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Greatest Show on Grass
38 minutes | May 5, 2017
Special Bonus Segment: Rams 2017 Draft Recap
Is it time to panic? Joshua Neuman in joined by Bryan Kalbrosky, managing editor of USA Today’s TheRamsWire, to dissect the Los Angeles Rams 2017 draft class, one that has been widely maligned by the draft community. Will the Rams regret not passing on Forrest Lamp and failing to address their offensive line? What is the future of Tavon Austin with the addition of third round slot receiver, Cooper Kupp? Is John Johnson the new Rodney McLeod? How good can Josh Reynolds be in year one? And, can the Rams expect any of their undrafted free agents to make this year’s 53-man squad? These questions and others on this anxiety-inducing special bonus segment of the Greatest Show on Grass.
35 minutes | Apr 24, 2017
#35: John Hock and Brock The Rock
You may not have heard of guard John Hock, who joined the Los Angles Rams prior to the 1953 season. You’re likely more familiar with the names of his teammates: Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch, Norm Van Brocklin, Tom Fears, Tank Younger, and Dick “Night Train” Lane. They were the most star-studded team of their era and one that would forever leave an imprint on pro football. Joshua Neuman is joined by the late John Hock’s son, Jim Hock, to discuss his recent book, “Hollywood’s Team: Grit, Glamour and the 1950s Los Angeles Rams.” The book explores the Rams during this, their most glamorous era, through the eyes of John Hock, who often found himself on the outside looking in. Neuman and Jim Hock discuss his father’s experiences, how the city of Los Angeles embraced the team, and how the team managed to embody the burgeoning aesthetics and values of Hollywood. Plus, we explore the fantastic world of Brock “The Rock” Callahan, a fictional Rams guard who was the protagonist of a crime series by author William Campbell Gault as well as of an unaired television pilot in 1959 for CBS.
39 minutes | Mar 1, 2017
#34: An Elegy for the 1989 L.A. Rams
Los Angeles in the 1980s was rife with wild contradictions: serial killers and valley girls, hair metal and gangsta rap, cocaine and gourmet pizza. Just an hour south on Interstate-5 in anodyne Anaheim, Rams games often felt like a quiet oasis, but in 1989 all that changed. The Rams emerged as dangerous and awe-inspiring thanks to a dazzling aerial attack, menacing offensive line, and pounding ground game. The featured back in that ground game was Greg Bell who resurrected his career and helped restore a sense of glamour to the Rams—however briefly. Bell joins Joshua Neuman to discuss a Rams team that reached the NFC Championship Game and served as a reminder of a franchise that Southern California first fell in love with in 1946.
37 minutes | Feb 20, 2017
#33: Sean McVay and the Ghost of Pappy Lewis
Hired at age 30, Sean McVay is the youngest head coach of the NFL’s modern era. But 79 years ago, before the Rams moved from Cleveland to Los Angeles, the team hired 26 (or some say, 27) year old Art “Pappy” Lewis who, like McVay, also hailing from Ohio and also charged with bringing back a sense of razzle-dazzle to a moribund Rams roster. Joshua Neuman speaks to James C. Sulecki whose recent book The Cleveland Rams: The NFL Champs Who Left Too Soon about “Pappy” Lewis and other early icons of Rams history like Damon “Buzz” Wetzel, Hugo Bezdek, and Earl “Dutch” Clark. Neuman and Sulecki discuss the early struggles of the team and their eventual success, which culminated in their 1945 NFL Championship, the Rams first of three championships in three different cities.
29 minutes | Feb 13, 2017
#32: Meet the L.A. Rams New Coaching Staff
Despite being led by a man who is only 31-years old, the 2017 Los Angeles Rams will enter the 2017 season boasting more NFL coaching experience on its sidelines than they have since Dick Vermeil brought Jim Hanifan, Mike White, and Bud Carson with him to St. Louis 20 years ago. What are we to make of football prodigy Sean McVay, his offensive and defensive coordinators, and their veteran team of assistant coaches who collectively own eight Super Bowl rings? How might the new staff shift the culture of the organization? How might it influence the direction the Rams take in free agency and the draft? Bryan Kalbrosky, the managing editor of USA Today’s TheRamsWire, joins Joshua Neuman, to discuss these questions as we enter the Sean McVay Era on The Greatest Show on Grass.
29 minutes | Feb 1, 2017
#31: The Schoolboy Assassin, Eddie Meador
Between 1959 and 1970 Eddie Meador preyed on wide receivers with the brutality of Jack the Ripper—all the while resembling an innocent choirboy. Meador recovered 18 fumbles, blocked 10 kicks and intercepted 46 passes during his Rams career—all team records. Though playing during the tumultuous 1960s and on the most integrated team of the era, the former ROTC cadet managed to fit right in with rabble-rousing teammates—some of whom he led in a famous revolt against management following the firing of Head Coach George Allen. Joshua Neuman speaks with Meador about his storybook career and whether the Rams of his era were too Hollywood for their own good.
38 minutes | Jan 15, 2017
#30: Kermit Alexander and the Valley of the Shadow of Death
You would be hard-pressed to find a Rams player for whom his team meant more than Kermit Alexander. He sold newspapers as a child so he could afford to attend the team’s games, called his trade to L.A. in 1970 “the greatest moment of his pro career,” and, not surprisingly became a season ticket holder when the Rams returned to Southern California last year. While his love of the Rams is unwavering, Alexander’s experience of Los Angeles was forever changed in 1984 when his mother, sister and two nephews, ages 8 and 13, were murdered in South Central Los Angeles. Joshua Neuman speaks with Alexander about his complicated relationship with L.A., experiencing the Rams/Niners rivalry from both sides, and hobnobbing with Ram-loving celebrities Bill Cosby, Telly Savalas, and Warren Beatty. Join us for a very special episode of the Greatest Show on Grass about love, loss, and the power of memory.
14 minutes | Jan 10, 2017
#29: The L.A. Rams as Epistemological Problem
The Rams concluded the 2016 season with losses against the division rival San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals to finish their first season back in Southern California in 21 years with a disappointing record of 4-12. Joshua Neuman dissects the Christmas Eve Day catastrophe and the New Year’s Day nightmare and shares some thoughts about how being a Rams fan can feel like an epistemological problem. Plus, Jared Goff’s LA-LA Land, Todd Gurley’s Ricky Williams routine, and the part of the Rams 2016 season that you really shouldn’t take for granted, their luck.
24 minutes | Dec 23, 2016
#28: Niners Week, Fisher Fallout, and Chucky Rumors
This Saturday the Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers at the Coliseum in a rivalry with roots that go back to 1950. The historical dimension of the upcoming week’s game did not escape Interim Head Coach John Fassel or the Los Angeles Rams players who, aptly, will be wearing throwback uniforms for the occasion. Joshua Neuman and Tunisha Singleton preview this matchup between the league’s worst offense and worst defense, plus: The stars come out in full force in Seattle to see the Seahawks defeat the Rams 24-3; Jeff Fisher gives his first interview since being canned as coach; Aaron Donald makes the best throw of the 2016 season; and the Rams move towards a meeting with ESPN analyst Jon Gruden.
34 minutes | Dec 15, 2016
#27: Jeff Fisher Has Been Canceled
One day after the Los Angeles Rams got bamboozled 42-14 by the Atlanta Falcons, Jeff Fisher was handed his walking papers after nearly 5 seasons as the team’s Head Coach. Joshua Neuman, Tunisha Singleton, and Eriq Gardner discuss the timing of Fisher’s firing, the organizational failure that was the Fisher Era, and how Hollywood had a hand in the head coach heave-ho. Plus, Kendra Wilkinson becomes Sabrina Britt’s BFF on the second episode of E!’s “Hollywood and Football,” Aaron Donald wins the Madden 17 Xbox NFL Player Charity Challenge and proves that there is no field he cannot dominate, and interim Head Coach John Fassel leads the Rams to CenturyLink Field to take on the division-leading Seahawks on Thursday Night Football.
29 minutes | Dec 9, 2016
#26: F*#k Yeah, Sabrina Britt
Twelve games into the 2016 season, it’s not easy to remember that the Los Angeles Rams were the franchise to first wed pro sports with Hollywood allure. Losers of 7 of their last eight games, embroiled in quarterback and coaching controversies, and demonstrating the least glamorous style of play imaginable, the Rams are utterly bereft of star power. But, the premiere of E!’s latest reality series “Hollywood and Football,” Rams fans can finally experience some razzle-dazzle from their team—even if it comes from off-the-field. On this episode of the Greatest Show on Grass, we recap episode one of the Rams new primetime show and celebrate the ways that Kenny Britt’s wife Sabrina steals the show. Plus, Joshua Neuman and Tunisha Singleton discuss the Rams loss to the New England Patriots at Foxboro, the head-scratcher that is Jeff Fisher’s 2-year contract extension, and this Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
42 minutes | Dec 2, 2016
#25: Is Eric Dickerson Jeff Fisher’s Waterloo?
In the future, we will likely look back at this past week as a terrible turning point in Jeff Fisher’s reign with the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams Head Coach passed Tom Landry on the all times losses list following a soul-crushing 49-21 defeat to the New Orleans Saints, but it was an off-the-field incident that captured the national spotlight. Fisher’s feud with L.A. Rams Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson left even the most stalwart supporters of the Fisher Regime jumping ship. Joshua Neuman and Tunisha Singleton discuss Fisher’s ill-advised attack on a legend, the Head Coach’s prospects for retaining power, and celebrate the icon that is Eric Dickerson, who even at age 56 is still the franchise’s biggest star. Plus, Hollywood hops on the anti-Fisher bandwagon, analysis of Jared Goff’s first two games as starting quarterback, and a preview of this Sunday’s matchup with the New England Patriots in Foxboro.
38 minutes | Nov 16, 2016
#24: The Sun Rises in the West
The Los Angeles media and Rams fans everywhere have been clamoring for Jared Goff to play for weeks and weeks. On Tuesday, Chris Mortensen reported that the team had finally decided to insert Goff into the lineup. The 22-year old rookie replaces veteran Case Keenum who had a competent, albeit unglamorous, game in the Rams 9-6 victory over the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ last Sunday. Joshua Neuman and Eriq Gardner discuss whether the QB change was Head Coach Jeff Fisher’s decision or one foisted upon him from above and how having Goff in the lineup might impact the team’s fortunes. And since we’re already on the subject of personnel changes, we make a case for fewer snaps for Tavon Austin and more for Corey Harkey, before previewing next Sunday’s game at the Coliseum against the Miami Dolphins.
25 minutes | Nov 10, 2016
#23: May God Bless the Los Angeles Rams and May God Bless the United States of America
This week, Donald Trump shocked the world when he was elected to be the 45th President of the United States. Joshua Neuman and Tunisha Singleton take the occasion to re-visit an ongoing conversation about the relationship of politics and pro sports, chronicling the often overlooked moments that the Los Angeles Rams have been on the right side of progress in America—from Kenny Washington, to Tank Younger, to Rosey Grier, to James Harris, to Michael Sam, just to name a few. Plus, Aaron Donald’s “superman sack” of Superman, continued calls for Jared Goff at the Coliseum, and a preview of Sunday’s game pitting the Rams against the New York Jets.
17 minutes | Oct 28, 2016
#21: The Haunting Specter of Terry Baker
The Los Angeles Rams slipped to 3-4 after losing 17-10 to the New York Giants at Twickenham Stadium in London. After tossing 4 interceptions, Rams fans are calling for Case Keenum’s head and the ascendance of the NFL Draft’s top selection Jared Goff, but Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher vows that he’s sticking with Keenum and according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, Goff is still a long way from being ready to play. Yes, a full-fledged quarterback controversy has ensued! Joshua Neuman chronicles the myriad QB-conflicts that cut across Los Angeles Rams history, especially the one that emerged in 1963 when the team selected Terry Baker with the first pick in the NFL Draft. Plus: a tour of Warner Bros, a party at Roger Saffold’s house, and a sneak peak at the Rams upcoming reality show on the E! Network, “Hollywood and Football.”
17 minutes | Oct 20, 2016
#20: An Ode to the Jackrabbit
When cornerback Janoris Jenkins signed a 5-year, $62.5 million contract with the New York Giants this past March, he joined a long list of stars to leave the Rams in the middle of their primes and join other teams, including Dick “Night Train” Lane, Jack “Hacksaw” Reynolds, and Jerome Bettis. Joshua Neuman previews Sunday’s game against the Giants at Twickenham Stadium in London and reflects on Jenkins’ four years with the Rams in St. Louis and imagines what might’ve been for the Jackrabbit in Los Angeles. Plus, the Rams get mauled by the Lions, Jeff Fisher continues to invoke the ire of fans, and the season’s biggest surprise—Kenny Britt and Brian Quick somehow emerge as a formidable WR duo.
44 minutes | Oct 13, 2016
#19: When Your Favorite Player is a Punter
A bevy of A-listers were at the Coliseum to watch the Los Angeles Rams go up against the Buffalo Bills last Sunday. Unfortunately, it was far from an A-list performance by the Rams who ended up losing 30-19. Joshua Neuman and Tunisha Singleton discuss the controversial fake punt called by Head Coach Jeff Fisher in the fourth quarter of the game and bemoan the state of the Rams offensive line. Plus: the Rams official hip-hop anthem, an exclusive interview with TIME Magazine columnist Joel Stein about his recent decision to become a die-hard Los Angeles Rams fan and how Johnny Hekker became his favorite player, and a preview of next Sunday’s matchup with the Detroit Lions.
32 minutes | Oct 6, 2016
#18: Love, Hate, and Brian Quick
While the 49ers may be the Los Angeles Rams most storied rival and the Seahawks the most formidable, during the Jeff Fisher Era the Cardinals have been the most hated—which made it all the more delightful when L.A. beat Arizona 17-13 at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday. “We see them after Christmas,” said Fisher inside the Rams locker room after the game. “This was their Christmas present. We just gave it to them early.” Joshua Neuman and Tunisha Singleton revel in the Bruce Arians beat down and wonder whether Jeff Fisher’s trash talking was also a secret message to his critics. Plus, Case and Kimberly Keenum have breakfast with Ryan Seacrest, Brian and Michelle Quick take shit from nobody, and the Buffalo Bills come to town in a game that pits Buddy Ryan’s protégé against his progeny.
27 minutes | Sep 29, 2016
#17: Black Lightning
Earlier this month, it was reported that the man who has produced “The Flash,” “Arrow,” “Supergirl,” and “Legends of Tomorrow,” would be bringing to television “Black Lightning,” the 1977 DC Comics, electromagnetic superhero with the power to ride lightning bolts. If the producers are looking for someone to play the titular hero we suggest they look no further than Rams defensive end Robert Quinn—the energetic speed rusher who has been calling himself “Black Lightning” since 2013. Joshua Neuman and Tunisha Singleton discuss how Quinn zapped the Buccaneers on Sunday, powering the Rams to a 37-32 win in a game that was delayed for 70 minutes due to (you guessed it) lightning. Plus, we celebrate the first game that offensive coordinator Rob Boras didn’t “bore us,” ponder the curious case of LaMarcus Joyner, and preview next week’s battle against the Arizona Cardinals.
32 minutes | Sep 23, 2016
Last Sunday, 91,046 people came together to scream and sweat and celebrate as the Los Angeles Rams upset the Seattle Seahawks 9-3 in the Rams first regular season game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 1979. The feeling of history was ubiquitous: from the team’s throwback, classic blue and yellow uniforms, to the presence of Rams Hall of Famers Jackie Slater, Tom Mack, Jack Youngblood, and Eric Dickerson. This was not just a game. It was a living monument to a storied past. Joshua Neuman and Tunisha Singleton discuss the off-the-field pageantry as well as the on-the-field action. Plus, we wonder about a curious song selection announcing the team’s entrance to the field and look ahead to the Rams trip to Raymond James Stadium to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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