on the field. I feel like the Packers have done a good job over the years putting a solid team around him, but maybe a die-hard fan can educate me otherwise if I’m overstepping my current beliefs on the matter. For the projections of this upcoming season, Pro Football Focus released their top offensive lines of the year, and for the first time in seemingly forever the Packers did not make the cut. They have a tough schedule looking at them, especially in late October and November when they are going to be facing some dangerous defensive lines (plus Aaron Donald when the Packers play the Rams).

That’s ’nuff about Rodgers. It’s cute that he showed up to Packers’ training camp in his little ‘The Office’ shirt and the cool sunglasses (where’d you get those, bruh?); he’ll piece together another strong season. He’s too damn good. He’s a hall of famer. Him and head coach Matt LaFleur have solid chemistry if we consider the last two seasons where the team has made the NFC championship game consecutively.

Anyhow, speaking of Pro Football Focus’s offensive line rankings, somehow they listed the Los Angeles Rams in the top 10 at number eight.

Wow.

The Rams’ line shit the bed in 2019 and enjoyed a bit of a bounce-back last season. However, from what I could see, it wasn’t that great of a line. The pocket collapsed around Jared Goff often (look at the Miami Dolphins game), but Goff also couldn’t hold onto the ball, and whenever he was hit I held my breath because I figured a fumble was impending.

Now Goff is with the Detroit Lions, and in exchange the Rams will feature Matt Stafford as QB1. Stafford is better than Goff and has a quicker release.

But I don’t see where the Rams’ line is anything special, y’know? Starting left tackle, future hall of famer Andrew Whitworth, is 39-years-old going into what could possibly be his final season. 2020 center Austin Blythe had a solid season, but now he’s gone. If this unit can stay healthy throughout the year, maybe it will look solid, but it’s a big if.

I have doubts over my Rams going into this season. Big offseason losses from Blythe to John Johnson III to Troy Hill to starting running back Cam Akers tearing his achilles are all huge shifts (with that, Malcom Brown bolting for the Dolphins is a potentially big, sneaky loss).

From the outside looking in, the Rams look like a menacing team. They are star-heavy, from the greatest defensive tackle of all-time (Aaron Donald, as if I needed to say it) to Jalen Ramsey to Matt Stafford to the lethal wide receiver combo of Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, but asides from that, I have some serious concerns over their depth.

The defensive line looks empty if you disregard Donald. The defensive backs are solid, but the loss of Johnson and Hill are big. I was never a fan of Hill; he made some good plays last year, but playing alongside Ramsey and Darious Williams gave him a boost (I think he will be a letdown for Cleveland). The Rams’ linebacker corps looks thin and unimpressive. An injury to a big star could land them in last place of the NFC West.

Speaking of the NFC West, it is better than ever. If this was a weak division, I wouldn’t think much about it, but the Seattle Seahawks got better over the offseason (from now having a former Rams’ coaching staff member as their new offensive coordinator to boosting their offensive line to snagging former Rams’ tight end Gerald Everett); if the San Francisco 49ers can stay healthy, they are a mean team, and you never know when the Arizona Cardinals are going to have a breakout year again.

The Rams lost a bunch of members from their coaching staff last season. Perhaps the biggest loss is Brandon Staley, who is now the head coach for the LA Chargers.

The first five weeks of the season will tell us a lot about the Rams. They face the Bears, Colts, Buccaneers, Cardinals and Seahawks. Time to find out just how good Matt Stafford is.

Call me pessimistic, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rams go 9-8 and miss the playoffs while competing in the vaunted NFC West. I hope I’m wrong, but time will tell.

A Slice of the Pie

I think it is human nature for us all to want to be a part of something. Something bigger than us, I’d say.

You can take that and twist it into various categories, but one example is being a fan of a sports team. You buy the expensive merchandise, the apparel, the hats, possibly even tickets to go watch the games live in person, you cheer those fuckers on, build a camaraderie with other fans of the team, and if you are lucky enough to watch that team win a championship, the experience is indescribable.

Why is that? You contribute nothing to the roster nor the playbook or otherwise the coaching staff’s strategy, yet it is exhilarating for fans to watch their respective squad reach the pinnacle of a particular sport’s ultimate achievement. It’s because it is easy to become immersed in it: the activity as a whole. The process. The whole shebang. A slice of the pie.

This mentality extends beyond sports and virtually into all facets of life, from being a fan of a music artist or band or TV show or some celebrity or even a trend that is going on. No doubt about it, human beings are social creatures. That is well defined. That is part of it. The need to belong in some type of capacity is relevant here.

With that said, the post is about to take a 180 and get grisly. Sorry.

A few days ago (I’ll just use first names since I might wind up seeming like I’m going for a slice of the pie myself), in my hometown a guy — Curtis — shot and killed his estranged wife Ashley and shot & severely injured her boyfriend.

Somehow (and I say the upcoming statement because my hometown is a small, rural area), I don’t/didn’t know any of these people in this alleged crime of passion, so I looked them up to see if I recognized them. Nope. But I quickly noticed the bullshit.

People clamoring for that slice of the pie.

It’s one of the many pitfalls of social media.

The news about this uncalled-for tragedy had only been posted for about an hour, and Ashley’s page was filled to the brim with, “I’m gunna miss u so much” while Curtis’s page was filled with, “rot in hell u sik fook.” To clarify: at the time, ol’ impulsive Curtis was on the run from the law (spoiler alert: he was caught).

Call me cynical, because I know I am, but whenever I see that, with either of the two examples above, all I can think of is, “Please don’t forget about me!” syndrome. People going in for a slice of the pie; being part of something. The posts on Ashley’s page? She won’t read them; such posts are fueled by self-interest. You hear news of a tragedy involving your alleged friend, and your first reaction is to head to Facebook and write a self-serving comment under the guise of a tribute less than an hour after the breaking news?

“Respect the family’s privacy” is hardly a thing these days, but I suppose that is just the time we all in live now.

Five years ago, I was dating a woman whose uncle had passed away in a vehicle accident. She found out about this from good ol’ social media. She was deeply crushed; her family got into a big argument, because the culprits couldn’t want to get the news out immediately instead of having the common courtesy to wait a while at the very least. But I digress.

Back in April, a woman I graduated from high school with in 2009 suddenly passed away. So many people on Bragbook started asking, “What happened?! What happened?!” Random people started commenting, “She died from an overdose.” Her heartbroken mother had to post, in a time of extreme and unimaginable grief, to set the record straight. Her daughter did not die from a drug overdose; she died from a pulmonary embolism. She shouldn’t have had to do that, but so many slice-of-the-pie seeking dipshits were readily gossiping about her daughter publicly.

Back to the Curtis/Ashley situation, another thing that happened on Ashley’s page is that different people were commenting, “Well, Curtis gawht mad becauze Ashley wuz havin’ uhn affair.” Wait a minute. Even when the news broke and the slice of the pie seekers started dispersing, she was referred to as being his estranged wife, noting that they had been separated. Doesn’t sound like cheating to me. Even if she were cheating, it is idiotic for people to justify or give reason to such an extreme act of violence resulting in a life-destroying fatality (‘life-destroying’ extends to not only her family and close friends, but the fact that the two have a daughter together, who will never be the same again after Curtis’s impulsive act of destruction and loss).

For the life of me, I will never understand why people will throw their life, the rest of their future, away over another person just because their sense of jealousy or pride or ego or even sociopathic motivations cannot handle it. Simply put, I don’t understand the thinking behind it. Curtis is only 36 and shit his future down the drain because of this malicious, cowardly act. Ashley was only 32 and won’t get a chance at a future. The ‘crime of passion’ trope is as old as time; happens all around the world on a consistent basis, unfortunately. Again, I just don’t understand it. I would never throw my life away like that over another person, but then again I have zero desire to inflict pain on somebody else even if they have went out of their way to gratuitously mentally or emotionally accost me. What would be the payoff? What does any of these acts resolve? You go to prison, ruin your reputation along with your life, and have to sit around and think about what you did every single day for the rest of your life. It is nonsensical.

The slices of the pie will continue to be nibbled on until the next big thing happens and then those folks will be ready to whet their appetite with more pie next time. Meanwhile, her family will forever be painfully impacted over the idiotically selfish actions of one man.

That’s one of the many reasons I don’t use Bragbook. It’s all one big “look at me!” show. The slice of pie nibblers, the folks posting their ‘look at how happy we are’ marriage selfies even though the union is a verifiably pathetic excuse of a farcical joke of a marriage that has been dead for years (not always the case, obviously, but I know a couple for certain 😉 ) because they either latently dislike each other or one of the spouses have gone out on the other.

That and the last 5+ years of asinine political discourse soured me. The Bragbook political chatter is exhausting, because I’m so fucking sick of both sides. Your Bragbook is ultimately an echo chamber, so when you are posting your little memes and savvy political statements in an attempt to look and sound smart, you are probably preaching to the choir. I’ve heard the excuse of, “Well! I want to be part of the solution under the guise of promoting what’s right or what I think is right!” Alright. Going back to the ‘echo chamber’ sentiment: you are probably just shouting your shit at people who already agree with you politically. Meanwhile, some virtue signaling goes on.

It would be different if most people could engage in political conversations without winding up insulting each other, but that’s a pipe dream. When I still used Bragbook, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at people pretending to be political activists. If you really want to make an impact, dive your ass deep into politics yourself. Run for positions. Delve into public speaking at related functions. Vote. Start from the inside out. Go to town hall meetings. Make your voice heard there. Posting your shit on Bragbook and acting righteous does fuck all. The social warriors as well as the, ‘Gotcha! Quit tryna take muh rights’ folks of Bragbook all seem to be engaging in so much of this chucklefuckery because it is the only excitement their respective lives bring to them while they sit next to a spouse they secretly don’t give a shit about or their consequential dependents they didn’t mean to have and/or feel disconnected to but must keep up the mirage of social status under the ‘look at me!’ clause to impress faux friends. Run-on-sentence from hell… but valid.

Twitter is even worse.

That’s why I only bother with Instagram; my feed isn’t cluttered with that shit. It’s just food posts and the occasional sports-related meme. It’s the last bastion of social media where one can go to avoid the above. Maybe Snapchat is the same, as well, but I don’t know anything about Snapchat and I don’t see the appeal of it.

This post went in all kinds of different directions, and it turned out to be a big whine about social media, I grant you.

I do want to clarify one more thing.

For as cynical as I sound, I want to say that I get it, going way back to the opening of this post. The ‘wanting to be a part of something’ as well as the idea of self-serving interests.

We all want to be a part of something, and we all engage in self-serving interests in some capacity. For me, on Instagram, it is the grub slinging/barbecue community at large. I’ve slowly but steadily built a brand over the years. There have been roadblocks, and I completely ignored putting work into it in 2019, but the deep relationships I’ve built from the friends I’ve met have been rewarding in so many ways. It has been a gateway into the world of cooking and selling food. Cooking for people and seeing them enjoy it is my biggest passion on earth.

My annoyance, and the resulting cynicism, comes from the other aforementioned bullshit that people engage in on social media. I don’t see the payoff beyond fleeting entertainment that doesn’t instill any form of lasting happiness.

As for the tragedy that occurred a few days ago, that I mentioned, I guess I’m guilty of going after a slice of the pie myself, you could say, because I posted about it here despite only using first names, but I mentioned it to show an example of the tiring bullshit that goes down.

The Impulsive Dumbshittery of the Sports World Strikes Back: Chris Paul Edition

The Milwaukee Bucks won the 2021 NBA Finals last night.

The NBA playoffs were really fuckin’ weird. Injuries galore. Anthony Day-to-Davis, of course, but you can see that instance coming from a mile away; Lakers fans have screamed to everybody that could hear ’em: “If we had a healthy AD, we woulda stomped through the West and won another Finals!” Coulda, woulda, shoulda. The Lakers will probably somehow wind up winning another title in the next year or so, but right now things look murky for ’em. LeBron James will be 37-years-old by next year’s playoffs, Day-to-Davis will develop carpal tunnel while twisting his fork to scavenge a piece of steak off a plate, they have cap problems, and Kyle Kuzma probably wants to be a member of the Backstreet Boys instead of playing basketball. Enough about the Lakers, though.

I really wanted the Phoenix Suns to win their first championship; I’ll expound on that here in a minute. It was cool to see the Bucks put it together for a title, I have to admit. The NBA has been an era of guys teaming up to join what others call ‘superteams’ ever since about 2010 when LeBron ‘took his talents to South Beach.’

I never pictured Giannis winning a title for Milwaukee. I genuinely pictured him being involved in some inexplicable signing with the Golden State Warriors to join forces with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. But he re-signed with the Bucks last year and accomplished a pro basketball player’s ultimate goal. Again, pretty cool to see.

On the flipside, the Suns were two games away from winning their first championship in franchise history. They were up 2-0 in the series and proceeded to drop four in a row once the Bucks upped their defensive pressure, and by defensive pressure I mean their use of Jrue Holliday on the perimeter to give Chris Paul fits.

I have followed Chris Paul’s career. He was drafted by the New Orleans Hornets in 2005. For a couple of years, the big debate was, “Who’s better: Chris Paul or Deron Williams?!” Williams was also drafted in 2005, by the Utah Jazz. By 2013-2014, the debate was settled. Paul is a lock for the hall of fame. Williams’ career eventually fizzled out and I have no idea what happened there, but that’s another post for what won’t happen in another time.

Paul’s career took him from the Hornets to the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets to a stop with the Oklahoma City Thunder and then a nearly-fulfilled Cinderella run with the Phoenix Suns.

He has never won a title, and this series was his first trip to the Finals. At 36-years-old, he’s in the twilight of his career. This was his best chance to win one, right next to when he and James Harden almost upended the Golden State Warriors dynasty a few years back before he got hurt.

When the buzzer sounded off at the end of game 6, he walked off the court and the cameras followed him to the Suns’ locker room.

Immediately in the following moments, the fuckin’ internet featuring people being people, lettin’ them emotions go fuckin’ wild and allowing impulsivity to rule their lives — ’cause they can’t allow their thoughts to sink and settle in order to develop a deeper perspective on things — started losing its collective shit.

On Twitter.
On the NBA subreddit.
Even in my group chat with long-time friends.

“Chris Paul is a bitch and a sore ass loser.”

It appeared that Paul walked off the court without congratulating the Bucks, hence the verbal assault.

This morning, a video surfaced of Paul — in the closing seconds of the game — congratulating Bucks players and their head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Heh.

Dumbshits.

That’s one of the many reasons, 10+ years ago, I lost my desire to become a sportswriter. Sports journalism (read: good, quality sports journalism) has been dead for a while. You can blame it on many factors, but you can bank on the veritable collective scapegoat being sensationalist headlines and articles plus these hacks needing to meet their deadlines to pump out content and use controversy as a tool to drive views because there’s nothing like extracting the emotions out of people for profit.

At the end of the game, yeah, it appeared that Paul didn’t go ’round congratulating the Bucks. Even before the video came out this morning featuring the contrary, I didn’t really give a shit. Even if I did, what would it matter in a week or six months?

Paul was in his 16th season as a pro basketball player; this was his first and only trip to the NBA Finals; his career is coming to an end in the next few years; this was the best chance to win a championship that he’s ever had. He was close to achieving that goal, aaand people want to bash him because he didn’t live up to their personal standards. People who have never put in the same time and work in their respective professions and crafts. Imagine working your entire life to achieve your career’s most illustrious possible achievement only to barely fall short, having cameras shoved in your face to see your reaction and for morons to react to your actions within seconds on live TV.

These types of complaints happen all the time. Eyeroll-worthy. Sports media, not just journalism, has been dogshit for a while. Blame it on all the shows with the talking heads who bring up and regurgitate the same topics every day during the week for debate points. Hot takes to stir people up. Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd… the list goes on. I like Cowherd’s show, but I also clearly see what he’s doing: driving views. Can’t blame him, but it is what it is and every point in this paragraph is valid. I haven’t watched an episode of Sports Center in years.

Winning an NBA title is obviously really hard to do. I think people’s minds are clouded, because they see all the multi-title winning dynasties over the history of the game, but sometimes you have a superstar who never wins one. Charles Barkley didn’t. John Stockton and Karl Malone didn’t. That’s just how she goes sometimes.

In the Eastern Conference semi-finals, Kevin Durant’s foot was a caterpillar’s dick away from ousting the Bucks from the playoffs.

Them there’s the breaks of the game, motherfuckers.

Two Weeks Without Caffeine: Thoughts

If you have an addictive personality, you know the odd struggles that can come along with it. No explanation really needed for that.

I had a fun, little illness a couple of weeks ago that required a doctor’s visit along with a couple of medications. By the end of the first day on the meds, I realized I had not consumed any caffeine whatsoever. It was too late in the evening to bother, so I decided to finish the day off without any. The first time in seven years featuring a day without caffeine.

I decided I’d try to go without caffeine in the interim, in the duration of taking the meds. Why? Because I didn’t want to interfere with the absorption, nor create any potential side effects. There likely would have been no side effects pending the times of which either were taken, but I also figured it would be a good chance to reset my tolerance.

The First Two Days

Constant headaches, but let’s backtrack. Before I stubbornly went to see a doctor, I had a maddening headache for four days in a row even while consuming caffeine. The headache from the first two days of no-caffeine was of the same variety, but I wonder if, since I was already taking the first doses of the meds at that point, the caffeine withdrawal was keeping them around.

No matter, I persisted throughout those two days. I had felt tired in the few days before these two, so I couldn’t account for any lingering fatigue from the lack of America’s favorite legal drug that can be purchased through drive-thrus and convenience stores by way of the carriers otherwise known as coffee and energy drinks.

I noticed a lack of mental zip, for sure, but again, I wasn’t feeling the best anyhow, so I couldn’t immediately contribute it to trying to be an all-natty straight edge motherfucker.

In the Following Days

The headaches disappeared after the first two days. That was a big relief. I’m not sure I could have withstood more of that, especially while working.

However, I couldn’t think to save my life. My memory was spacy. Word recall was inconsistent. I felt drowsy and throughout each day I kept thinking to myself, “Maybe I should just have a small coffee or a Coke Zero. Hardly any caffeine. Wouldn’t hurt, would it?”

That lasted for the whole two weeks.

I searched up how long it would take one to reset the body’s caffeine tolerance. The general consensus was two weeks. I encountered a few threads on Reddit, from a subreddit forum dedicated to kicking the caffeine habit, and many users were stating that one should take a minimum of a three month break from caffeine in order to ‘truly reset your tolerance‘.

A three month break from caffeine? Fuck that.

If I had zero responsibilities, no deadlines, no traveling commitments… sure. That would be easy. Three months. Sheeit. But that’s not the case.

The number one side effect that bothered me during this time was the feeling of dullness and bleakness as it pertains to life. This was scary, because I felt that all of last year from April onwards. When this set in, that’s when I really thought about saying eff this little experiment.

I finally threw back some caffeine on Friday. The Bang energy knock-off (AMPLI energy) from the local Aldi by my place did the trick, and within ten minutes I felt great. Evidence of at least a slight caffeine tolerance reset or my body saying “Thanks, bruh. ‘Preciate you finally bringing caffeine back into the system”? Not sure.

Was It Worth It?

I wanted to say no.

I’m still going to say no. With a caveat.

Just about everyone with a regular caffeine consumption habit should take a break. For two weeks? Not feasible for many.

During those days, I read an article where the writer expressed how much more clear their mind felt without caffeine in just the first few days without any. I never experienced that. I didn’t go through a period of magical clarity in the least. That didn’t happen for me… until I finally drank that $0.99 Aldi canned adenosine receptor blocking source from the heavens.

But truthfully I needed that break from it. There have been times over the years where I’ve smashed three Bang energy drinks a day (900mg caffeine total) or multiple caffeine pills throughout a day, and felt minimal effects other than an increased heart rate and anxiety. That, is when I should have had the sense to cut back, but alas I didn’t at that time.

You might ask, “Why in the blue hell were you consuming that much caffeine?! You could have had a heart attack!” Years and years of high intake and your body adjusts. Adequate consumption of potassium from whole food sources and nightly intake of chelated magnesium glycinate have been a regimen of my life for years, as far as keeping the heart rate issues in check.

Maybe the Redditors who suggested a three month break are correct in their personal findings. I don’t care to find out. Waiting that long to experience caffeine-free mental clarity sounds like torture. I’m too busy with way too many mentally taxing commitments to even try that at this point.

I’ll admit that my previous habits were idiotic. Nobody should be consuming that much caffeine, because when you are at the point of chasing the dragon, the effects are muted. You get to a point to where you need caffeine just to feel normal, going back to what I said about the ‘life is dull and bleak’ mentality.

These are my anecdotal thoughts. I’m not a medical professional in any capacity. Just a random fuckwit on the internet writing about a short time without caffeine. As always, these thoughts are my own and do not reflect anyone else’s. I advise you to not be like me — high caffeine intake can cause adverse reactions, and the diminishing returns will reflect that.

I don’t believe in adrenal fatigue. I wrote about that back in 2012 or 2013 sometime, which is a highly contested perspective since that post gets a bunch of views and angry comments even to this day. Yes, you are not taxing your adrenals when you forego caffeine, but the body is smart. It is adaptive. Much like the, “coffee/energy drinks dehydrate you!” Yes, when you first begin consuming either, there’s a diuretic effect, but the body adjusts in due time.

Do what’s best for you as far as dietary guidelines go.