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    Fate presents Rams with a great opportunity

    Fate presents Rams with a great opportunity
    By Bryan Burwell
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Jan. 07 2005

    SEATTLE - The chill of winter in the Great Northwest is no different from the
    brisk bite that cuts across the Midwest. It just looks a whole lot prettier.
    From the edge of the crystal-clear Puget Sound all the way to the snow-capped
    mountains that peek through the low-lying clouds lingering on the distant
    horizon, this picturesque coastal city still manages to look like a stunning
    postcard even as it braces for an ugly winter storm.

    All around Seattle on Friday, ice, freezing rain and thick snow socked the
    distant suburbs and crippled travel. Weathermen are predicting that by late
    this morning, a nasty mixture of snow and icy rain will dump on the city
    streets, making even the shortest foot travel very precarious.

    It is under these dramatic conditions that the Rams come into their NFL
    wild-card playoff showdown against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field this
    afternoon. And if you think the weather outside is frightful, the competitive
    conditions for the Rams might be even more dramatic. After an injury-plagued,
    disappointing season of discontent, the Rams know a victory this afternoon in
    front of a nationally televised audience could be the first step in erasing the
    memory of a turbulent 8-8 season, not to mention the first phases of an
    improbable Cinderella story toward Super Bowl XXXIX.

    There is so much the Rams could accomplish with one simple victory. They could
    become the first 8-8 team in the history of the NFL to win a playoff game. But
    that little historical tidbit is almost insignificant when stacked against the
    other luggage the Rams tote on this little trip to the Northwest. A year ago,
    they were surprising regular-season overachievers, yet they wasted four months
    of hard work in one vastly disappointing game against the Carolina Panthers.
    That 12-4 team of 2003 was good enough to go to the Super Bowl. But indecisive
    play calling at the end of that game ruined the season.

    So why can't the 8-8 Rams, who may have underachieved for most of the 2004
    season, use this postseason to reverse last season's cursed ending? It is
    improbable, but not impossible. It is unlikely, but not unimaginable. It is
    wild, but not all that crazy to think that the Rams, who struggled all season
    on the road, could use the confidence generated from this late-season two-game
    winning streak against the then-once-beaten Eagles and the playoff-bound Jets
    to provoke them into growing up fast here in Seattle.

    It is not so crazy at all. These Rams know they can beat Seattle. They've done
    it twice already this season, and the notion that it's hard to beat a team
    three times in one season is an old wives' tale. History tells another story.
    In the 15 instances in which a team beat another team twice in the regular
    season, then met again in the playoffs, there were 10 clean 3-0 series sweeps.

    Today, the Rams could make it 11.

    A victory in Seattle could turn this young and impressionable team into a
    confident, surging team unafraid to continue on the road for the remainder of
    the postseason. But beating the Seahawks could mean so much more than that,
    because the Rams have to know a win also could cause significant harm to the
    psyche and foundation of their chief division rival.

    If the Rams win, Seahawks management might just blow this whole thing up. They
    could fire head coach Mike Holmgren. They could decide to scrap the entire
    building process for a franchise that Holmgren singlehandedly planned. There is
    nothing better from a competitive standpoint than a double- barreled victory
    that builds you up while decimating your foe.

    So now it's time to forget the silly notion of apologizing for the Rams being
    in the playoffs with this 8-8 regular-season record. Since they're here, they
    might as well try to win, don't you think?

    Now is the time to imagine the possibilities that this rare postseason
    opportunity presents for these young Rams, and whether or not they are up to
    seizing the moment.



  2. #2
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    Yodude is offline Registered User
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    Re: Fate presents Rams with a great opportunity

    So now it's time to forget the silly notion of apologizing for the Rams being
    Why would you want to apologize for your record? It's not our fault that 8-8 is good enough to get in. Maybe the overall records in the NFC this year don't necessarily mean the NFC sucks...but rather there is a more even distribution of talent than in the AFC.
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

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