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NFL Open Thread: the worst tradition

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A leg of dry turkey is a “reward” that should be presented to the loser rather than the winner:

It’s become a tradition for Thanksgiving postgame interviews to feature a bunch of turkey legs for the victorious players. The players generally go along with the gag, because it’s always nice to get a trophy, even if it’s an edible one.

But let’s be honest: How unappealing is a postgame turkey leg? Normally, you’ll try to get a little bit of mashed potatoes or gravy or stuffing or cranberry sauce in every bite, to try to moisten it up a bit and add a little bit of flavor. But that’s not an option for these players. They’re just getting leg. And as Stefon Diggs and Dawson Knox revealed last year, the legs are served cold. These men have just played 60 minutes of football, and they’re getting plain room temperature roasted meat with no sauces or sides. Adam Thielen took a big bite, but had to spit it out because it was so dry…

Justin Jefferson politely declined the turkey, citing the fact that he was wearing a grill and didn’t want to get turkey all over it. Kirk Cousins didn’t complain at all, but he famously has questionable taste in celebratory meats. Next year, NBC needs to let the players chug a gravy boat or dunk their face into mashed potatoes as an alternative.

Give them a plate of spaghetti carbonara in the locker room instead.

Meanwhile, the Rams will have (and should have) no regrets because Flags Fly Forever, but the thing about going all-in on a Stars and Scrubs teams is that things can go to hell in a hurry if a few stars decline or leave:

Post Super Bowl-letdowns are not unusual, as teams inevitably face tougher schedules and tighter budgets after winning a championship. No team in history, however, has ever mortgaged its future as extravagantly as the Rams.

According to overthecap.com, all but $6 million of the Rams’ estimated 2023 salary cap budget is already accounted for, with $99 million earmarked for Donald, Kupp, Ramsey and Stafford. With only 37 players under contract beyond this season, the Rams may be forced to cut veterans just to field a 53-man roster next year.

The Fab-but-Fading-Four is scheduled to cost the Rams more than $136 million in 2024. And the Rams’ first-round pick in 2023, which could have netted them a much-needed potential rebuilding block, belongs to the Lions.

The Rams aren’t just enduring a Super Bowl hangover. They have woken up next to a total stranger in a Nevada honeymoon suite with an empty wallet and no sign of their car keys. They’ll be paying the price for their 2021 binge for years.

It’s amazing that at the beginning of 2021 the AFC West was seen as the strongest in football. The 49ers are real good although it’s clear how they can go with a high-floor-low-ceiling QB, and the Seahawks have been a pleasant surprise although they have a lot of work to do to be real contenders, but the Rams and Cardinals yikes.

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