I had a really interesting den ready to post today, but it’ll have to wait for another day, because Sunday night, the Rams won the Super Bowl!!!! Second Super Bowl title for the Rams, their first in LA, and very dramatic.
Rams went 0-3 in November, were 7-4; the naysayers were having a field day. We live in a fickle society, so you have to win to keep the rats from jumping off the ship, and boy, from December 1st on, the Rams did nothing but win, often by the skin of their teeth.
Last time the Rams won it all, this blog didn’t exist, so hopefully I won’t be too obnoxious here.
First of all, the game and its trappings:
— 15 plays, 72 yards, 4:48, the game-winning drive. Tremendous. Cooper Kupp (of course) scored the game-winning TD with 1:25 left.
Rams didn’t have Robert Woods, Odell Beckham Jr missed the second half, and LA’s top three tight ends were out; Brycen Hopkins (#88) came out of nowhere to catch four passes for 47 yards— he caught one pass in the regular season, as the Rams 4th-string tight end.
GM Les Snead deserves a huge heap of credit— more on him later.
— Sean McVay is now 55-26 in regular season, 7-3 in playoff games. Five years, two Super Bowls, coaching a franchise that before he got there, hadn’t had a winning season in 13 years. Whatever they pay him, it ain’t enough.
— First 4:41 of the third quarter was an unmitigated disaster; Cincinnati threw a 75-yard TD pass on first play of third quarter, then picked off a pass and kicked a field goal- they led 20-13 with 10:19 left in the third quarter. Things didn’t look good.
— There was a weird stretch in the second half, before the game-winning drive where both teams punted three times in a row; Rams ran nine plays for nine yards, Cincinnati 11 plays for no yards.
— Matthew Stafford was 26-40 for 283 yards and three TD’s; now people can start thinking about his chances to eventually be a Hall of Famer. He was awesome this season.
There was a sporting goods store in Detroit selling “Detroit Rams” t-shirts, that’s how popular Stafford is after playing 12 years for the Lions.
Imagine what he must be thinking right now?
Imagine what Lion fans must be thinking right now?
— Cooper Kupp caught eight passes for 92 yards and two TD’s; the guy went to college at freakin’ Eastern Washington, a I-AA football program. He is a great receiver.
— 3rd down conversions: Rams 6-15, Cincinnati 3-14
— Aaron Donald, Von Miller, Leonard Floyd, they put lot of pressure on Joe Burrow, sacked him seven times.
I’m standing in my living room watching the last series, and I’m as confident as I’ve ever been that the defense ain’t getting scored upon, and sure enough, they shut the Bengals down.
— Total of only six penalties were accepted in this game; football should always be officiated this way, though the facemark penalty on the long Cincinnati TD should’ve been called.
— The wife of Rams’ WR Van Jefferson was taken to the hospital during the game; she had a baby, so really big day for the Jeffersons.
— Rams’ safety Taylor Rapp proposed to his girlfriend on the field after the game; she said yes. She gets an engagement ring; he gets a Super Bowl ring.
— Potentially expensive day for Odell Beckham Jr, who caught two passes for 52 yards and a TD; he hurt his knee in second quarter. A doctor on Twitter thought it was a torn ACL, which won’t help his chance to cash in as a free agent this spring.
— Rams’ GM Les Snead deserves a huge pat on the back for all this: quality depth wins in the NFL; Snead has done an exceptional job of fortifying the Rams’ roster, while dealing first round draft picks for proven stars.
Skeptics were everywhere; like I said, our society is fickle. After the game, people on NFL Network were debating whether Les Snead’s approach will spread around the league. Back in November, they were thrashing the guy for trading draft picks.
— This is I know; on Thursday September 8, the Rams will host the NFL season opener.
— Too damn many commercials and too much hoopla before the game; the first two or three series of the games were smothered by commercials. I know the NFL exists to make $$$, but good grief, has to be tough for the players to get a rhythm for the game.
— I mute TV during all the Ram games, so didn’t hear Dwayne Johnson’s act before kickoff; was getting antsy waiting for the freakin’ game to start, can only imagine what the players are thinking while they’re waiting for the biggest game of their lives while hijinks are going on all around them.
— John Calipari just showed up on an episode of Billions; brilliant casting, and he’s good, giving the hedge fund traders a pep talk.
— Don’t watch the Super Bowl commercials, don’t care about them, I know some people do, I do wonder how effective they are; when other teams play in the Super Bowl, hardly watch the commercials. Use timeouts to get food or hit the men’s room or play word games on my phone.
— Halftime was long, over a half hour; do players hate this? Cincinnati’s kicker stayed out on the field and watched halftime. Does it help coaches make adjustments?
— Now we look forward to the 2022 football season, but we’ll get into that down the road- the draft, the schedule release, free agency and trades. Will be an interesting offseason, for sure.
“The most competitive business in the world”
NFL has 32 teams, some are run better than others- things have to break just right and to win a championship. This year, things broke just right for the good guys.
Tonight, Armadillo World HQ is a freakin’ happy place.