ANAHEIM, Calif. — Comedian Lewis Black has a joke based around once overhearing a young woman say, "If it weren't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college."
This quote from Chris Long is a little easier to understand:
"If I never got cut, I wouldn't have a Super Bowl ring."
Before the Rams moved back to Los Angeles, Long was a member of the team for the first eight years of his career. The Rams took him with the second overall pick in 2008. He played 114 games and had 54½ sacks with them.
But in 2015, Long was hampered by a lingering knee injury and was cut after the season. He was then signed by the Patriots in 2016 and went on to win a Super Bowl.
So things worked out pretty well.
That's probably part of the reason Long doesn't have any hard feelings toward the Rams, who he'll see this weekend in their new temporary home at the LA Coliseum.
"If I didn't play like crap, I wouldn't have got cut. If I didn't get hurt, I wouldn't have played like crap," he said.
Playing the Rams this season isn't a big deal for Long because he already faced them with the Patriots last season. The Pats won that game 26-10 and Long picked up a sack.
But the Rams team he'll see on Sunday is much different than the version that went 4-12 in 2016. These Rams are 9-3 and are atop their division with four games left to play.
Long's teams in St. Louis never had the type of success the Rams are having this year. During his eight seasons there, the best finish the Rams had was 7-9.
But he's not surprised about the turnaround.
"Yeah, I could see this coming," he said. "Took a while for guys that were there, but Coach (Sean) McVay had done a great job and there were always some pieces here and there and the defense is playing well, as well. To me, I'm not surprised they're playing well. There's a lot of good people in that locker room and good football players."
Last year, long-snapper Jon Dorenbos became a television sensation with his magic act. Maybe it's Fletcher Cox's turn.
The Eagles' defensive tackle will be on an hour-long CBS special called "MVP: Most Valuable Performer" on Thursday, Jan. 25, from 9-10 p.m.
It's basically a giant talent competition for 32 NFL players. Cox's talent is archery.
Cox, 26, is an avid hunter but didn't start shooting a bow until about four years ago.
For his performance on the show, Cox isn't exactly sure what he'll be shooting at ... likely some kind of target. Although, he said one of those fake deer would be too easy.
"Depends," Cox said. "Whatever I decide to come up with, it's going to be good. You'll see, man. I can't tell my secrets."
Cox is one of three contestants planning to showcase their archery skills, along with Packers kicker Mason Crosby and former Eagles DT and Cox's friend, Bennie Logan.
Among some of the more interesting talents, the Ravens' Alex Collins will be performing an Irish Step Dance, Broncos' Corey Nelson will be reciting poetry and Patriots' Joe Thuney will be solving a Rubik's Cube.
Does Cox like his chances?
"I don't talk about losing," he said. "I only talk about winning."
Where am I?
By the end of this week, Eagles practice squad center Jon Toth will have spent more time at Angel Stadium in Anaheim than he has at the NovaCare Complex in Philly.
It's been quite a week.
Toth, a rookie center from Kentucky, was signed to the Eagles' practice squad on Friday but had just three days in his new city before hopping on a flight with his practice squad teammates to meet the Eagles' active roster in Los Angeles.
"It's been a bit of a change, for sure. Definitely," he said. "It's a good change, though."
Toth was at two rookie minicamps this spring, with the Jets and Rams, before undergoing surgery for a herniated disc. From then, Toth was back home in Indianapolis while he rehabbed.
He said he wasn't too worried about if teams would have interest. Apparently, plenty of teams did before. He was just worried about getting healthy and continuing his career.
It just so happened he signed with a team that was about to take a West Coast trip.
"It's tough but it is what it is," Toth said. "It's a great organization and these guys are very welcoming. They're determined. I'm going to try my best to get to know guys but not be too distracting and let guys go about their jobs and do what they have to do to get a win."
Quote of the Week I: "Glad he's letting me rent it for the week." — Nigel Bradham on using Mike Trout's locker at Angel Stadium
Quote of the Week II: "I don't have to play next year, but I'm leaning towards coming back. I can't end like this." — Darren Sproles
Quote of the Week III: "We need to get one of them back at our place!" — Najee Goode when he saw the disco ball hanging in the Angels' clubhouse
Random media guide note: Mychal Kendricks' first job was working concessions for several local semi-pro teams in California.