Rams defensive end William Hayes has found an ally.
"Eugene Sims," Hayes said, proudly, after Wednesday's practice. "He don’t believe in dinosaurs, either."
Hayes' outlandish convictions -- mermaids exist, dinosaurs never did -- has made him the central figure of "Hard Knocks," the HBO reality series that follows the Rams through training camp. The second episode aired Tuesday night, and a large chunk of it was devoted to Hayes explaining his beliefs and teammates mocking him for them. Some believe Hayes might be pulling an elaborate rouse, for his own amusement, because there is no way someone would actually believe this stuff.
"No no no," Hayes said. "I kid you not."
Hayes hasn't seen the show, but others have made fun of him for it. And that is nothing new.
"This is not something I just thought of a couple years ago," Hayes said. "This is something I've always believed in."
Even his dad gets on him about it.
"But for me," Hayes said, "I think it's just as crazy as him believing in a T. rex."
Give Hayes credit for this: He doesn't hide from his beliefs. And he isn't shy about explaining his reasoning, even if it may be flawed and contradictory. He did it again on Wednesday.
On dinosaurs, and how it might be linked to religion ...
"For me, religion is also fake. It’s something that we’ve never seen, but something that you just have faith in. So for me, I can’t put faith in stuff like dinosaurs. For me, you either believe in it or you don’t believe in it. … I choose not to believe in dinosaurs."
On mermaids, and why they're more believable than a species that is supported by scientific evidence ...
"I’m not going to necessarily say a mermaid is real, but I can’t say it’s fake, either. My whole theory is that we find different species in the water every day, so who is to say that a man didn’t have sex with a fish and create a mermaid?"