There are two constants in life: Clayton Kershaw will always be a hardass. And Taco Bell will always be a bad idea in the best way possible.
Newly minted Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford spoke with the L.A. Times’ Sam Farmer in a wonderfully in-depth interview ahead of a pivotal summer for the 33-year-old.
It’s a snapshot of a QB1 who remains a key piece in the Rams' plans to make the most of a stout defense and a promising receiving corps.
But the section of the interview that caught my eye was the one dedicated to nostalgia as well as all the good and bad that make for lasting memories.
First, here is a 2017 video reminder of how close they were growing up:
Walking down memory lane is great. Sometimes it’s about recalling when your buddy went above and beyond in a high school football game and got tossed because of it. And sometimes the memory is more along the lines of puking Taco Bell after an inadvisable competition.
As for the former, Stafford relays an anecdote about Kershaw, always the consummate competitor, even back as center on Dallas’ Highland Park High School team.
“I was playing quarterback and he was my center,” Stafford tells the Times. “Somebody hit me late and he took exception to that, and like waayyy after the whistle nailed this dude. He got ejected from the game. I was all cheers. I loved it. It was one of those things where he was just kind of retaliating and sticking up for me, which I thought was pretty cool.”
Stafford then continues, telling baseball fans what they've seen firsthand. This is a pitcher who is as old school as they come.
“He competes his ass off,” Stafford continued. “Certain guys are out there and can really throw, manipulate the baseball and the spin. But this dude competes. He can have a [bad] half-inning and the rest of the game he’s lights out because he doesn’t let it bother him.”
The conversation immediately moves on to something even the most unathletic of us can relate to, and that’s a childhood Taco Bell binge session.
Now if you’re eating the Bell, chances are fairly great that you are in the kind of emotional state wherein you are fine trading off momentary bliss for future pain.
That was certainly the case for the younger versions of Kershaw and Stafford. Farmer asks about the time the two went head-to-head over tacos.
“It was a long night, that’s what I remember. For a brief, fleeting moment I was over 100 pounds. It was just one of those silly childhood things. A little competition never hurt anybody until it did. We put away a bunch of tacos and then we had to reap what we sowed.”
Both anecdotes were previously regaled in a past ESPN video that is no longer on the Internet. So, I give my heartfelt thanks to the Times for again immortalizing these two legends of the field with a pair of timeless tales.