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When the NFC championship game kicks off Sunday, we know we’re in for a real inter-Cali grudge match. North versus South, tech versus Hollywood. Gold versus, um yellow.
But there’s more bad blood simmering under this all-or-nothing match up between the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers.
Lets call it the Soft Pretzel Bowl.
In November, when these two teams first met this season at Levi Stadium, Rams quarterback Matt Stafford threw two interceptions and they fell to the Niners 31-10. But someone in the Stafford family was absolute money with their precision that day — his wife Kelly.
As she was being heckled by a 49ers fan in enemy territory, she responded in a way I hadn’t seen since a visit to Philly’s Veterans Stadium circa 1989: she hurled a soft pretzel at the trash talker. It’s unclear if there was mustard involved.
According to TMZ, she was escorted out of the section by security.
Shockingly there was no video of the gluten projectile to pick apart like the Zapruder film, but we understand she hit her target because an angry Rams fan in the vicinity detailed the incident on instagram, telling her to have some “class.”
Using a humble, salty pretzel, the indisputable MVP of stadium snacks, as an assault weapon was a violation of fan behavior rules but more so an insult to the beloved nosh. Soft pretzels shouldn’t be used as a Hail Mary but enjoyed, preferably with at least four giant pumps of mustard and a Bud draught.
And I felt pain for all my twisted friends, including Hot Sam, Wetzel, that buttery slut Auntie Anne and even Sister Adelaide, the 90-something, 4-foot-7 nun who hawked 25 cent hot pretzels at my grammar school, St. Mary Academy. What an absolute sin.
Confronted with her transgression, she copped to the food fight, and apologized.
“He was saying a bunch of things that were aggressive towards our crew but zero excuse,” she wrote on Instagram. “I tried to apologize, but in the end knew I was wrong. Will always stand up for my guy and everyone I love, but obviously needed to do it completely different! I’m embarrassed too! Sorry you had to witness me in my weak moment!”
She also said she wouldn’t attend Rams away games, perhaps to cut down on the temptation of exercising her throwing arm after a visit to the concession stand. Hey a soft pretzel today, cheesy nachos tomorrow.
But with more time and space and the fact these two teams are battling for a Super Bowl spot, brings new light to this headline-making debacle.
In fact, upon further review, it was a downright delicious heel turn. And if I were a Rams fan, I would be sporting a giant pretzel on a link, like Miami’s turnover chain.
It’s true, the business of WAGs don’t thrill me much, especially with the advent of the Instagram and TikTok, which have turned WAGing into an industrial complex — and an unnecessary sideshow.
But this is where Stafford distinguished herself among her contemporaries. Take for example, Brittany Matthews, the fiancée of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes spraying champagne on the crowd from her suite after Kansas City clinched a berth in the AFC title game last week. The video was posted all over social media for maximum look-at-me narcissism.
When Stafford wanted to express herself, she went to pretzel vendor, not to the wine cellar. And she didn’t do it for the gram. We only know it exists because of a snitch. What a woman of the people.
And with her rebellious act, she earned a place on the still-unfinished Mount Rushmore of WAGs, next to Victoria Beckham and Coleen Rooney who conducted a A+ sting operation against rival Rebekah Vardy.
Earlier this month, the 49ers beat the Rams in overtime, and once again, Kelly Stafford’s husband threw two interceptions. Well, he’s fresh off of beating Tom Brady’s Buccaneers and could be on a collision course with destiny. And an unlucky 49ers fan could be on a collision course with a soft pretzel. We have Stafford to thank for adding an extra spicy grievance to the game.