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The Los Angeles Rams and NAFs: An Exploration of Non-Athletic Fucks

OMG, IMO, the nOOb acronym that was uttered on yesterday’s episode of Hard Knocks was so stellar that it probably had NASA shouting YMMD. Blast off, Los Angeles Rams! It was perfect, so concise and precise, proverbially escalating to a creative precipice for the linguistic lover of scribbling to jump off of, free-falling into a world of meanings…and future blog posts.

LOL.

You can learn a lot by watching television, FWIW, and that holds true — maybe even more so — when it come to sports entertainment. Hard Knocks, if you don’t know the deal, is a HBO show that follows around one NFL team for the duration of training camp. Cameras are everywhere, picking up the details that football fans live for, ones that used to simply be NOYB.

Now, though, with the need to have constant filler for America’s (the world’s?) most popular sport, the voyeuristic gates are open to tickle your desires, from the first snap to the last meeting, to the completely staged chitchats at Muscle Beach to the final scrimmage. What was once an enigma, loaded with FAQs, is now an open house where you can definitely — well, maybe — BYOB.

With this unprecedented access, comes an inside look at how difficult, violent — light-hearted and lethal — the NFL really is. It shows how much these athletes must go through to live this almost unobtainable dream. Drama be thy name. OTOH, it also sheds light on the interesting nuances and verbiage tossed around by the plethora of willing characters that make up an extensive NFL coaching staff.

FYI: People love it.

(Ps: The network probably loves it, too.)

From the very fist seasons of Hard Knocks, it was clear, more often than not, that some of the best interactions were the ones that came from a coach or coaches. Whether it be Bryan Cox (during the Atlanta Falcons’ chance at HBO fame) explaining he’ll watch anything with Adam Sandler in it, or Rex Ryan (during the New York Jets’ turn) sneaking Skittles to satisfy his chided vice, the coaching personalities introduced within any given training camp have been the carriers of the franchise — like a Matthew McConaughey/True Detective Season 1 dynamic.

The premise is quite simple. Take a very long and strenuous job (coaching in the NFL) that deals with some of the best athletes in the world (the NFL rosters), and fill that position of ring leader with an overweight-ish, cussing, and curmudgeonly sole (IOW various sizes of R. Lee Ermey’s character in Full Metal Jacket) and, voilà: hilarity.

This season has not been a letdown, either. What started out with Chris Weinke(quarterback coach) letting No. 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff know he needs to put a knuckle in the center’s ass to make damn certain the snap goes off without a hitch, has segued to a number of solid Gregg Williams’ (defensive coordinator) rants that seem to channel a mash-up of a Jason Sudeikis character and Danny McBride.

But it doesn’t end there. In fact, those instances are now a distant memory…thanks to an old Hollywood calling card known as nepotism.

Enter, Brandon Fisher. TY.

Fisher is the Rams’ defensive backs coach and son of head coach, Jeff Fisher; more importantly, though, he is the harbinger to the newest, greatest, most across-the-board useful acronym in…hell, maybe history.

This is the part where we talk about non-athletic fucks.

Brandon introduced these types of fucks, or NAFs, during the Rams’ second episode of Hard Knocks that aired on Tuesday night. It was pure gold, the kind of moment where the record scratches and the light bulb illuminates above the struggling character’s head. My first thought: all of those folks watching M.J. do the moonwalk for the first time back in 1983.

NAFs are that big — IMHO.

Used to mainly describe a gaffe — an error, a missed tackle, or a subpar effort — the acronym not only brings about a funny context but also lends itself to be so, so — so! — much more. Everyday use doesn’t have to be solely made for the athletically employed or empowered. Unlike most acronyms, NAFs can carry an abundance of meaning, taking the literal or the figurative, depending on the situation. It’s the chameleon of acronyms we’ve been waiting for!

It’s this adaptability that will enrich the future of texting, writing, whatever the wordsmith chooses.

Two portly, wheezing bulldogs fancying each other at the park? They might get in a NAF while the walker is preoccupied.

That missed wrist shot with an open net? NAF.

An arm tackle during a goal-line stand? NAF!!

50 Cent throwing out the first pitch at a New York Mets game? Super NAF!

A romp at the Ramada that is stalled by three pizza deliveries and a crushed box of jelly donuts scattered about the bed? Getting in an afternoon NAF.

Etcetera.

WRT this acronym, this NAF, well, it totally WFM… And it should totally work for you (the world?), too.

EOD.

So, welcome to the urban dictionary, NAF.

TYVM.

TTYL.

Full disclosure: I had no idea there were this many acronyms. For guidance during the inevitable re-read, follow this link.

Originally published on Medium.

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