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Being a St. Louis Rams fan and excitedly readying yourself for yet another NFL season filled to the brim with high hopes and illusions of grandeur is like being in a relationship with a girl for years of your life who leads you on with lifelong promises of faithfulness, honesty, absolute commitment and offspring with [a] specific name(s), and then, without warning, cruelly and callously pulls the wool over your eyes and betrays you in devastating fashion.

You might think I’m being darkly humorous or facetious, but no. That is exactly how it’s like. This team pisses me off with its yearly teasing. But I’ll continue watching (because apparently I’m a damn masochist, which also might explain my affinity for spicy foods and crazy –… I’ll stop right there).

This is different than being a Boston Celtics fan throughout the majority of my life, as I was always coaxed into what to expect — until the glorious season that was 2007-2008 — and I was devoid of any hype or fantasy-derived expectations. The 2001-2002 team made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but I had no hope in them ever heading to the Finals, because the New Jersey Nets team they faced featured a hungry head coach in Byron Scott, the best point guard in the league at the time (Jason Kidd, who’s, ah, proving himself to be an awfully deceptive dickhead as a man and head coach), an athletic phenom in Richard Jefferson, a solid swingman in Kerry Kittles and a second year beast of a power forward in Kenyon Martin. I was used to mediocrity and cheap teams by that point. And now I’m back to those same expectations these days. But I digress. I promise. I also apologize for turning this into a Celtics rant. Actually, not really.

(Note: if that’s how it’s like, I don’t even want to know how Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills fans alike describe their tenure as fans and what it’s like. Good god.)

The Rams’ defense is young and they look ruthless and ready to go. But the offense is hindered by question marks, with Sam Bradford being up front in the litany of questions surrounding how in the hell he’ll play, but it comes down to this: either he’ll step up and prove the detractors and doubters wrong or he’ll underperform and the Rams will inevitably look in a different direction at quarterback.

I’m not too concerned with offensive weapons anymore. Stars are born every year. It’s just a matter of time for someone to step up. I’m more locked in on how the 11-man unit as a whole is going to cohesively mesh and perform like a well oiled machine.

This team has its work cut out for them, yet again, for another season. I’m going to go ahead and allow myself to become hyped up, but only because I want to watch a winning pro football team again so badly. I haven’t watched one since January 2005, and even then that team was 8-8, despite winning a playoff game against a team they ultimately defeated three times in one season (the Seattle “droppin’ balls” Seahawks, which was that particular franchise’s Troy Sparks-dubbed moniker back then).

Again, I’m excited, and the hype is tempting to believe in (speaking of temptations, Oscar Wilde said the best way to deal with them was to “yield to them”, but after delving balls deep into the Rams’ hype train year after year, I’ve done enough yielding and I just want to cut some people off at this point), but the San Francisco 49ers and defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks are the class of the NFL, let alone the NFC West, and the Arizona Cardinals are no slouches either.

What’s debilitating to a fan’s hopes is that this Rams team would have probably won the division in 2007-2010 (definitely 2010), but it’s 2014 and the division went from being the butt of all jokes in the aforementioned time frame to being the undisputed best in all of pro football. Damn you, football gods! Damn you!

The shining beacon of light in all of this is that this team is young and has a broad window. They’ll be fun to watch, even if they go 7-9 or 10-6. (Holy hell, I’m pining for the latter. I’m a thirsty fan. The bad news: going 10-6 not being enough in the NFC West.)

conor mcgregor

Y’know, people say that Conor McGregor has no respect for the sport of mixed martial arts, and then they choose to ignore tweets like the above…

Courtesy, of course, to the Tap. Snap. Nap. MMA recap page on Facebook.

Courtesy, of course, to the Tap. Nap. Snap. MMA recap Facebook page.

That’s one of the reasons why I love MMA.

After the trash talk from before the fight (which is usually just to sell the fight) and the fight itself is over, respect is usually always dished out from both sides. No silly bullshit like in other sports.

For the last week I’ve been playing around with this HP Chromebook 14 (which explains all the posts since last Monday). I actually purchased this for my mother, but she’s yet to give up using her old HP Pavillion laptop, which is prone to good ol’ overheating and a battery that kicked the bucket last year. Her hesitation to making the switch is because it’s “something new to learn”, but here’s the kicker: the Chromebook hardly emits any heat, it’s quiet as hell and at the highest settings I’ve been getting 7-8 hours of battery life. That’s insane!

Sure, it’s a Chromebook, and you are not getting all the nooks and crannies that you’d get in a standard laptop, but for somebody like my mother — who only really cares about using Facebook — it’s a genuine must have product. You could also describe this laptop as a “productivity machine” as well, because you can get a lot of writing and research accomplished thanks to its quickness and the lack of distractions. Its 14 inch screen is sizable compared to other Chromebooks, and the island style keyboard feels great (the keys have the texture of a hardcover book). The only downside to the keyboard is the lack of the home, end and delete keys.

At $250, it’s a steal. It runs on the Chrome OS, which is Linux-based. The updates to the machine are automatically installed without the user having to lift a finger. You are always online — no syncing to the router, drops or any waiting for the user account login screen to pop up — when you open the screen, you are on in a flash.

With 2 GB of RAM and a 16 GB drive, I’ve noticed a lot of reviewers of this product have labelled it a “overpriced tablet with a keyboard”. Nonsense. And even if that were a legitimate vociferation (sans the asinine ‘overpriced’ label), so what? I’ve never thought of a tablet to be an efficient device. Couldn’t one simply call a tablet an “overpriced smart phone without the calling and texting”? That’s another topic for another time, though, which I’ll probably never delve into, since this review is basically a stand alone, but I wanted to be as hyperbolic as those dunces are in calling Chromebooks “overpriced tablets with keyboards”. Again, nonsense.

As for myself, I’d never use a Chromebook as a primary computer, but if you are looking for an efficient device that’s internet based, are OK with using Google Docs (which is a pretty awesome program to say the least) to complete and save work to (which saves to the cloud) and understand its limitations, give it a try. At $250 (repeating myself), it’s a damn steal.

Boom.

Whether you want it to or not, the Conor McGregor hype train rolls on, as he wins with a first round TKO over Diego Brandao. Brandao’s guard opened, which allowed McGregor to slice a long left through the opening that met Brandao’s jaw. Brandao, then, wilted to the canvas in slow motion, where McGregor unloaded a bevy of left hands until the ref pulled him off.

Time to give McGregor a formidable opponent, as in one in Dustin Poirier. That’s one dude who will fight anyone at any time. If McGregor successfully gets past Poirier, give him Ricardo Lamas. He’ll be busy for a while.

UFC_DUBLIN_FIGHT_NIGHT_46

Conor McGregor is a rising star in the UFC. A few more wins and the hype train will only augment. He has the “it” factor — the charisma and the trash talk is down pat (it’s not the pro wrasslin’ shtick that Chael Sonnen was one-dimensional with), and he’s an exciting fighter. He just hasn’t beaten any big names, but that’ll come with time.

He’ll be fighting Diego Brandao tonight. The last time we saw Brandao, he was knocked out with six seconds remaining in the first round by Dustin Poirier at UFC 168.

I missed the weigh in video for tonight’s event, but I heard that it got emotional. That spells disaster for Brandao, a man who tends to let his emotions completely overrun any common sense and the following adrenaline dump often leaves him totally gassed.

McGregor tends to come from more of the Michael Bisping-esque school, in which most of his out of the cage talk and bluster is really just talk and bluster to get in his opponent’s head. He fights with extreme calm and poise in the cage and, unlike Brandao, seems to suffer from none of the emotional fallout. Even if that weren’t the case, he’s a much more skilled striker, both offensively and defensively, so as long as he doesn’t get stupid and try and out-scramble Brandao, this is his fight to lose. Conor McGregor by KO, round 2.

I’m not really interested in the entire card, but that’s mostly because I’ll be missing it, since the fights will be on earlier in the day, considering that I’d be watching in America, but I’ll touch on one more fight that has my interest: a flyweight bout between Brad Pickett and Ian McCall.

McCall seems to always have the potential to get drawn into a stupid fight that he doesn’t have to be in. He gets hit hard a couple of times and his entire gameplan and diversity of skills tend out the window.

That said, even if he just decides to stand in front of Pickett and trade punches, I think he’s the better fighter. McCall is an elite athlete at 125 pounds. He’s fast, he’s powerful, he scrambles expertly, and he’s really not weak anywhere. Pickett is over the hill; he wasn’t the quickest at 135, and I just dont see anything he does as making a difference in this one. I just see Pickett getting beat to the punch all night by the faster fighter and, if McCall holds it all together, potentially outwrestled and out-grappled as well. Ian McCall by unanimous decision.

First, it was Jose Aldo pulling out of his UFC featherweight title defense match versus Chad Mendes at UFC 176, which would’ve been a rematch for the ages on a card that was looking solid.

Then, it was John Dodson tearing his ACL as most people, including yours truly, were looking forward to his rematch with flyweight champion John Dodson.

Now, it’s Khabib Nurmagomedev.

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone knocked out Jim Miller in the second round of their fight on Wednesday night. Riding a three fight winning streak in 2014 alone, Cerrone’s momentum justifies a number one contender fight with Khabib.

Today, the two men signed a contract to schedule the fight to be on the UFC 178 card, but unfortunately, just 20 minutes after the fight contract was inked, Khabib blew out his knee. You can’t make this stuff up.

These injuries are really piling up. Sad to see. A couple of cards have been derailed because of them.

It really pays to be a smooth talking, charming and persuasive son of a bitch, yeah? Just saying.

A lot of people are calling for Chael Sonnen’s reinstation by the UFC even though he failed multiple drug tests and was called out for being a molecular structured liar and cheater. (A typical pot calling the kettle black situation, since Sonnen had the balls to lambaste Lance Armstrong for having elevated EPO in his blood only to incur the same thing and also tested positive for three other banned substances.)

Yet those same people are wanting to take Vitor Belfort’s rightfully deserved title shot vs. Chris Weidman away, despite the fact that he (Belfort) recently passed a drug test.

Belfort may have been on that three fight winning streak while on TRT and over in his home country of Brazil, but he has earned a middleweight title shot, no? Who else is going to face Weidman — Jacare Sousa or Gegard Mousasi, two men who were supposed to face off on August 2nd before that fight card was cancelled? Luke Rockhold? Who has he beaten of merit? Tim Kennedy? No. Yoel Romero? Let him ragdoll Kennedy first.

The hypocrisy is strong. The question is: if Chael Sonnen wasn’t a smooth talker, would people really be so forgiving towards him? I doubt it. But it also pays to be skeptical.

Personally, I do think you have to add an asterisk beside of Vitor’s latest win streak, but screw it, I’d love to watch him fight Weidman on the account that he’s Vitor f’n Belfort and a knockout could be imminent before he inevitably gasses out by the third or fourth round. This fight needs to happen, as far I’m concerned.

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