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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/02/2005



    Of all the mundane Mike Martz chatter on the NFL pregame shows Sunday, only one item jumped out.

    It was this comment by ESPN's Chris Mortensen:

    "Martz told me that in contract discussions in June, team president John Shaw explained that the Rams only needed to be a .500 team, occasionally go to the playoffs and suggested that going to the Super Bowl would cost the team money because of expenses incurred by that event."

    Mortensen's report created a buzz among Rams fans. The customers who pay the Rams good money for tickets obviously want to know if the team president really told the coach that mediocrity is acceptable, even desirable.

    If those alleged comments from Shaw to Martz were true, this would raise serious questions about Shaw's integrity and strike a blow to the credibility of the Rams' ownership.

    "The conversation never occurred," Shaw said in an interview Monday. "The comments are preposterous. We always strive to get to the playoffs and the Super Bowl. Just look at our record in recent seasons."

    Starting with the 1999 season, the Rams have played in two Super Bowls and been to the playoffs five times in six years, going into 2005. If Shaw and his aides were trying to sabotage the won-loss record, they've done a poor job of it. True, the Rams had losing records in their first four seasons in St. Louis, but they're 68-36 since the end of the 1998 season.

    "Our No. 1 goal every year is to win championships," Shaw said. "If we weren't trying to do that, I'm not sure why any of us would be here. Secondly, about the Super Bowl costing the team extra expenses, that's simply inaccurate. The league pays for all Super Bowl expenses. A team makes more money after going to the Super Bowl. You raise prices; you sell more sponsorships - all those things that drive revenue. So, it's such an absurd statement."

    But don't players demand more money when a team wins?

    "Players want more money if you win a Super Bowl, and they want more money if you lose," Shaw said. "That's the nature of our business. But as you know, we have a hard salary-cap system, so our costs are all contained within the cap. It's not like even if they want more money (by winning) you could give them more money."

    The NFL salary cap for 2005 is $85.5 million. After signing kicker Jeff Wilkins to a contract extension, the Rams are about $3.8 million under that cap, according to Shaw. He added that the Rams were working on contract extensions for other players and would exhaust all cap money by the end of the season.

    So what was the basis of Martz's comments to Mortensen? Shaw speculates that Martz may have misinterpreted a conversation they had last summer.

    "When I spoke to Mike last offseason about a possible contract extension, I did say to him that it's kind of difficult or unreasonable to expect a team to go to the playoffs every year," Shaw said. "And so I didn't want to evaluate his extension just simply on the basis of making the playoffs every year.

    "But it would never be an expectation of the organization just to be .500. We wouldn't consider that to be a success. We want to win every year. It's hard to do. And I think fans recognize it's hard to do. But we would never say to anyone, 'Just be .500; we'd be happy with it.' Going .500 would not be a measuring stick we'd be happy with."

    The irony is, Martz's record over the last 25 games (including playoffs) is 11-14. And yet, indications are strong that Shaw will make a coaching change after the season. That alone should confirm what management's standards are. If the Rams' bosses were pleased with mediocrity, then 11-14 would be fine. If .500 is the goal, Martz would have been rewarded after last year's 8-8 finish. But he wasn't.


  2. #2
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    "The conversation never occurred," Shaw said in an interview Monday. "The comments are preposterous. We always strive to get to the playoffs and the Super Bowl. Just look at our record in recent seasons."
    Shaw is saying look how well we have done and yet i want to get rid of my HC that won those games.

    in recent seasons
    Why not since I (Shaw) have been here?

    Hey my broker is just making me too much money, I think I will get rid of him.

  3. #3
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    Re: If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    Martz seems like the beautiful girlfriend you want to get rid of because she doesn't really offer you much anymore but if you do get rid of her is there another just as beautiful out there? Eventually, yes there is but initially it's "but I don't know".

    You hate to get rid of Martz due to you know what he's capable of. Then again, by looking at his recent record and where this team is going in his direction, it just doesn't look right.

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    rampete is offline Registered User
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    Re: If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    anyone who takes a power attorney's word at face value, please let me know, i have some real estate for sale in antartica that's booming with unlimited potential...

    they don't call shaw a "vampire" just because he looks like the undead, you know....

  5. #5
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    The irony is, Martz's record over the last 25 games (including playoffs) is 11-14. And yet, indications are strong that Shaw will make a coaching change after the season. That alone should confirm what management's standards are. If the Rams' bosses were pleased with mediocrity, then 11-14 would be fine. If .500 is the goal, Martz would have been rewarded after last year's 8-8 finish. But he wasn't.
    This may very well be the most moronic thing Bernie's ever written.

    Let's be clear here...

    In five full seasons, Martz has averaged 10.2 wins/year (regular seson).

    In the past two full seasons (2003/2004), Martz averaged 10.0 wins/year.

    Sure, you can take a strategically selected sample and show a period of "mediocrity," but over time, Martz has been BETTER THAN MEDIOCRE!!!!!

    I think perhaps Bernie thinks he's being clever here, but as usual he is:

    1) basing an article largely on unconfirmed innuendo and hearsay; and

    2) reaching a moronic conclusion.

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    rampete is offline Registered User
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    Re: If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    Sure, you can take a strategically selected sample and show a period of "mediocrity," but over time, Martz has been BETTER THAN MEDIOCRE!!!!!
    maybe bernie's practicing to become a litigator...

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    Re: If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    Not sure what your issue is with lawyers, Rampete, but I can assure you, Bernie is no litigator.

    Litigators understand that if you are going to make a point, you need evidence.

    Hearsay is not evidence.

    Innuendo is not evidence.

    Lay opinions are not evidence.

    Bernie would be lost.

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    Re: If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    Not sure what your issue is with lawyers, Rampete, but I can assure you, Bernie is no litigator.
    I think he was referring to Shaw.
    "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

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    rampete is offline Registered User
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    Re: If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    i view attorneys, well, the good ones, as masters at manipulating words, written as well as spoken...don't get me wrong, i have a healthy respect for attorneys, my brother in law is a practicing ip attorney in chicago and he's a good person...i'm just weary against those individuals that have the talent and will to exploit, in all facets of life...


    i was being facetious about bernie's litigating prowess...

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    Re: If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    The irony is, Martz's record over the last 25 games (including playoffs) is 11-14.
    Here's the part that bugs me......These 25 games dates back to the Detroit game we lost on 12/28/03 leading into the playoff game against Carolina. However, that magically cut-off tosses out the 7 game win streak preceding it and the 11 wins in 12 games as well. Here's another look at it:

    last 25 = 11-14
    last 32 = 18-14
    last 37 = 22-15

    What's magical about 25 that isn't about 32 or 37............other than it lends itself to BM's point.
    "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

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    rampete is offline Registered User
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    Re: If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith
    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/02/2005

    "Players want more money if you win a Super Bowl, and they want more money if you lose," Shaw said. "That's the nature of our business. But as you know, we have a hard salary-cap system, so our costs are all contained within the cap. It's not like even if they want more money (by winning) you could give them more money."

    can anyone explain how a player's bonus incentive works? in other words, how does it affect the salary cap when a player reaches certain playoff or SB incentives?

    thanks in advance.

  12. #12
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    Re: If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    Martz seems like the beautiful girlfriend you want to get rid of because she doesn't really offer you much anymore but if you do get rid of her is there another just as beautiful out there? Eventually, yes there is but initially it's "but I don't know".
    Gotta love that analogy!
    Last edited by txramsfan; -11-03-2005 at 02:17 PM.

  13. #13
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    Re: If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    Picture in your mind John Shaw as Mr. Burns (Simpsons).

    Also the logical assumption that Martz wouldn't have discussed the conversation with a sportswriter unless he new or suspected strongly that he was ALREADY toast.

    Either the conversation between Shaw and Martz was leaked to Bernie, or given in confidence and published anyway. Otherwise WHY would Martz have given Bernie this story now? It doesn't make sense.

    Anyway, now It's unofficially official, Martz IS toast. How else COULD Shaw react?

  14. #14
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: If Rams wanted to stay mediocre, they'd keep Martz

    Bernie Miklasz, you sometimes, well, oftentimes ... are just so, so inept! :down:

    The 2004 Chris Chandler of your office. It is pathetic!

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