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#pounditFriday, October 7, 2022

Articles tagged: Matthew Stafford

Scottie Scheffler adds to legend of Highland Park sports champions

Scottie Scheffler looks on

There’s something in the water at Highland Park High School in Texas.

The area north of Dallas has produced some serious athletes, ones who have done some big winning recently.

On Sunday, Scottie Scheffler won the Masters for his first career major. The 25-year-old golfer attended Highland Park High School in University Park. In February, Matthew Stafford won the Super Bowl for the 2021 season with the Rams. And in 2020, Clayton Kershaw won the World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

What do the men have in common? All three athletes attended Highland Park High School.

Sports fans have long known about the friendship between Kershaw and Stafford, who grew up playing sports together and competing for Highland Park together. But now we can add Scheffler to the list too.

In addition to the three aforementioned champions, Highland Park High School can also claim former Heisman Trophy winner and Pro Football Hall of Famer Doak Walker as one of its alumni, among many others.

That’s a pretty impressive list of athletes all from the same high school.

Photo: Mar 26, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Scottie Scheffler tees off on the 6th hole during the fourth round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford getting big-money contract extension from Rams

Matthew Stafford in a hat

Matthew Stafford just led the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl win in his first season in LA. Now the team is set to reward him with a fat contract extension.

Stafford is getting a 4-year extension from the Rams worth $160 million. The contract includes $135 million guaranteed and is structured to spread the cap hit out over a few years.

Stafford was entering the final season of a 5-year, $135 million contract he signed with the Lions in 2017. The contract structure is designed to help the Rams build around him and maintain a Super Bowl-caliber roster.

The Rams recently added to their receiving weapons by signing Allen Robinson in free agency, though they could be trading Robert Woods. They still have a decision to make on Odell Beckham Jr., who is a free agent but recovering from an injury suffered in the Super Bowl.

Stafford probably could have gotten more from the Rams, but the deal should help the team remain competitive.

Photo: Dec 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford shares his side of viral photographer moment

Matthew Stafford jogging

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford went viral for what some saw as his nonchalant reaction to a photographer falling offstage at the team’s Super Bowl parade. Stafford revealed his side of what happened in a recent appearance on his wife’s podcast.

Stafford and his wife Kelly appeared on her “The Morning After” podcast, in which the quarterback responded to his reaction to Kelly Smiley’s fall.

“Yeah, I mean, that obviously happened really quickly and suddenly and unexpectedly, and wish I had a better reaction in the moment,” Stafford said, via Gina Vivinetto of Today. “I didn’t. I apologized to her for that, but glad that all in all she’s doing all right.”

Kelly Stafford added that her husband had been concerned in the moment, and also reached out to text Smiley.

“Long story short, we followed up with her,” Kelly Stafford said. “The moment we got in the car, Matthew actually looked at me and said, ‘Hey, will you contact the Rams, ask how she’s doing?’ Did that, they’re like, ‘We think she’s going to be OK.’ We sent her flowers. Next day we wake up, (she’s) not OK.”

Stafford certainly didn’t come away looking great, but he was not quite all there, as one of his peers noted. He did go out of his way to make a fairly significant gesture to help the photographer as well.

Photo: Dec 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Video shows Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp already preparing for next season

Matthew Stafford jogging

Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp worked very hard to forge their impressive connection ahead of the 2021 season. They appear to be preparing to take it to the next level for 2022.

In a new video posted to Instagram by offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, Stafford and Kupp were seen at their Las Vegas hotel practicing no-look passes.

Stafford and Kupp seemingly have the no-look thing down already. Clearly, they don’t want to let those skills slip during the offseason.

Kupp caught 16 passes and tallied 1,947 passing yards this season, and the Stafford-Kupp connection added another six playoff touchdowns. At this rate, they might find a way to take another step forward in 2022.

Photo: Dec 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford makes big gesture to help injured Rams photographer

Matthew Stafford jogging

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is stepping up to help the photographer who was injured Wednesday while covering the team’s championship parade.

Stafford was part of a viral video in which a Rams photographer fell off a stage while photographing the parade. The photographer, Kelly Smiley, suffered a significant injury and also damaged her camera equipment in the fall.

Stafford received some criticism for his perceived indifference to what happened. On Thursday, he, his wife, and the Rams issued a joint statement announcing that they would cover all of Smiley’s hospital bills, and would also purchase new camera equipment for her.

A GoFundMe set up in Smiley’s name had already raised over $40,000 as of Thursday afternoon. In light of the Rams’ statement, it was not clear if that money would still go to Smiley.

Regardless of whether or not Stafford’s reaction was reasonable, this is a nice step for him to be taking. Hopefully Smiley can make a full recovery quickly.

Photo: Dec 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Photographer who fell in front of Matthew Stafford suffered serious injury

A photographer fell while taking a picture of Matthew Stafford

A photographer took an ugly fall while trying to take a picture of Matthew Stafford during the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl parade on Wednesday, and she unfortunately suffered a significant injury.

The photographer, Kelly Smiley, fell backwards off a high stage when she was looking down at her camera. The video of the incident went viral in large part because of Stafford’s reaction. Stafford appeared to say “oh my God” before immediately turning and walking away. The quarterback’s wife Kelly looked concerned and walked toward Smiley.

Smiley shared the video on Twitter Wednesday night and said she suffered a fractured spine.

Smiley’s friend has started a GoFundMe page to help raise money to cover the photographer’s medical expenses. The fundraiser also says Smiley “severely damaged” her equipment and will need to replace it.

Stafford has faced some criticism for the way he reacted, but he had been drinking with his teammates all day. He wasn’t exactly in position to help a person who fell off a 10-foot stage, and he probably realized that.

Matthew Stafford shares why he could not watch end of Super Bowl

Matthew Stafford jogging

Matthew Stafford says he still has not watched the end of the Super Bowl when the game was on the line.

Stafford threw a touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp with 1:25 left to put his Los Angeles Rams up 23-20 against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals got the ball back with a chance to tie or win the game.

Nerves were tight with the championship on the line, and Stafford said he decided not to watch. He says the reason is because he is superstitious.

“I’m kind of a guy if I’m sitting down and not watching and we’re playing good on defense, I’m going to keep doing that. We were playing good when I was not watching on defense. So I sat down, I looked at the ground and said ‘I know the defense will make a play,'” Stafford explained at the Rams’ championship parade on Wednesday.

His superstition worked out in his favor as the Rams won the game. They got some help with some poor play calling and personnel decisions from Bengals coach Zac Taylor, but the Rams made enough plays in the end to win.

Stafford threw for 283 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in the win. He went from being a guy some said couldn’t win in the postseason to winning the Super Bowl in his first season with the Rams.

Photo: Dec 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady had hilarious Super Bowl parade advice for Matthew Stafford

Tom Brady drunk

Matthew Stafford and his teammates continued to celebrate their Super Bowl win with a parade in Los Angeles on Wednesday, and Tom Brady had some very valuable advice for the Rams quarterback.

Stafford was shown at the start of the parade smoking a cigar and cracking open a Bud Light. Brady shared the video on Twitter and encouraged Stafford to “mix in a water.”

Brady, of course, was poking fun at himself for the way he went viral after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl last year. The seven-time champion got absolutely bundled during the Bucs’ boat parade. He was so intoxicated that he needed help disembarking (video here). Brady also tossed the Lombardi Trophy in a manner that could have resulted in disaster.

Stafford would have a tough time matching Brady’s performance, but Brady’s right — mixing in a water is always a good idea.

Matthew Stafford’s wife Kelly fires back at Richard Sherman

Matthew Stafford and his wife Kelly

Matthew Stafford put himself in the Hall of Fame discussion by leading the Los Angeles Rams to a win in Super Bowl LVI, but Richard Sherman has already made it clear that he does not think the quarterback deserves a gold jacket. You can probably guess how Stafford’s wife feels Sherman’s opinion.

Sherman criticized Stafford’s Hall of Fame resume on Monday. He said the Hall of Fame bar seems “incredibly low now” and noted that Stafford has only made one Pro Bowl and has never been an All-Pro or league MVP.

Stafford’s wife, Kelly, responded to Sherman with a message on her Instagram story. She tagged Sherman in a clip of Stafford waving that is captioned “HI HATERS.”

Stafford currently ranks 12th all time with 49,995 passing yards. However, Sherman makes a good point that the quarterback only has one Pro Bowl appearance and has never really been viewed as one of the best players at his position. A lot of the stats Stafford has racked up are the result of playing in a passing era for a lot of terrible Detroit Lions teams.

Of course, Stafford is just 34. If he wins another Super Bowl with the Rams, his legacy would become that much stronger. His story is still being written.

It’s no surprise Kelly came to the defense of her husband so quickly. She is always outspoken in defending Matthew, which we were reminded of when she took a vicious shot at Ndamukong Suh earlier in the postseason.

Photo: Nov 17, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford with wife Kelly Stafford during the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Sherman responds to Matthew Stafford Hall of Fame case

Richard Sherman in practice gear

One question that arose in some circles following Super Bowl LVI is whether Matthew Stafford is worthy of Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration.

Stafford has posted gaudy stats throughout his career, and on Sunday he added to his resume by leading the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl title. This was enough for some to anoint him as worthy of a gold jacket, though plenty disagreed.

Among the dissenters was Richard Sherman, who criticized the debate in its entirety. Sherman contended that the bar for Hall of Fame consideration has become too low, and pointed out that Stafford has none of the accolades that typically define the best careers.

Sherman has a point. Stafford has never really been recognized as one of the best of his era at the quarterback position. Perhaps he was overlooked, or perhaps he simply hasn’t done enough to deserve it. Stafford has also gotten a bit lucky at times, even during the Rams’ title run.

On the other hand, Stafford could change some minds if he wins more titles. He just turned 34, so he could still have a few more good seasons in him.