Rams fans irritate me more than any other fan base in town... they seem to think that they know more than anyone in the media about the inner workings of the team and the stuff that really goes on at Rams Park.... they are especially hateful and personal in their criticisms.... they love to discredit media more than any fan base in town ... they are also very demanding about what should be written and when .... they also seem perfectly comfortable in dictating to Jim Thomas and Howard Balzer and others about how the team should be covered, and how, for example, the media should roll over and play dead and be bootlickers when Linehan tries to curtail access... all of that is fine, I suppose ... so I propose that these many experts among the Rams fan base quit their jobs and try to get a job writing a sports column or being a beatwriter, and they can show me and others how it's supposed to be done.... it's a shame because I love football and have been covering the NFL for 25 years. But these yahoos lessen my enthusiasm for writing about the sport.
I suppose this is also more of an NFL / football thing than a St. Louis thing.... football fans are just plain nasty and insane compared to others. And they don't seem to be real discerning. Or smart. Example: I just received a batch of the most hateful e-mails you can imagine from Redskins fans, attacking me because Art Monk isn't in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. What these yahoos don't know is that I made an impassioned and thorough presentation on Monk's behalf in the last selection meeting. But these idiots want to attack everyone and be as hateful as possible -- even to their allies. All they are doing is hurting Monk's cause. I wish someone could get that message out to them.
For some reason, football taps into our worst instincts. I realize ALL St. Louis sports fans get p'oed at me on occasion, which is fine. But baseball fans generally will give you grief without getting personal -- and they are clearly the best as far as having a spirited but clean debate. Hockey fans are very passionate and I also admire their loyalty to the sport, which has brought few rewards. But Rams fans -- if I write something they don't like, they go immediately below the belt with cheap shots. They immediately get dirty. It's almost as if they're not intellectually capable of having a debate; it's much easier for these fools to talk about me being overweight or draw some little insulting cartoon about me.
Again, this is not true of all Rams fans. But the yahoo element among Rams fans are the worst around compared to baseball and hockey fans. Arrogance, hatefulness and stupidity make for a terrible combo.
And in all candor, I am much more enthusiastic about providing scoops and info for Cardinals fans as opposed to Rams fans. Because Cardinals fans at least seem to have a general level of respect for someone who is trying to let them know about what's going on. Not that they have to agree with what I am telling them -- but generally, they realize I'm on the inside and am in a position to know what's happening and at least take that into consideration.
Rams fans? They think they know more than I do. So when I've provided any mumber of great pieces of inside info -- from Martz and Warner having a fall out, to the political fights at Rams Park, to Warner losing some respect in the locker room, or Faulk not playing in 2006 but going into TV work instead (just four quick examples) -- I'm instantly savaged and attacked by people who tell me I'm wrong, making it up, lying, etc. And, of course, when they are proven 100 percent wrong, there's never an acnowledgement of that.
I'd much rather deal with the adults, so baseball fans get my extra effort.
I like football and baseball the same.
I just don't enjoy writing football as much as I used to -- in part because of the audience I'm writing for.