NFL / monday night football
Rams/Chiefs Had a Basketball Guy Falling In Love With Football
First of all, if you didn't have the pleasure of watching the Monday Night Football game between the Rams and Chiefs, treat yourself to the highlights below. It's being marked as the greatest regular season - maybe even the greatest overall game - in pro football history. 105 points scored between two of the top three teams in the whole league for the third-highest point total in NFL history(since the merger). Check out a recap of the big plays and my reflections below. The Big Plays It was at the end of that second quarter when this game became a certified WAR between two high-powered, formidable armies(5:16 mark in the video). Aaron Donald gets the amazing breakaway off the Chiefs lineman then STRIPS one of the best QB's in the game when the score hangs in the balance - only to be picked up by Samson Ebukam and returned for a touchdown scored by the defense! The Rams looked like they'd be going into the halftime locker room with some breathing room ahead 23-17. But then Kansas City laughed in the face of doubt. Patty Mahomes found a wiiiiiide open Travis Kelce who bumbled and rangled the ball down to drag the chains another 40 yards or so. Kansas City had a fat chance to narrow this thing down. Twenty seconds to play. No timeouts. Mahomes on the 15-yard line. He scrambles and finds Chris Conley for TD in the shallow endzone! Kansas City made it clear after that score. We aren't going to falter if you punch us in the mouth. We're going to take it on the chin and counter you QUICK. Chiefs walked into the locker room with it all tied up 23-23. Rams fans were shook to end the half no doubt, but Aaron Donald came out to start the third and basically said, "This is why you guys paid me all that money". Even if we gave hundreds of millions to the guy, we still might've ended up giving a discount! Donald came right out and stripped Patrick Mahomes AGAIN to kick off the third quarter! Jared Goff secured the touchdown several plays later with a 7-yard run. 30-23 Rams lead. The Chiefs didn't even need four minutes of game clock to respond. Mahomes found the big man Kelce for another wide-open route to tie this game up. Kansas City was the definition of dangerous. Nobody on the Rams defense could do anything about these chiefs except Aaron Donald. We were in for an absolute Western shootout of a game. The best kind there is bar none! Several plays later Samson Ebukam came out nowhere with the SWAT and PICK on Patrick Mahomes with an open field at his feet! He's met by the Chiefs defender at the goal who goes straight for the man's hands in a desperate attempt to rip the ball - but Samson grips the pigskin with two iron fists! Touchdown! Rams fans were elated. That was a huge momentum swinger! If the Chiefs weren't mentally strong they were going to crumble at this very moment. LA's chance had arrived. If they just got their act together and stepped on the enemy's throats, they could guide this victory home like an air traffic controller signaling a plane to the runway....We didn't even need five minutes to learn that the Chiefs taking this lying down was the least likely outcome. The fourth quarter reared its stressful head. They scored again in a pinch, like it was absolutely nothing. Patrick Mahomes found Tyreek Hill for the embarrassingly wide-open 73-yard score to bring this to a 3-pt ballgame, 37-40. What once felt like a soul-killing, comfortable lead meant absolutely nothing now. Plays later the Chiefs absolutely smother Jared Goff in the endzone and recover the ball - touchdown Chiefs defense! Kansas City ripped away the lead 44-40! Jared Goff responded with a few huge throws of his own to grab back that lead 47-44 Rams. But then Mahomes came back and scored once again! Six touchdowns for the second-year quarterback! 51-47 Chiefs! I mean what the hell??? This was absolutely insane! Lead change after lead change! Defensive touchdowns! All coming to a head in this second half! And it was happening all on the day of the week where we all focus on one football game. What the hell were we witnessing?? Jared Goff found his man in the endzone to take back that lead AGAIN 54-51 Rams! But there were still two long, arduous minutes left. That was too much time for Mahomes. I had no idea the last time I saw two teams score in the fifties with the game this close. This is when it started feeling like we were entering Greatest Game Ever territory. It really felt like the Super Bowl (at least what the suspense of the Super Bowl should feel like). Mahomes had a couple chances to retake the lead in the last two minutes but the Rams defense came up with two huge picks off of desperation throws. And that sent this marvel of a game between two of the best teams in each conference to bed 54-51 Rams win. Reflections I'm an NBA guy, but the drama inspired between the Rams and Chiefs had me reflecting to myself thoughts like, "Man...I love football......Man...I love sports.....Football is a beautiful game......sports are a beautiful thing in this world" Thoughts that I usually have reserved for basketball or baseball have bled into another sport now. And it's a beautiful thing! But it also comes with a price. I feel way more emotionally invested in this Rams team now. When they lost to the Falcons in the playoffs last year, I was bummed but not heartbroken. We overperformed during the regular season so my expectations were tempered. It didn't feel like my Lakers losing a playoff series or my Dodgers losing the World Series twice in a row, watching the team that just beat us celebrate on our home field. The Rams were a nice story last year, and I kind of expected them to lose in the first round because of their unproven track record. But now they come with expectations. These expectations have been there since we signed all the big free agents to our defense in the off-season, but now they're really there. They just beat the Chiefs in maybe the greatest game of football from a spectators perspective. I want to see them take it all! I don't care about no Saints, Patriots, Steelers or Chiefs. We can and should beat them should we run into them this postseason! That was one of the most awe-inspiring, death-defying displays of sport that I've ever spent my time witnessing. LA is a hardcore basketball/baseball city through and through. The Lakers and Dodgers roots run deep. There are still a ton of random holdovers from the Raiders era in LA, but it's nothing like what it'd be if the Raiders still actually played here. Today a new trail is being blazed. New ink wet and ready to be scribbled into the parchment. I'd been dreaming for the Rams to move back to LA the moment I heard they used to play here. I just always was a fan of their spiral helmets and color schemes. Really child-like logic in picking a favorite franchise, but it is what it is.I just couldn't get into any other NFL teams despite how much I tried. If they didn't play in my city, couldn't totally fall in love with them. Now Sean McVay, Aaron Donald, Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Marcus Peters, Brandin Cooks, Samson Ebukam and all the others are creeping into my Lakers/Dodgers territory. This is how fandom is born! Rams are back in LA baby!