San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Tomsula has a reputation as a hard-working, blue-collar type of guy. And that image is no fabrication.

In a profile on Tomsula published by ESPN, the coach admits that he spent part of his early coaching career living out of his car. That fact had already been circulated some in the media, but it's a little more gritty than that -- Tomsula also had a dog and a cat that lived with him in the car, which was a Cadillac.

At the time, Tomsula was an unpaid assistant working at Catawba College in North Carolina. His story has drawn humorous comparisons to Chris Farley's famous "Matt Foley" character, known for his motivational speeches built off the fact he was "living in a van, down by the river."

Tomsula's journey from those humble beginnings to head coach of the vaunted 49ers is pretty impressive, but when asked about his homeless stretch, he's mostly dismissive of it.

"It sounds like it was absolutely horrendous," Tomsula says. "It wasn’t. It really wasn’t. It wasn’t horrendous. I mean, there [are] people that have horrendous circumstances and I feel kind of bad, people making comparisons."

"I mean, I wasn’t living in my car in Maine in the winter. I was in North Carolina. … Listen, I’ve had an incredible life. I just have."

Spoken like a truly humble individual.

In fact, Tomsula resorted to a patchwork of odd jobs to try and make ends meet while waiting for his football career to take off. ESPN reports that he sold meat, cleaned floors and worked at a Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain.

Tomsula's blue-collar, somewhat unrefined nature has generated doubts about his readiness to serve as the 49ers' head coach, not to mention that his promotion from the defensive line was a huge jump in responsibility. He's also a stark contrast to the affluent, squeaky-clean profile of Jim Harbaugh, who he's replacing, so perhaps in that sense, Tomsula is exactly what the franchise was looking for.

Kobe Bryant was always an outsider, and that perspective shaped his drive to succeed. Consider this observation from Gotham Chopra, director of the Muse documentary about Bryant.

"He was the young black kid who went and grew up in Italy," Chopra told ThePostGame. "Then when he came back eight years later, he was strangely the Italian kid now in suburban Philadelphia. Then when he came to the league, he was a teenager amongst men, so he's always sort of been this outsider trying to prove himself to belong."

Muse premieres Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime. Here is an in-depth conversation with Chopra, who says he was thrilled to take on the project despite being a Celtic fan:

Here are two preview clips that were released last year:

New York Yankees pitcher Dellin Betances had a breakout season in 2014. He finished with a 1.40 ERA and a 5-0 record. It has been a long road for the reliever, who will battle with Andrew Miller for the closer role this season. However, the New York City native says he's happy to be where he is. Here is ThePostGame's exclusive interview with the Betances.


ThePostGame: You’re working with Pepsi. You and Didi Gregorius are the team’s ambassadors. Why don’t you tell me a little about what you're doing with Pepsi this season?
DELLIN BETANCES: Well, we’re just filming a series of webisodes, just to give a inside look to the Yankees fan culture and to see what it’s like to play with the Yankees and in Yankee Stadium. It’s something to get the fans a little excited about.

TPG: What do you think the fans will be able to get out of this #YankeesThrill promotion?
BETANCES: It's just a good time to give them an inside look just to get that feeling and see what it's like to play in front of the best group of fans in a beautiful stadium, so it’s something that I’m tuning up. I remember last year I did the Real Big Summer campaign we had last year and it was pretty cool. I’m just excited to be working with them again just to give fans an inside look.

TPG: Do you think [you and Didi] will have fun with something like this? Do you think you’re good friends and will be able to have fun with these webisodes?
BETANCES: Yeah, definitely. I think we’re going to enjoy it and I'm just getting to know him now so it I get to know him a little better and we’ll have some fun with it. I'm excited for this opportunity.

TPG: You've been through your offseason and now you’re getting into Spring Training, so over the offseason, what did you work on specifically? How was your training over those couple of months?
BETANCES: Usually after the season is over, I take about four weeks off and I start my workouts light. Start playing catch from about 60 feet. I have a trainer that I’ve worked with the last two or three years in the city. After that, around January, I'll go to Dominican Republic to try to get away from the cold weather, especially this year in New York which is pretty brutal. I get to go to the Dominican Republic and train down there for about a month, where I get to enjoy beautiful weather and just get to play catch outside and throw off the mound and throw to hitters and stuff like that.

TPG: You had a great season last year. You're an All-Star. It was kind of like your coming-out party, so after this offseason, do you feel like you’re in better shape than you were last year? Do you think you can improve on what you did?
BETANCES: I feel great right now. Right now, I’m just focused on making sure I command my fastball to both sides of the plate. Same thing with the off-speed, just being able to throw it for a strike. I feel great to this point. I feel like last year. I’m ready for this year and I’m looking forward to doing whatever I have to do to help the team win.

TPG: Is there anything specifically that you’re targeting that you want to improve to be successful this season?
BETANCES: Just being consistent. I think that’s the key for us pitchers, you know. We get to repeat our deliveries, and our pitches will be right where they need to be. I’m sure at some point I have to make some adjustments to the hitters just like they’ll make adjustments to me. I’ll look at videos and see what I have to improve on to be successful. I’m definitely excited to start the year.

TPG: A little more about you. You grew up in New York, so this has to be a dream scenario for you. How does it feel being part of a team that you grew up watching as a kid?
BETANCES: It’s just an honor for me, every time I get to put on the uniform and play in front of my home crowd. It’s the best feeling, like I’m living my every kid's dream. Born and raised rooting for the Yankees and now being able to play for them is unbelievable. Words really can’t describe the way I feel.

TPG: How did you get to the majors from New York City?
BETANCES: I started playing baseball at the age of 10. I was born in Washington Heights and I moved to the Lower East Side when I was 10 years old and started playing baseball there. I went to high school in Brooklyn at Grand Street Campus where I was drafted at the age of 18. I remember my first big league call-up was in 2011, where I got to experience some wonderful games. I got in on a couple games. After that, it wasn’t easy to come back up. It took a lot of hard work. I remember in 2013, they switched me to a starting pitcher to a reliever and I just found my niche. [It was] something I was comfortable doing. I’ve been able to do a good job the last couple of years of being more aggressive and that’s helped me as a pitcher.

TPG: How was the transition [from a starter to a reliever]?
BETANCES: It wasn’t as tough as I thought it was going to be. I kind of just, as soon as put me out there, I was able to be more consistent with all of my pitches and kind of just found my niche at that point. It’s something I’ve enjoyed doing. Obviously, I’ve learned a lot of stuff in the last year from a bunch of the guys down there. Small stuff that helps you out, whether it’s how to warm up to get ready for the game or just having a better plan. Small stuff like that.

TPG: I heard you were at David Wells’ perfect game in the late ‘90s. Is that true?
BETANCES: Yeah, actually my godfather bought my cousins and I tickets to that game. I was able to experience that. It was pretty incredible.

TPG: Was that one of your greatest Yankee fan moments growing up?
BETANCES: That was definitely number one. At the time, I was younger, so I didn’t play baseball. I was going to be nine years old I believe. Just being there and [inaudible] to meet David Wells now. It’s pretty special for me to be at that game.

TPG: If there was a movie made about your life, which actor would you like to play yourself?
BETANCES: Denzel Washington. He’s an amazing actor. Everything he touches.

TPG: Do you have a favorite baseball movie?
BETANCES: Bull Durham is a good one. I like the Jackie Robinson one. Sandlot. There's so many.

TPG: If you weren't an athlete, which profession would you pursue? Why?
BETANCES: Maybe engineer. My brother works with some of that stuff, so I would love to try to get into that.

TPG: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
BETANCES: Flying. I can avoid traffic.

TPG: What’s your favorite food?
BETANCES: I love Italian food. Beside obviously Spanish because my parents are from the Dominican Republic.

TPG: What would you never eat?
BETANCES: I’m not too big on seafood. I’m not big on veggies, either. I’m not a broccoli guy. I don’t eat broccoli.

TPG: What’s the best piece of advice any coach has given you?
BETANCES: Just to believe in yourself. If you believe in the abilities that you have, that goes a long way. I remember a lot of the coaches always emphasized that. One of the biggest things was to believe in my abilities and the stuff I had.

TPG: Growing up, who was your favorite player?
BETANCES: Jeter, Mariano. I was a big Yankee fan and I always liked watching those guys compete at the highest level. Those guys were the best at what they did.

TPG: How’d it feel to meet Jeter and Mariano as a teammate?
BETANCES: At first, it was kind of nerve-wracking. But those guys are amazing. They make you feel like you’re family. It was cool. But I was nervous the first day.

TPG: Did they give you any advice?
BETANCES: Just always be professional in what you do. Just to see those guys and the way they go about their business on a daily basis is pretty special. That was something I took away from it.

TPG: More important, moisturizer or cologne?
BETANCES: I would say Moisturizer. You got to make sure you’re clean.

TPG: Favorite tourist attraction in New York City?
BETANCES: I would have said that World Trade Center. I would say Madison Square Garden. It’s the Mecca of basketball. Watching games over there is pretty special.

TPG: How do you feel about the Knicks right now?
BETANCES: It’s a tough year. They look like they’re going to be the first or second pick. If they get that guy from Duke, I think he’ll be pretty good.

Despite failing to land an NFL roster spot in his first year, Michael Sam remains committed to professional football -- and he doesn't regret his decision to come out last winter.

In a column penned for Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback, Sam reiterated that he doesn't believe being gay has kept him out of the NFL. He maintains a belief, though, that his talent is good enough for the NFL.

Sam also discusses how he felt devastated when the St. Louis Rams cut him before the NFL regular season. He later joined the Dallas Cowboys as a practice-squad player but didn't make it to the end of the season.

"The only thing that felt different [when Dallas cut me] was the realization that this could be my reality: life on the edge of the roster—something I have no choice but to embrace," Sam writes. "This is the business."

Sam does make it clear, though, that the locker rooms in both St. Louis and Dallas were very welcoming to him. Several NFL veterans in particular, including the Rams' Chris Long and the Cowboys' Jason Witten, went out of their way to welcome Sam and even give him tips for improvement at the professional level.

Sam is now training in Texas with his sights set on finding new NFL opportunities this offseason. He writes that several opportunities have come his way to work in broadcasting or as a guest analyst, but he has refused to look at anything that doesn't advance his NFL career.

"I tell them the same thing every time: I'll give up the game when my legs are both broken," Sam writes.

Sam also sat down for an on-camera interview with MMQB. The full segment is here:

By Mr. Madden
Pro Sports Daily

Gregor Clegane (The Mountain) from HBO's Game Of Thrones is the largest, strongest and most feared swordsman in all of the Seven Kingdoms. It only makes sense that the actor portraying The Mountain would also be the strongest man in the world ... in real life.

Hafthor Bjornsson is actually HBO's third version of The Mountain and this time I think they may have gotten it right.

The Icelandic monster stands 6'9" and weighs in at a staggering 430 pounds. He already holds the European Strongman Championship and his recent attempt to win the title as World's Strongest Viking was a rousing success.

Bjornsson broke a world record that had stood for 1,000 years. What did he do? He took five steps while carrying a log over 30 feet long that weighed 1,433 pounds.

Obviously, Bjornsson won the Viking title and now has his eyes firmly set on the World's Strongest Man. He has competed in the World's Strongest Man event four times ... finishing sixth in 2011, third in 2012, third in 2013, and second in 2014. Now, I'm no analytics expert but I think I'm seeing a trend that could end in the ultimate strongman prize later this year.

It would just be weird to be that strong. My mind goes to the Skittles commercial where everything the dude touches turns into Skittles. If feel like if you were that strong that is what your life would be like ... normal everyday things just crumbling in your hands. Eating a hard-shelled taco would be almost impossible.

Touch the rainbow, taste the rainbow.

If only "The Red Viper" had been able to put his ego aside and just finish the job ... Mr. Bjornsson wouldn't have to worry about his acting gig anymore. He'd have a lot more time to focus on his strongman pursuits.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was making rounds during Super Bowl week on behalf on Gatorade, which seemed like a fun gig, but it was still tough for him not being able to get to the big game as a player.

"You play the game for one reason, and that's to win football games, win Super Bowls, championship," Newton says. "But I feel we're moving in the right direction. Our arrow is ascending in the green, and that's what you need to see."

Newton reached the playoffs for the first time in 2013, losing in the divisional round to the 49ers. This season Newton won his first playoff game, beating the Cardinals in a wild-card game, before losing at Seattle

Marcedes Lewis was a promising athlete in high school, and it was clear that football could be a big part of his future. But like a lot of young men, Lewis didn't have a clear vision of what he could become, and what he needed to do to make his dreams a reality.

Some young boys need simple guidance, such as how to become a better pass and run blocker. Others need the critical life lessons of what it means to be a man. In Coach Rob, Lewis was lucky enough to find both. Over the holidays, Lewis found a meaningful way to give back to his mentor.

The Patriots watched Clint Eastwood's American Sniper as a team, and they came away quite inspired.

"Any time you get to watch those Navy Seals, people that serve our country, and you see it in depth and you see what those guys go through, it puts life in a perspective that we're just playing a game," receiver Julian Edelman said during Super Bowl media day. "You have nothing but the utmost respect for those people."

Running back Shane Vereen, kicker Stephen Gostkowski, and receivers Josh Boyce and Danny Amendola were among others who gave the film, starring Bradley Cooper, a rave review. American Sniper has earned six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

Hard-hitting Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor has a signature move to get his teammates fired up. It's called the Bam-Bam Gavel. The implication is that court is in session after he bangs the gavel. He provided a demonstration at Super Bowl media day:

@bambamkam shows off his signature move - the 'Bam Bam Gavel' at Super Bowl Media Day #SB49 #Seahawks

A video posted by (@the_post_game) on

Dwight Freeney wanted to surprise his mom by baking cookies for her. But he forgot a key ingredient, which might be expected considering Freeney had never baked before and was just 8 when he decided to try.

All these years later for Freeney, a Super Bowl champion with the Colts and a seven-time Pro Bowler, the cookie still holds a special meaning with him and his mom. This time Freeney's cookie surprise to his mother didn't involve making a mess in the kitchen in the middle of the night.

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