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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    AvengerRamblings (Vol. II): "Not Another BernieM Column!"

    Some may groan at the title of this article. “There goes Av again…” they’ll say, “just another in a long line of his attacks on Bernie.”

    This one, however, is actually more serious than that.

    Let me go back in time a bit. Its February 2000. The Rams have just won the Super Bowl. Dick Vermiel has just abdicated his head coaching title and handed the job to Mike Martz. Now, at that time, I was pretty new to the whole internet thing and, as an out-of-state fan, I had never heard of Bernie Miklasz. Perhaps if I had, and I knew what type of columnist he was, I would have seen the signs of what was to come. I would have seen him laying the groundwork for his future dual role as the “reporter” who had a personal line to Martz, and the muckraker who would take every opportunity to undermine him with his pen. I might have foreseen the manner in which Bernie would attach terms like “mad,” “paranoid, “overly-sensitive,” and others to Martz. And while I don’t believe that Bernie had enough power to have caused Martz’s downfall, he clearly used his media status to “grease the wheels” toward that ultimate outcome (after all, the firing of a coach is a big news story).

    Now, a new coach has taken reigns. Scott Linehan has, in my opinion, been impressive so far. He says the right things, and the team seems to be falling in behind him. He made some shrewd moves in free agency and in the draft. As a fan, I have no reason to be anything but pleased with his start.

    But Bernie only sees controversy – even when its not there. He tried to drum up a rumor that Linehan was having problems with Marshall Faulk. He’s intimated that there may be tension between Linehan and Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett.

    Perhaps, if that was all that was happening, I could chalk this up to the old “he’s just trying to sell newspapers” concept. But, as is often the case, Bernie’s “Pressbox” now reveals that there’s something more there.

    Bernie is clearly upset with one of Linehan’s policies – he generally does not allow assistant coaches to speak with the media. This clearly rubs Bernie the wrong way, as he sarcastically remarked:

    “By the way: Linehan will allow Haslett to talk during the season once a week... Oh my God!!!!! THERE GOES THE FREAKING SUPER BOWL!!!!! IT'S OVER FOR THE RAMS!!!! THE HORROR!!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LINEHAN -- KEEP HASLETT OFF LIMITS SO THIS TEAM CAN WIN GAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Linehan’s policy is modeled after Nick Saban’s (his former boss) media policy. It certainly is understandable that Linehan would use Saban’s blueprint. After all, Saban, also a first time NFL Head Coach last year, was able to turn around the Dolphins very quickly by instilling a disciplined approach. But Bernie, rather than appreciating Linehan’s efforts to emulate a successful approach, disrespectfully refers to Linehan as “Little Nick Saban.”

    Bernie doesn’t stop there, though. Clearly upset about the lack of access, he attempts to turn the fans against Linehan with this absurd non sequitur:

    “By the way: Rams' preseason game vs. Indy will be blacked out locally. Not close to a sellout. Team has some work to do. Blocking off media access wouldn't figure to help the cause, but what do I know?”

    Does he really believe that ticket sales for a preseason game are related to whether he and his colleagues get to speak directly to Jim Haslett? Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t, but clearly his goal is to spark criticism of Linehan’s policy. He also uses the policy as a springboard to revisit the (seemingly nonexistent) Linehan/Haslett rift. Having planted seeds in this regard previously, he now spews the following excrement to fertilize the controversy:

    “If anything -- a guy like Haslett, who has always had a good rapport with reporters, may resent being treated as if he's a child ... not to be trusted to talk to the media.”

    Does Bernie even consider the possibility that Haslett understands and agrees with the policy of having only one spokesperson? Is it possible that Haslett would just as soon not talk to Bernie? Obviously, Bernie doesn’t care. He only cares about manufacturing disputes so he can later claim to have been the one who got the “scoop.”

    So, in the end, what’s the point of calling out Bernie now? Well, like I said, in 2000, I was not in a position to shed a light on what was happening to Mike Martz. I wasn’t in a position to at least try to provide a more objective point of view about a coach who, despite his quirks and flaws, provided us with several competitive and exciting seasons of Rams football.

    This time, I see it coming. I see Bernie’s ultimate rule: any coach that dares to treat him as anything other than some local celebrity will feel the backlash.

    Well, I’m Bernie’s backlash.

    Get used to it.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -08-07-2006 at 10:16 AM.


  2. #2
    sprtsmac's Avatar
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    Re: AvengerRamblings (Vol. II): "Not Another BernieM Column!"

    Nice read, I enjoyed it.
    Sprtsmac :football:

  3. #3
    rams70's Avatar
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    Re: AvengerRamblings (Vol. II): "Not Another BernieM Column!"

    I agree with you, could add that he has an ability to talk out of both sides of his mouth at the same time. Over the years, be it Rams or anyone else, when the readers reaction to a rant of his goes overboard, he acts as though he never got the cauldron boiling in the first place and calls for calm in a 'holier than thou' manner.

  4. #4
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: AvengerRamblings (Vol. II): "Not Another BernieM Column!"

    Quote Originally Posted by BM
    Well, I have less faith than ever in the judgement of the American people, which include sports fans, so I guess we're all even.

    In Linehan's case ... I think you have it backwards.

    He WANTS to control the media by being the only source of information. Martz was never that paranoid.

    --B
    This one has to be my favorite! Yes, Bernie, you're right. We're all a bunch of morons. Please, tell us what we must know, and we will accept everything you say with blind faith because you are sooooooo much smarter than us.

    Comical.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  5. #5
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: AvengerRamblings (Vol. II): "Not Another BernieM Column!"

    Bernie can't please everyone so he doesn't try. He says what he thinks and everyone else can love it or leave it. Bernie is the man as far as I'm concerned.

  6. #6
    BernieM's Avatar
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    Re: AvengerRamblings (Vol. II): "Not Another BernieM Column!"

    Its true, I tell you! Linehan and Haslett got into a fist fight yesterday over who gets to talk to me about the first preseason game! I told them to stop fighting and that I could talk to both of them, but they wouldn't hear of it!

  7. #7
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Re: AvengerRamblings (Vol. II): "Not Another BernieM Column!"

    You know, I really thought you had to be exaggerating, but after sifting through Bernie's Pressbox, I have to admit I was not impressed with his attitude. There was a thread there earlier today about this article (it looks like it has been taken down since) where he summarily dismissed not just Av, but the whole site as "fanboys" and "cheerleaders" who would only support Linehan until his first losing streak or until one of our favorite players had a bad day. He equates Linehan's policy with "the media getting whizzed on." I thought that all seemed pretty childish, but looking through the forums, most of his comments seem to be like that. He's condescending and obtuse every time anyone offers a different opinion. But sycophantic fawning will get a reply like this:

    Thank you. Glad you liked the column.
    I received about 60, 70 positive e-mails about the column today. Nice to hear from the smart fans once in a while.
    That one's from a different thread, but the point stands. I can respect a person who isn't afraid to speak his mind, but not when it requires name-calling, insults, etc. and not when he calls everyone who agrees with him smart and everyone who doesn't stupid. One moment he's lambasting someone about how the policy couldn't possibly contribute to the success of the team. The next he's claiming that Haslett will talk to the media anyway, and it will cause all kinds of trouble.

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