Rodger Saffold is an NFL offensive lineman, who also happens to own an eSports team and dance like he is in The Matrix. Saffold, speaking on behalf of Gillette, chats football, video games and the Rams' Los Angeles endeavors with ThePostGame. Note: This interview was conducted before the Seahawks and Vikings played and the NFL announced the Rams' official move to L.A.
ThePostGame: As part of the Gillette promotion, you posted a video of yourself doing a celebratory dance called "The Forcefield," where you create an imaginary forcefield and dance inside of it (which was awesome by the way). Where did the inspiration for that dance come from?
RODGER SAFFOLD: Well, basically, with "The Forcefield," I'm trying to build a forcefield and then dancing inside of it is actually to keep the forcefield going. Once I had it all together, I was finally able to put it down as my celebratory dance for protection, just being able to keep my guy away from the quarterback. I had to make sure I did all of these things with no music (laughs) and I did this with no visuals, so I kind of had to make this up on my own.
TPG: That's awesome. Most of the celebrations that fans watch on TV come after touchdowns, but as an offensive lineman, you don't usually get too many opportunities to score. Do you have anything special planned for your first touchdown, whenever it may come?
SAFFOLD: Absolutely. I always do. You’re always thinking about that. I would do "The Matrix," where I actually bend back and I'm just dodging everybody.
TPG: So like bending down avoiding all the bullets?
SAFFOLD: Yeah, definitely.
TPG: Speaking of touchdowns, who do you think is the most exciting player to watch in the NFL right now, and what's your favorite dance?
SAFFOLD: That's a tough one. Right now, the person that's the hottest I think is Kirk Cousins with his "You like that!" I thought that that was awesome, screaming at everybody on PR and all the people – all the press – and saying, “You like that!” I think that’s awesome. He’s just doing his thing and I expect him to keep doing that.
TPG: And speaking of the playoffs, we're a couple days away from the Wild Card round. You played, as a member of the Rams, four games against two of the NFC teams -- the Cardinals and Seahawks. Based on your games this year, which do you think will give other teams the toughest time of those two?
SAFFOLD: Well, right now, the team that[s really hot is Seattle. They have everything to fight for, no bye week, they have to come right at it. They have to go back to Minnesota, where they’ve already won, and they have to prove themselves. Minnesota knows that they’re a physical team, which [measuring] by our games are always so physical. And it’s going to be a true test of figuring out who is going to prevail. I mean, that last game in Minnesota, it was a landslide. We've got to see if Minnesota has done everything that they could to get the stuff they need done, so they can be able to beat this team. I think Seattle is very dangerous of a firepower, and when they get rolling, they’re pretty unstoppable, so you’ve got to be wary of that. Minnesota’s dealt with some injuries, those types of things. They tried to rest up their players this last game, but at the end of the day, Seattle's just looking really strong.
(A week later, this analysis looks pretty good)
TPG: So, are you going with the Seahawks to win Super Bowl 50?
SAFFOLD: Of course not, because I’m a Ram, and I don't want that to happen (laughs). So basically I think that they’re going to give people a run for their money, but at the same time, they always seem to find a way to the Super Bowl. They found a way both times, so we’ll see what happens this year.
TPG: Your alma mater, Indiana, also made the postseason this year for its first bowl game since 2007. What did you think of the Hoosiers this year?
SAFFOLD: They still have a lot to work on. I think their offense did a great job putting up points, but we have to settle down on defense a little bit, get our rushing defense together. But all in all, I was really proud of them. The last time we went to a bowl game was when I was playing -- back when I was a sophomore in college. I was happy to see it, and I actually went down there. Seeing those guys that I haven't seen for like 10 years was amazing.
TPG: When exactly did you go down there, before the Pinstripe Bowl?
SAFFOLD: Yeah, it was before the Pinstripe Bowl. I went down to New York and it was nice going into Yankee Stadium. It was actually my first time being in there.
TPG: How did you like it?
SAFFOLD: Oh, it was awesome. It was great seeing all the baseball players hanging from there. It felt historic. I really took it all in, especially when I was standing on the field. It was freezing, but I enjoyed every minute of it.
TPG: One of the other cool things you do is that you own a competitive eSports franchise. Do you consider yourself a big gamer?
SAFFOLD: Yes. That’s the only reason why I got involved because I really like playing the games myself. When my friends and me got to actually play, and we’re really good, we got to see the trend that was going on and we started streaming our gameplay on the internet. Next thing you know, people are like, “Hey you should form your own team.” We started playing around with names, and we got some of the graphic designers from the Rams to help me design the logo. We ended up picking up a team and then they went to the world championship (Call of Duty Championship). It was huge and they just took off. Right now, my team is undefeated and going into the next event. I think the Rams' video [producer] is actually going to come with me and check out the event with me and my team. It’s been great, and now it’s getting so big. It’s almost overwhelming.
TPG: Do you find time to play video games during the football season? Or is it more of an offseason activity?
SAFFOLD: You get a lot more gameplay in the offseason, but sometimes I like to play during the season because it gets my mind off of football. Sometimes you need that. You need to be able to get away so that you can come back strong the next day.
TPG: One of the big storylines this offseason regarding the Rams is the possible move to Los Angeles. Do you have any thoughts on this?
SAFFOLD: Basically, I'm just letting [Rams owner Stan] Kroenke handle it because I'm still in the dark. I don't really know what’s going on, but I have a place of my own in St. Louis, so I'm just trying to stay close with rehab and those types of things so I can be able to get ready and get healthy for next year.
TPG: How's the rehab going?
SAFFOLD: Oh, it's going great. It's going really great. I think I'm actually a month or two out from being completely done with it and then I can start really putting in the work in the weight room and going to the field, and then I can brush up on my technique.
TPG: There have been a couple franchises based in L.A., including the Rams, throughout the years, but they've all moved away. Do you consider it to be a football city?
SAFFOLD: All those teams that were there in L.A. were before my time, so the only thing I know is the Lakers and Clippers. It's hard thinking that there was even a football team there, but then there’s some of the greats like Eric Dickerson being over there. It's really crazy to think that we had a team over there, and it's hard to even think about being there, but I guess if you want it bad enough, you’re going to get what you receive. So who knows who’s going to be over there?
TPG: Anything else you want to add about Gillette?
SAFFOLD: Basically I just want to let everybody know that you can go to #ShieldMove, and get on Twitter and make sure they put up their shield move, so that we can be able to look at it. And I want to just let everybody know that the new ProShield razor is an excellent razor that has lubrication before and after the blades, so that you can have a smoother shave. Upload the dance before January 23.