Turf Show Times: Ramdude's RAMblins 9/7/13

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Sneaky Snake just had another idea -
always 2 3 steps ahead

***Editor's note: I love these RAMblins pieces. TST's "ramdude" is one of the funniest guys you'll ever "internet meet". Because of his unique voice, I steer away from editing anything of his, so you get Dude's Southern flavor in it's many rich forms. Enjoy! - DouglasM***

It's finally upon us - the 2013 NFL Football season! And we're starting closer to full strength (albeit w/o one Jo-Lonn Dunbar) than I can remember in a LONG TIME. I don't think anybody's mentioned it, but Sam looks to be in better shape than he's ever looked to me. With SJ39 gone, he's ready to take the next big step and lead this team.

Not making a guaranteed prediction here but:

  1. We're home in a place that not long ago didn't make much difference - it does now
  2. We're healthy
  3. We had a good preseason to sort things out - forget the record yet? Good
  4. We filled a lot more holes in the line-up in the off season
  5. We have no drama other than the Dunbar thing - just football
  6. We don't have a first year coach and a first year quarterback

So how do we lose? It won't be easy, but we're the Rams - so all bad things are possible even if they're not likely. Maybe this is the year we finally lose that stink. Here's how we could come away displeased and unfulfilled:

  1. Our youngsters play like youngsters and get frustrated/confused early - but based on preseason, I don't expect massive brain farts from them
  2. The Cards come out with a huge chip on their shoulder and play lights out - we just need to turn that switch off and give em a bigger chip for next game at their house
  3. Palmer has one of those "other-worldly Peyton games" - I don't think they have played together enough yet, but with Fitz, you never know
  4. Their D owns us - their D is different from what it has been due to personnel/coaching changes, and we should be difficult to own with our new-found weapons
  5. Cardinals & Rams
  6. Patrick Peterson - did we learn our lesson on him?

So, in conclusion, I think we have improved (at least slightly) in almost all facets of our game from last year. And I think the Cards will be breaking in a lot of new stuff. We own our destiny, and we should play that way. I look forward to a good game from two teams lookin for a lil respect.

Kookin Korner

Last September, I wrote about my first attempt at slow-cooking baby back ribs - you know, like the pros do. I've always wanted to try Eastern NC-style pulled pork (BBQ) but was scared I'd screw it up. An article in my local newspaper gave me and the wife the gumption to try it.

Now when somebody tells me something is "easy," I usually figger, "Sure, after you done it a couple hundurd times and if yer - smart." Well, I'm tellin you, this is as easy as fallin off a ladder drunk, blindfolded and juggling 3 cats. And it makes a CRAPLOAD of food! Mind you that a pint/pound (same container size) of BBQ from Smithfield's in NC is $9.99. For about a $28 investment (mostly the meat and with plenty of fixins leftovers), we got 6-7 pints. I'm pimpin BBQ now.

Here's another thing. The sauce goes on after the meat is cooked, so once it's pulled or chopped you can throw any dang thang on it you like. At this point, I'll let you take a gander at my inspiration and follow up with some moments o'clarity.

Mastering True North Carolina-style Barbecue

These are the key cooking points:

Do not trim any excess fat off the pork (Boston Butt); this fat will naturally baste the meat and keep it moist during the long cooking time. Brush the pork with a thin coating of olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside on a clean tray until ready to cook. (Easy enough - just coat w/oil, salt and pepper)

Before placing the meat on the grill, add soaked wood chips (soaked in water for 30 minutes). For a gas grill, use a smoking box according to product directions.

Place the pork in the center of the cooking grate fat-side up. Cook slowly for 5 to 6 hours at 300 F, or until a thermometer inserted at the middle of the pork registers 190 F to 200 F. The meat should be very tender and falling apart. If there is a bone in the meat, it should come out smoothly and clean with no meat clinging to it. There is no need to turn the meat during the entire cooking time.
- Now here is where Elizabeth and I differ a little. I cooked for about 6.5 hours at 300 F and only got the meat temperature up to 145. (Maybe my meat or grill thermometer was off, but I doubt it.) I gave it another 45 minutes at about 400 F and got the meat temp up to 180 F which was good per my meat thermometer. Came out fine.

So in summary:

  1. We had a 9.5 lb Butt. I'd probably cook at 375 F for 6 hours or until meat was at least 180 F next time (open to suggestions from the more experienced). At 300, the wood chips never smoked much but did give off nice hickory aroma.
  2. The sauce was easy to make and good. A little darker and sweeter than most BBQ places. Could back off on the brown sugar and ketchup a little to come closer to the pros.
  3. Did not make the slaw. KFC has good coleslaw if you don't want to make it.
  4. Cooking could not have been easier. No foil, no turning, no mopping, no flare-ups since it's indirect heat - just checked the temp from time to time. On a 3-burner gas grill, one of the burners can do the job. Watched 6 hours of Orange is the New Black on Netflix while cooking. That show is the bomb!
  5. You could do this as a tailgate if you're gonna be there long enough. However, it's better if it seasons for a day. So I'd cook it the day before and just heat it back up on game day - even easier and more portable.
  6. Almost no waste - just a little fat on top and the bone. The rest is just good eatin!
  7. If you want to make hushpuppies - House Autry Hushpuppy Mix (w or w/o onion) is all you need to know.

Faked Injuries

Brian Urlacher admitted something this week that I find hard to believe - sometimes, and probably very rarely, defenses will fake injuries to slow down an effective hurry-up offense. I can't imagine such a thing in Goodell's game! It's down right dishonest! Well, now that he's retired, shirley it won't happen anymore (like 2 years ago with us and the Giants).

Don't You Worry about Chris and Jake Long

Here's an article by Joe Lyons of the St Lou PD. Starts off with Chris %controversy Long saying he feels GRRRRRREEAAATTT to start the season. Sounds a lot like what Jake Long said earlier this week. My friends, we finally have a coaching staff that respects the body's need to repair itself - very encouraging.

Here's our injury report: Cory Harkey (knee), safety Darian Stewart (thigh), linebacker Jonathan Stewart (hip) and safety Quinton Pointer (thigh). That's pretty damn light for us!

Friday's injury report for Arizona: tight end Rob Housler (ankle) has been ruled out. Defensive end Calais Campbell (quad) is questionable for Sunday. Probables on the list are: wide receiver Andre Roberts (quad), cornerback Javier Arenas (hip), running back Andre Ellington (hamstring), tight end C.C Jefferson (knee), long snapper Mike Leach (hamstring), running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee) and defensive tackle Dan Williams (ankle).

Also, Eugene Sims talks in the article about how glad he is to have been working with Fish and Mike Waufle. And Matt Giordano finally practiced Wednesday.

Ogling Ogletree

In this link, Ben Frederickson discusses the Alec Ogletree situation. Tree's had to grow up fast since he's been in St Louis. After a rough start, the Denver game gave us hints at what he's capable of. Hope we see a lot more!

A Little Something to put a Smile on your Brain

Little Feat is a band that can make any day go a little better. If I'm feeling troubled (like during the football seasons of old), Fat Man in the Bathtub will fix me right up. You can't get much more cow bell (or wood block) than this!

I actually like the version of the song on their live Waiting for Columbus album better, but there wasn't any video with it on YouTube. It's a GREAT collection of songs. Below is the whole 2 LP set if yer nasty. It'll put a Rocket in ya Pocket!

Enjoy your Saturday friends, and I hope we're one game closer to 16-0 after tomorrow! No close shaves please...