There are reasons why my knowledge of NFL history is ridiculous. During my childhood, watching football was always a comfort for me. Nothing made me more excited than Week 1 of a new NFL season. This brings me to a conversation about my dad. My father was a simple man and took great pride in just a few things in life: food, music, and sports. He was his own walking encyclopedia especially involving any sports history from the early 1950s into the present day. Sports (And to a certain extent, music) was a great comfort to him also and it was something that we bonded over. Even though we shared a few favorite teams: the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL, the Anaheim Angels (Even though the San Francisco Giants was the main focus of his dedication, and I became a huge San Diego Padres fan in the early 1980s. The Angels were always our number two), and the Golden State Warriors in the NBA. But the NFL is where our greatest divergence occurred. Growing up in the suburban town of Torrance about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, I became a huge Los Angeles/St. Louis (From 1995-2016) and again Los Angeles Rams fan. This was in direct opposition to my father’s lifelong love of the San Francisco 49ers.
Starting in 1979, the Rams upset both the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to make their first Super Bowl. Despite putting up a good effort, they faded in the 4th quarter and lost Super Bowl XIV 31-19. This began my personal journey of becoming a huge Rams fan. A few short years later, the San Francisco 49ers had their own dream season ending with a victory in Super Bowl XVI over the Cincinnati Bengals 26-21. For my dad, this began an unbelievable 13 year run where the 49ers won five Super Bowls after the 1981, 1984, 1988, 1989 and 1994 seasons. Since 1981 into the present day, the 49ers beat my team 17 times in a row in the 1990s during the regular season and are on another 6-game winning streak against them at present. The 49ers since 1981 have 56 wins, the Rams have 26, and there has been one tie between these rivals. My father’s team has been a consistent thorn in my side throughout my entire life. The Rams would need to win 30 straight games to tie the all-time series which would happen after I turn 63 years old. This is just not going to happen.
My fortunes turned in 1999 when a player delivered to the Rams straight from heaven led us to our first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXXIV and another appearance in Super Bowl XXXVI in 2001. Now, I was only four Super Bowls behind my dad, but the monkey got off my back. The 49ers returned to the Super Bowl two more times and lost both their appearances, in 2012 to the Baltimore Ravens (No, that was not a holding call in the end zone) and 2019 to the Kansas City Chiefs (Eliminating the 5-0 Super Bowl record that my father took such pride in). The Rams got back in 2018 and lost to the New England Patriots…again. Fast forward to today and my father’s San Francisco 49ers are now facing my Los Angeles Rams for a trip to the Super Bowl. If he was alive, there is nothing that would have brought him greater joy than the chance to snatch his son’s happiness away one more time for a chance at another championship.
Here is where the ‘nerd’ part of me takes over. I love statistics. Here is the comparison between these two teams. Lots of statistics coming your way!
San Francisco 49ers own a record 20 NFC West titles. The Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams have a total of 16 including the most recent one in 2021.
The Rams lead in playoff appearances with 30. The 49ers have 27. The Rams also won two championships before the Super Bowl era giving them two less championships than the 49ers (1945 in Cleveland and 1951 in Los Angeles making them only one of two professional sports teams (The Braves are the other) to win three championships in three different towns.
With playoff wins, the 49ers currently sit at 35 tying them for 4th place all-time with the Cowboys. If they go onto winning the Super Bowl, they will tie the New England Patriots for first place all-time with 37 playoff wins while also tying the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers for most Super Bowls (6). The Rams are not slouches in this category either. Despite having a losing record (25-27) in the playoffs, the Rams have passed four teams this postseason to tie for 7th place all-time in playoff wins with the New York Giants. For the record, only the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders sit in front of them. If they win the Super Bowl, they will end up 6th place all-time in playoff wins with 27 and even their record to .500 while also passing the Raiders and breaking the tie with the Giants in victories.
The Rams have a successful playoff record against their division. The Rams never played the Atlanta Falcons or Carolina Panthers while they were part of the NFC West in the playoffs. They later lost to both teams when they were part of the NFC South (Atlanta is 2-0 against the Rams knocking them out in 2004 and 2017, the Panthers beat them in double overtime in 2003). The Saints beat the Rams as part of the NFC West in 2000 in a wild card game but later lost to them in the 2018 NFC Championship when they were part of the NFC South. The Rams are 2-0 against the Cardinals in the playoffs (1975 when they were in St. Louis and the NFC East and 2021) and 2-0 against the Seahawks (2004 and 2020). The 49ers are the only team that the Rams have not beaten as a legacy NFC West rival.
The only time these teams faced in the playoffs was during the 1990 playoffs after the 1989 season was complete. The Rams split with the 14-2 49ers during the season and other than one quarter of play when they blew a 17-point lead in the 4th quarter to lose to San Francisco 30-27, they outplayed the 49ers during the two regular season matchups. The Rams reached the NFC Championship by squeaking into the playoffs by stopping a last-minute New England Patriots drive and getting in as the last seed at 11-5. The 49ers were the top seed. Due to NFL playoff rules at the time, two teams from the same division could not play until the NFC Championship game (The exception was the Wild Card if both teams qualified from the same division). The Rams beat Philadelphia 21-7 in the NFC Wild Card and then the New York Giants 19-13 in OT in the Divisional Round. The 49ers destroyed the Minnesota Vikings 41-13 in their divisional matchup. This set up the first ever meeting between these rivals in the playoffs with the Super Bowl on the line. The game started well with the Rams taking a 3-0 lead after the 1st quarter and hanging tough with the defending champions. Then, the 49ers woke up. 45 minutes later, the Rams had only 156 yards total in a complete and total 30-3 humiliation. In Super Bowl XXIV, the 49ers would later do the same thing to the Broncos in winning their 4th title by dismembering them 55-10. The 1989 49ers may have been the best team they have ever fielded during their long existence and my Rams were a small road bump on their path to greatness.
One last tiny note: my Rams have only won two playoff games in a postseason six times in my lifetime: (1979, 1989, 1999, 2001, 2018 and now 2021). The only year they did not make the Super Bowl after winning two playoff games was 1989, the year the 49ers destroyed them in the NFC Championship Game. The other four years resulted in Super Bowl losses after two wins (1979, 2001, and 2018). The Super Bowl win in 1999 is the only time they had three wins in a postseason. So after the 49ers and Rams have now won both their playoff games this postseason, they now face each other in the NFC Championship for a trip to Super Bowl LVI on the line and that elusive third playoff victory. If either team wants to win the Super Bowl, they will have to win four playoff games in one postseason for the first time in either team’s histories. For the Rams, they will not have to travel the rest of the season. They play the 49ers at home for this NFC Championship and if they win, the Super Bowl happens to be in their home stadium in Los Angeles. After 32 years of having to live with the horrifying memory of what the 49ers did to my team the last time they played each other in the playoffs, the Rams get their chance for revenge. Or my father’s team will continue its dominance and haunt me again for an undisclosed number of years.
Thanks for reading this deeply personal rant. As you can see, this game on Sunday means a lot to me personally. Feel free to comment and leave me your thoughts and predictions.
FINAL NOTES: Rams are the first team since the 1981 Chargers to blow a 24-point lead in a game and still win. That was the famous 41-38 OT classic versus the Dolphins. Rams led 27-3 before Tampa tied it through the Rams own incompetence only to be rescued with a last second field goal.
Rams became the first team since the 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers to win a playoff game after committing four fumbles.
Rams become only the 2nd team in history to host an NFC Championship game as a #4 seed. The 2008 Arizona Cardinals were the first and beat the #6 seed Philadelphia Eagles to earn their first and only trip to the Super Bowl. The Rams may also become the first to play at home in both the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl.
Hello everyone. Welcome to my annual NFL playoff prediction blog. Before putting any money on these picks, keep in mind that I am a complete and total moron who really knows nothing about the world. With this out of the way, I do want to brag about my divisional picks this year. I successfully picked six of the eight division winners (In order, Buffalo in the AFC East, Kansas City in the AFC West, Dallas in the NFC East, Green Bay in the NFC North, Tampa Bay in the NFC South, and Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West). I missed on Cincinnati in the AFC North (I picked Baltimore), and Tennessee in the AFC South (I picked Indianapolis). My wild card picks were the Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, and Miami Dolphins. As you can see, I absolutely missed on these predictions (The actual wild cards are the Las Vegas Raiders, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers) even though the Chargers and Dolphins missed the playoffs by half a game and the Browns missed by a game and a half. In the NFC, I did much better. My wild card picks were the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, and Arizona Cardinals. (The actual wild cards were the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles). Getting eight out of 14 is not a bad year (The same as my predictions the previous season). Since I broke the 50% barrier again, I think this allows me to make playoff predictions once again. Here you go.
SUPER WILD CARD WEEKEND
Kansas City (2) will easily dispatch the incredibly fortunate (7) Pittsburgh Steelers sending Ben Roethlisberger into his much-deserved retirement where he can continue to harass women all around the Western Pennsylvania region.
Buffalo (3) will win a squeaker against the (6) New England Patriots. This pick is giving me trouble as I can totally see New England shutting Buffalo down and upsetting them in Western New York. I also think that New England is going to be a team to watch next year as Mac Jones continues to mature. Buffalo is the better team during the 2021 season, and they should win this game.
Cincinnati (4) will handle the (5) Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders are playing well, and they are in a ripe position for the upset. The difference in this game for me is Joe Burrow. I am going to put my money where my mouth is and confirm that this man is a generational talent who performs well in the clutch. The type of quarterback that Cincinnati has not had since the days of Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiason. This could also go terribly wrong, and the Raiders easily dispatch the Bengals and move onto Tennessee. I am going to stick with Cincinnati on this pick.
Tampa Bay (2) easily beats (7) Philadelphia. If you look at Philadelphia’s schedule, their best win during the entire season was against the 9-8 New Orleans Saints during their mid-season slump. They preyed on the N.Y. Giants and Washington (3-1) as well as teams like Atlanta, Detroit, Denver, and Carolina. Against a team like Tampa, I don’t think they have a chance to even keep it competitive. But the building blocks are there for a much better 2022.
San Francisco (6) beats (3) Dallas. This 49er team is an interesting dichotomy. It often seems like they take five or six games off during the season. But when they are playing at their best, this team is a legitimate Super Bowl threat. Dallas went 6-0 in its division against clearly inferior teams. They went 6-5 against the rest of the league. Like Arizona did to Dallas back in Week 17, a powerful NFC West team is going to come into Dallas and destroy the Cowboys.
L.A. Rams (4) beats Arizona (5). The Rams sold out their future to acquire Matthew Stafford. Even though the Rams improved to 12-5 and won the NFC West in 2021 over their 9-7 non-playoff season in 2019 and 10-6 (1-1 in the playoffs) playoff team in 2020 under Jared Goff (Who also led them to a divisional title in 2017 at 11-5 and an NFC Championship in 2018 at 13-3), Stafford has also thrown 17 interceptions with his 41 touchdowns. But what people have missed about this team during their recent five game winning streak is the defense. This will be the deciding factor against the Cardinals. The Rams can blow them out if Stafford is at the top of his game. But I think a few Rams mistakes will keep the Cardinals in this game.
Buffalo (3) will upset the (2) Kansas City Chiefs. The defense of the Chiefs which has made clutch plays when the team has most needed it has been the biggest disappointment this season. I think Mahomes keeps the Chiefs in this game, but the Bills will hang on and win it.
Tennessee (1) squeaks past (4) Cincinnati. This game could very likely be an upset. But I also want to give recognition to the amazing job that Mike Vrabel has done in Tennessee. This has to stand for something. Even though they are burdened with lots of injuries, I think an injury recovered Derrick Henry and the play of Ryan Tannehill gets them past the Bengals.
Green Bay (1) over San Francisco (6). This is an incredibly dangerous game. But my prediction is that after coming off the high of the Dallas game, the 49ers will fall apart and lose by at least two scores. This has been the problem with this team since the Super Bowl season in 2019. But if San Francisco does play their best, this could be a very difficult game for the Aaron Rodgers’ Packers.
L.A. Rams (4) over Tampa Bay (2). This will be an upset. The problem that the Buccaneers have is that their wide receiving core has been decimated. The Rams has also had this team’s number during the regular season in 2020 and 2021. I believe this game will come down to the last minute and the Rams defense will come though and stop the Buccaneers.
Buffalo (3) over Tennessee (1). The Bills, who struggled for a month and a half of this season, will complete their turnaround, and bury the Titans in Nashville winning their 5th AFC Championship and sending them to their first Super Bowl since the end of the 1993 season.
Green Bay (1) over L.A. Rams (4). The Rams will come into this game (If they survive the previous 2) fatigued and exhausted (This will be their 20th game). I believe they melt down and the Packers win this game easily which will send Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to their 6th Super Bowl.
SUPER BOWL LVI
Green Bay beats Buffalo for their 5th Super Bowl title tying the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers and only trailing the 6-time winning New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Enjoy the playoffs. Feel free to comment and tell me why I am wrong about all these picks.
My next blog was not going to be on this topic. I wish this blog was a multi-paragraph explanation about the catchiness of the song My Sharona by The Knack. Or an evaluation of the mineral Trona and its importance as sodium carbonate. But instead, I am going to be writing about my ‘Coronavirus’ experience. The fear surrounding this virus has hit a nuclear level. The ability to talk about it rationally disappeared the second our government locked us down for the first time back in March 2020. I will discuss my experience, what I have done to heal myself, and close the discussion out with three pieces of media that need to be experienced. With internet censorship becoming such a gigantic problem as YouTube, Twitter, and other large tech companies buy into the government narrative surrounding the vaccines and COVID-19, I believe it is vitally important to expose these voices to as many people as possible. Keep in mind that as the mRNA inventor Dr. Malone got permanently suspended by Twitter for questioning the vaccines, a person who is an actual murderer, OJ Simpson, has almost 900,000 followers and is thriving on the platform. If this is not a sign of the apocalypse, then I don’t know what will convince you.
Dr. Malone’s interview on Joe Rogan is the first piece of media that should be required listening to everyone interested in the political events of the past 22 months. Props to Spotify for keeping the interview active despite the pressure to remove it (YouTube has already taken it down). Besides the fact that giving this mRNA vaccine to a child should come with a prison sentence (This virus continues to be non-threatening to children), the interview also dives into a topic of fascination for me, Mass Formation Psychosis. Dr. Matthias Desmet studied this issue and concluded that about 20-30% of a population (Intelligence level does not seem to be a signifying factor) will believe a lie or convince themselves that the argument they support is based on a factual reality. When in fact, the personal belief is actually a form of delusion. When this begins to impact the smartest people in a population, this can directly lead into authoritarian systems and tools of oppression that can spin any society down a dark rabbit hole as the lie quickly becomes that society’s own form of ‘truth.’ This type of psychological flaw in the human mind can be exploited by the worst individuals inside any society including dictators or large authoritarian democratic governments. One of my favorite books written by Robert Mackey in the 19th Century, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, dives into the philosophy of this problem. Mackey understands that falling into delusion is easy. The hard part is getting out of the delusion because it can only happen one individual at a time.
The second piece of media is Rogan’s interview with Dr. Peter McCullough. Besides his own issues with the mRNA vaccines and their continued usage in children, Dr. McCullough points out another factor that often gets missed. Our medical system does not have an effective treatment protocol for COVID-19. The only treatment is the vaccine or pharmaceutical medications that do not work. Going to non-profit organizations like America’s Frontline Doctors is the only place that actually has a real protocol proven to work. This brings about difficult questions. For instance, could the millions of people that have died from COVID-19 possibly been saved with current drugs and medications? Have we experienced a medical genocide in our time? These are difficult questions that need to be answered.
Finally, I have purchased Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s book on Dr. Anthony Fauci called The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health. The book is a 934-page monster that just destroys every argument that has pushed our way over the past 22 months. The book is incredibly researched and there has been virtually no pushback from Dr. Fauci other than a weak interview he gave insulting Robert F. Kennedy’s character (But disputing nothing about the book). Totalitarianism is coming for us, and it will be at the tip of a needle in the form of a vaccine.
My family got sick during the Christmas to New Year’s weekend. Was it COVID-19? Well, my partner Nancy tested positive for the virus and since there is a shortage of PCR tests, the doctor refused to test my children or me because our symptoms were minor. If I did get COVID-19, the sickness was not life altering. As a person who believes that he was originally infected with it back in early 2020 and had lingering effects from that infection for over 9 months (Again, the sickness itself was not bad but the symptoms of a ticklish throat and a sore chest kept coming back every time I had a bad night of sleep), this infection was much easier to deal with. I had a terrible headache for about 36 hours and a stuffy nose with a minor fever (Something I did not get last time). Since my partner tested positive, I immediately went to Americas Frontline Doctors and scheduled a tele-visit. 600 dollars later, I have a prescription for Ivermectin, Azithromycin, two Nasal Sprays for clearing my sinuses and opening up my bronchia, and Benzonatate, which helped with my ticklish throat. Throwing in my liberal usage of Vitamin C, D, Quercetin, Zinc and Aspirin, I knocked COVID-19 on its ass in record time. There are still lingering effects which I am treating (If you have one bad night of sleep, it comes roaring back). But the medication has absolutely worked, and I can feel my body expunging whatever virus I had. These treatments because they are not approved by the FDA must be paid OUT-OF-POCKET. Do not feel ashamed of being seen as a Trump supporter or rejector of science by getting these medications. These medications absolutely worked for me (There are different treatment protocols for various individuals) and have been proven effective with millions of other people (Just ask the countries of India and Japan).
Back to blogging about more important cultural topics next week. Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about this post.
EXPERT OF SOME