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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bruce Likely To Say Farewell to NFL On Sunday

    Bruce likely to say farewell to NFL on Sunday

    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    31.12.2009


    There were times when Kurt Warner's or Marshall Faulk's star shone more brightly in St. Louis. The contributions of Rams players such as Torry Holt and Orlando Pace won't soon be forgotten, either.

    But if you had to pick just one player who truly exemplified the "St. Louis" Rams — the incredible highs and lows, and everything in between — how could it be anyone but Isaac Bruce?

    He was the last "LA" Ram to survive the franchise move to St. Louis — by years. He was the team's first Pro Bowler in St. Louis and only star in the early years here. And when the team's fortunes changed dramatically at the turn of the millennium, Bruce was in the thick of things.

    He always seemed to show in the big games. Be it his four-touchdown day when the Rams snapped their 17-game losing streak against San Francisco. Or his dramatic game-winning touchdown against Tennessee to win Super Bowl XXXIV.

    Bruce ran amazing routes. And even in his later years, his change-of-direction skills were unsurpassed. He was a fierce yet graceful competitor. But time catches up with even the most gifted athletes, and Bruce's time has come.

    It is all but a certainty that Sunday's game at the Edward Jones Dome will be Bruce's last as an NFL player. Bruce, 37, basically conceded as much Wednesday on a conference call with St. Louis reporters.

    "As far as this being my last game ... I'm probably about, I'll say, 75 percent sure," Bruce said. "But there's that 25 percent though."

    But those close to Bruce say he's much closer to 100 percent sure than 75 percent. How fitting, then, that in the 10th anniversary of the Rams' Super Bowl championship season, it looks like Bruce will close his career in the city where he spent 13 of his 16 NFL seasons.

    "I'm always excited to go back to St. Louis," Bruce said. "To go back to the dome. Be on that turf again. The fans. And see the employees that work for the Rams right now, that run that building. Just being in that atmosphere again. Seeing the banners that hang from the rafters, that's always exciting to me."

    Obviously, Bruce played a big role in many of those banners. All eight of his 1,000-yard seasons, all four Pro Bowl campaigns, and all but a relative handful of his catches and yards came playing for the blue and gold.

    When he saw highlights of the Rams wearing their '99 throwback uniforms earlier this season, Bruce said: "I got chills all over. ... Those were the colors I came in with. I think we should've never changed 'em."

    He has spent the past two seasons playing in San Francisco, but yes, Bruce still refers to the Rams as "we" on occasion. He still has a home in St. Louis, and will always have a warm spot for the city and its fans in his heart.

    "I just want to reiterate that I always loved the St. Louis Rams fans," Bruce said. "The fans have been there since we came in 1995. And they have been true to the football program and organization that's there in St. Louis. I've always admired the way they root for their team. And stand up for their team."

    And that holds true even on those occasions when they've booed the Rams — and once or twice even booed Bruce.

    "I always said this: The fans are included in the family that we create in training camp," he said. "They're included in that family. And the only person that's allowed to even say something close to being negative about family is family. And St. Louis fans have always been family to me and the rest of that organization as far as I was concerned."

    For a while this season, Sunday's game shaped up as a bittersweet finale for Bruce. After leading the ***** in catches (61), reception yards (835) and touchdowns (seven) in 2008, Bruce lost his starting job to Josh Morgan midway through this season. Bruce hasn't even dressed in six of the past seven ***** games.

    San Francisco coach Mike Singletary announced last week that he was shutting down Bruce for the rest of the season. But after some coaxing from the ***** wide receivers, Morgan among them, Singletary is shedding his role as gridiron Grinch.

    When asked if Bruce would play this Sunday, Singletary replied: "I think that's a good possibility."

    So the ultra-competitive Singletary does have some sentimental bones in his body, after all. Right?

    "In some ways," Singletary said.

    With more than 8,000 tickets available at the start of this week, Sunday's game is headed for a television blackout in the St. Louis area. So for the most part, the only Rams fans who will see Bruce's farewell game will be those in attendance at the dome.

    "He'll go down as one of the greatest receivers of all time," said Rams defensive end Leonard Little, Bruce's teammate for 10 seasons in St. Louis. "Obviously, he's a Hall of Fame player. He's proven that over the years."

    "I just stand and applaud everything he's done for this organization, and his career in the National Football League," said running back Steven Jackson, who spent four seasons with Bruce.


  2. #2
    Trevor's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce Likely To Say Farewell to NFL On Sunday

    I'm seriously going to shed a tear when he retires, but I will not be able to see his last game... Sucks being deployed I really really want to see this game...

  3. #3
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    Re: Bruce Likely To Say Farewell to NFL On Sunday

    This guy is a true football player. Thanks for all of the memories, especially the 4 TD game against the Whiners in 99. That game was truly special. Class act all the way.

  4. #4
    TheRammer Guest

    Re: Bruce Likely To Say Farewell to NFL On Sunday

    One of the best receivers Ive had the pleasure to watch and by chance happened to be on my team... classy guy I wish I could watch the game...maybe...

  5. #5
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    Re: Bruce Likely To Say Farewell to NFL On Sunday

    Bruce

    I hate to see him say farewell to the NFL, but at least it will be at a Rams game.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #6
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    Re: Bruce Likely To Say Farewell to NFL On Sunday

    Man, to see Bruce touches the heart. People may say Torry Holt was the number 1 receiver but we all really knew who green and warner wanted to throw to. There are a lot of great superbowl moments, but there are 2 moments I won't forget. The Mike Jones tackle known as "The Tackle" and the bomb down the field to Isaac Bruce, a play that would give us in St. Louis our first superbowl as The Rams.

    Touching moment, one of the best of all time, great guy, great player, and maybe his jersey can sit next to Marshall Faulks. Probably not, but it would be nice.

    The Greatest Show On Turf would've never existed without you Bruce, you will be missed. Give us one more touchdown catch and show us the good ol' Bob and Weave that got ya'll fined so many times lol.

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