Mermaids aren’t real, even in Hollywood, but a Rams player is a believer on ‘Hard Knocks’

Rams Coach Jeff Fisher calls to his team from the sideline during a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Hate to break it to you, William Hayes, but mermaids don’t exist.

“Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Los Angeles Rams” hasn’t entirely pulled at the heartstrings yet, but it certainly has revealed that common knowledge isn’t so common anymore.

Last week we learned that quarterback Jared Goff didn’t know that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

This week, Hayes, the oldest player on the team at 31 (let that sink in), stated that dinosaurs never existed, but that mermaids do.


“Will Hayes absolutely believes and is totally convinced that there are mermaids and they do exist,” Coach Jeff Fisher told the “Hard Knocks” crew while somehow managing to keep a straight face. “As a matter of fact I remember him getting really excited about the potential for moving out here because he would be that much closer to mermaids out on the West Coast.”

These guys aren’t doing much to break some football player stereotypes.

The Rams have been holding training camp on the campus of UC Irvine.

In a team meeting, Fisher acknowledged that it was easy to accumulate miles walking across the sprawling campus and that he was aware players were using other forms of transportation.

Cue the video montage of players riding bicycles, a golf-cart fender bender and a dune buggy, driven by Kenny Britt with Brian Quick as passenger, tipping over.

“Dumb and dumber stand up,” Fisher said in a meeting as Quick and Britt rose to their feet. “What did I say the first night? The biggest concern on campus was safety….”

Luckily for the Rams, Britt, one of the team’s leading receivers last season, said he and Quick were OK.

As for football related-events on the second episode of the five-part series: Goff, the No. 1 overall pick in this spring’s draft, continued to improve; defensive end Ian Seau and receiver Nelson Spruce developed into the series’ favorite undrafted free agents; and the Rams returned to the Coliseum after 21 seasons in St. Louis for an exhibition opener against the Cowboys.


“This is an even-keeled kid, not a lot bothers this kid,” quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke said about Goff in an apparent coaches meeting. “I’ve been impressed. I’ve seen some competitiveness come out of him. He is starting to get frustrated if he makes a poor decision.”

On the sideline during practice Fisher said, to an eavesdropping microphone, that he didn’t know when Goff would start but that he was “really, really impressed with how far he’s come.”

Seau, the nephew of Hall of Famer Junior Seau, “has a great get off” like his uncle did, defensive line coach Mike Waufle said. “I think he can really do something in this league as a pass rusher.”

Spruce, from Westlake High in Westlake Village, was the star of the second half in the Rams’ come-from-behind victory over the Cowboys.

“Spruuuuuuce!” his teammates yelled on the sideline and later in the locker room after he caught six passes for 51 yards and a touchdown in the 28-24 victory.

“We rallied and played and played and played and found a way to win the game,” Fisher said. “That’s huge.”


And a final thought from this week’s “Hard Knocks”: If Fisher coaches football half as well as he coaches his players to line up for the national anthem, the Rams could have a great season.

Follow Lindsey Thiry on Facebook and Twitter @LindseyThiry