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    Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    By Arash Markazi
    ESPNLosAngeles.com

    LOS ANGELES -- Jack Youngblood had a Hall of Fame career with the Los Angeles Rams, but he says he has no connection to the St. Louis Rams.

    Youngblood, who famously played in Super Bowl XIV with a broken leg, said he and his Los Angeles Rams teammates have been completely cut off from the team since the Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995.


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    "We are their legacy but they forgot us," Youngblood said. "They don't have anything to do with us, really. I find that unfortunate because you look at other franchises, even those that have moved, and they use their alumni in their marketing and in their organization. They use their Hall of Famers as an example for the players who are there today. They use their alumni, but the Rams have cut us out of the picture."

    Youngblood, who was in Los Angeles to promote his new book, "Because It Was Sunday: The Legend of Jack Youngblood," says he hasn't been invited to a Rams game or an alumni event in over a decade. He currently has no plans to have a book signing in St. Louis but would like to.

    "I've been invited back twice since they moved to St. Louis and once I invited myself back," Youngblood said, laughing. "The last time I went back was for my Hall of Fame ring in 2001. I needed someplace to have the presentation so we did it there. The other time I went was not long after they had moved, maybe around 1998; they invited me for something. I don't want to sound ugly about it but it's a sideways deal. ... They didn't really want me there."

    Youngblood's two trips to St. Louis since the Rams moved there are two more than his former teammate Fred Dryer, who visited Youngblood at his book signing in Los Angeles, has made or ever will make.

    "I've never been back there and I have no plans to go back there," Dryer said. "The L.A. Rams are gone. They're the St. Louis Rams now and when I watch them I have no connection to them at all."

    Arash Markazi is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    I could be wrong (I know I'm not) but wasn't Jack Youngblood honored at halftime in 2009 vs the Colts?

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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    That's the most depressing thing I've ever read. Jack Youngblood pretty much IS the Rams ... at least for me. Hell, the Rams of today should be so lucky as to find someone with the heart and class as Mr. Youngblood. Those guys from the seventies teams would have sold their SOUL for the Rams. Now what do we have? Nothing .... back to the bottom ... again.
    If a team won their division seven straight times, that would be a NFL record. Now add on that team did it with seven different QB's in seven straight years,that record is unbeatable. To do that feat, you must of had a great Defense. Jack Youngblood was the captain of that defense.

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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    Long time lurker life long Rams fan here. Thought of posting on many a subject over the years but decided to look and learn .....and laugh. For me this subject here is at the core of everything that has gone wrong with the Rams over the last 20 years. Identity! With the move and the intent to move the Rams became detached to what made them great over the decades. Fans can poke fun at so. cal all they want but nothing will erase the fact that the Rams were respected by the league and had a very loyal fan base considering all that happens in LA(top 5 franchise upto late 80's). It Remains there with the older generation albeit with a lot of pain. The Rams moved not to expand a league to untapped markets or because things were so dire in LA that they HAD to move, they moved because someone wanted them in ST LOUIS. You all know the connection there.
    I feel this move created an environment where players played as individuals albeit with a team and NOT for a franchise with a very strong legacy from which they could draw strength and be proud to represent . I mean to detach from almost 50 years of rich history is bound to take down the mightiest of oaks. Yes with an act from God(warner), we had the GSOT(3) years but even during that time we were thought of more as an anomoly or circus act that HAD to get attention because of the dominance rather then a great franchise that has returned. Outside of this, the St louis Rams garner no respect and havent for almost 20 years. Why ? Detachment from their legacy(well also the fact that media is jock crazy for the whiners...thats another story tho').
    Listen the St louis market has a great sport rep. I feel but it is a BASEBALL legacy. The former football franchise was league famous CRAP. It is why you dont hear old timers talking about the 'good ole days and i wish they were back' sentiment.
    You mix that tradition with the Rams history and you have mud! The circle of fame..are you kidding! St louis' fans may have no problem with this cause the 'history' started in 95'. But for the long timers, i know you feel what i am talking about.
    You hear bloggers mention ' enough is enough' and 'why does this keep happening?' I feel it goes much deeper then o line play or bad coaching.

    Enough of my dribble, i am simply a die hard In love with the Youngbloods, Dryers, Capallettis, Harris's, Perrys, Waddys........and a whole lot of tradition!

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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    I think they have tied in more St. Louis Cardinals then older ram players like the Great Jack Youngblood.

    Jack Youngblood is sitting on a balcony overlooking Downtown Los Angeles as he smokes a cigar and marvels at the transformed city he and his former Los Angeles Rams teammates once owned.

    The city has changed drastically since he retired in 1984. The Rams, for one, have been in St. Louis since 1995 and an entire generation of fans has grown up here without a pro football team.

    Youngblood, however, hasn’t changed much since his playing days when he was labeled the “John Wayne of football.” When a waitress comes around to take his order, Youngblood takes one quick look at the menu and says, “Just bring me the biggest beer you got and the nastiest burger you can make with bacon and cheddar and avocado and bring me that bad boy.”

    He has just spent the past three hours signing copies of his new book, “Because It Was Sunday: The Legend of Jack Youngblood” along with his friend and former teammate Fred Dryer.

    Youngblood, who lives near Orlando, and Dryer, who lives in Los Angeles, hadn’t seen each other for years but keep in touch regularly. “Thank goodness for the internet,” Dryer said.

    If the Rams still played in Los Angeles or if the current Rams organization in St. Louis kept ties with the players who played for the team before 1995, perhaps the two friends who combined for 255 sacks would be able to see each other more regularly at games and alumni events. As it is, e-mail is their only connection these days.

    “We are their legacy but they forgot us,” Youngblood said of the current Rams. “They don’t have anything to do with us, really. I find that unfortunate because you look at other franchises, even those that have moved, and they use their alumni in their marketing and in their organization. They use their hall-of-famers as an example for the players who are there today. They use their alumni but the Rams have cut us out of the picture.”

    Youngblood has to pause when asked when he was last in St. Louis or how many times he has even gone back to see the Rams play.

    “I’ve been invited back twice since they moved to St. Louis and once I invited myself back,” Youngblood said laughing. “The last time I went back was for my Hall of Fame ring in 2001. I needed someplace to have the presentation so we did it there. The other time I went was not long after they had moved maybe around 1998; they invited me for something. I don’t want to sound ugly about it but it’s a sideways deal…They didn’t really want me there.”

    Youngblood’s two trips to St. Louis since the Rams moved there are two more than Dryer has made or will ever make.

    “I’ve never been back there and I have no plans to go back there,” Dryer said. “The L.A. Rams are gone. They’re the St. Louis Rams now and when I watch them I have no connection to them at all.”

    Dryer had wanted the Rams to leave their name, logo and colors in Los Angeles when they moved to St. Louis just like the old Cleveland Browns did when they moved to Baltimore in 1995 but that never happened.

    It was the final straw in what was already a strained relationship with the organization after Georgia Frontiere took over ownership of the team after Carroll Rosenbloom drowned while swimming near his Florida home in April 1979. By July 1980, she had already married her seventh husband, Dominic Frontiere, an award-winning composer, and fired Rosenbloom’s son from another marriage, Steve, as the team’s top executive. Rosenbloom had groomed Steve to be his successor but reportedly left 70 percent of the Rams’ ownership to Frontiere to minimize estate taxes.

    “I said let this woman take her team and her franchise out of here but leave the logo and you’ll get another L.A. Rams owner here within a couple of years,” Dryer said. “It’s not unlike what Cleveland did with the Browns. There’s no reason we should have allowed them to leave with our logo.

    “The team was defined by Georgia Frontiere’s ignorance and incompetence. She couldn’t take the fact that the team wasn’t doing well and she was taking a lot of criticism. She left because of the criticism. Had you had a proper owner in there they would fixed the problem.”

    Long before Frontiere moved the Rams to her hometown of St. Louis 15 years after taking control of the team, Youngblood and Dryer said the organization began to change for the worse after the death of their beloved owner, who was more of a father figure than a boss.

    “Caroll was unique,” Youngblood said. “He loved us. He loved his football team. We were like his children. He literally thought of us like his children. He wanted us to be successful on and off the field. If you had an idea and needed some help or some direction he would help you. I went to the boss and asked him to help me build some racquetball clubs. I had built one in Huntington Beach and I wanted to build some in Florida and I went to the boss man and asked him to help me. I was actually scheduled to meet him in Florida the day after he drowned.”

    Although the Rams were able to make it to the NFC championship game following the 1989 season before having nine straight losing seasons, Dryer believes the beginning of the end of the Rams in Los Angeles came in 1987 when they traded All-Pro running back Eric Dickerson at the height of his career to the Indianapolis Colts.

    “As soon as Caroll Rosenbloom died everybody realized that it was in [Frontiere’s] hands and it became the self-fulfilling prophesy,” Dryer said. “Then they moved the Rams from Los Angeles down to Anaheim and had a couple of good years with John Robinson and then it all fell apart. It’s always a confluence of things and the perfect storm. The big move I thought was when Eric Dickerson wanted to be paid. His representation should have worked it out and I think John Robinson could have helped management make that deal happen. They didn’t and Eric committed professional suicide by going to a terrible Indianapolis Colts team. That quickly ended his career as we knew it.”

    Now nearly 17 years after the Rams played their last game in Southern California there is talk of the NFL possibly coming back to Los Angeles and one of the teams rumored to be in the mix is the Rams.

    Both Youngblood and Dryer wouldn’t mind seeing the Rams come back to Los Angeles although after being burned by their old team time and time again, there’s also a part of them that would like to see Los Angeles start with a clean slate and with a new team, even if it’s relocated franchise.

    “I’m not sure that the people here would support a team like the Los Angeles Chargers or the Los Angeles Vikings,” Youngblood said. “They would have to rebrand the team. That’s what St. Louis should have done. They didn’t acknowledge the Rams history but brought back former St. Louis Cardinals players. I used to battle against these guys and now they’re being honored by the Rams. It doesn’t make sense. I wouldn’t want to see that here. I want another football team here but I want it done the right way.”
    Last edited by Rambos; -10-26-2011 at 07:37 PM.

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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    Quote Originally Posted by ROB'S RAMPAGE View Post
    Long time lurker life long Rams fan here. Thought of posting on many a subject over the years but decided to look and learn .....and laugh. For me this subject here is at the core of everything that has gone wrong with the Rams over the last 20 years. Identity! With the move and the intent to move the Rams became detached to what made them great over the decades. Fans can poke fun at so. cal all they want but nothing will erase the fact that the Rams were respected by the league and had a very loyal fan base considering all that happens in LA(top 5 franchise upto late 80's). It Remains there with the older generation albeit with a lot of pain. The Rams moved not to expand a league to untapped markets or because things were so dire in LA that they HAD to move, they moved because someone wanted them in ST LOUIS. You all know the connection there.
    I feel this move created an environment where players played as individuals albeit with a team and NOT for a franchise with a very strong legacy from which they could draw strength and be proud to represent . I mean to detach from almost 50 years of rich history is bound to take down the mightiest of oaks. Yes with an act from God(warner), we had the GSOT(3) years but even during that time we were thought of more as an anomoly or circus act that HAD to get attention because of the dominance rather then a great franchise that has returned. Outside of this, the St louis Rams garner no respect and havent for almost 20 years. Why ? Detachment from their legacy(well also the fact that media is jock crazy for the whiners...thats another story tho').
    Listen the St louis market has a great sport rep. I feel but it is a BASEBALL legacy. The former football franchise was league famous CRAP. It is why you dont hear old timers talking about the 'good ole days and i wish they were back' sentiment.
    You mix that tradition with the Rams history and you have mud! The circle of fame..are you kidding! St louis' fans may have no problem with this cause the 'history' started in 95'. But for the long timers, i know you feel what i am talking about.
    You hear bloggers mention ' enough is enough' and 'why does this keep happening?' I feel it goes much deeper then o line play or bad coaching.

    Enough of my dribble, i am simply a die hard In love with the Youngbloods, Dryers, Capallettis, Harris's, Perrys, Waddys........and a whole lot of tradition!
    It goes even later for some of us old timers. How about the Fearsome Foursome, Roman Gabriel, Jack Snow etc...Those where the RAMS!

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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    I was a little kid in the 70's. Jack Youngblood was my 1st childhood idol. He epitomized both greatness and class. It is a shame he was never a part of a Super Bowl winning team. His significance to the Rams and his contributions to football cannot be overstated.

    This article touches on something that many people might not think is a big deal, but in fact it is. I've always been a big believer on remembering and respecting those who came before you. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it shows a sense of understanding that no matter how great you may be as a player, you are part of something much, much bigger. You can also learn a great deal of wisdom in listening to those who played when things weren't as lucrative as they are today.

    The Rams organization has a lot to learn about a lot of things- not the least of which is "winning". I mean here's a guy- an iconic player, a winning player, who sounds as if he'd gladly be an ambassador of sorts who is instead basically a non-factor in the eyes of the organization.They should be making a concerted attempt to reach out to those successful players of the past in an effort to restore pride and dignity to an organization that has become a laughingstock. Guys like Youngblood, Dryer, Slater, Ellard, Dickerson, Deacon, Dennis Harrah, Gabriel- the list goes on.

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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I was a little kid in the 70's. Jack Youngblood was my 1st childhood idol. He epitomized both greatness and class. It is a shame he was never a part of a Super Bowl winning team. His significance to the Rams and his contributions to football cannot be overstated.

    This article touches on something that many people might not think is a big deal, but in fact it is. I've always been a big believer on remembering and respecting those who came before you. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it shows a sense of understanding that no matter how great you may be as a player, you are part of something much, much bigger. You can also learn a great deal of wisdom in listening to those who played when things weren't as lucrative as they are today.

    The Rams organization has a lot to learn about a lot of things- not the least of which is "winning". I mean here's a guy- an iconic player, a winning player, who sounds as if he'd gladly be an ambassador of sorts who is instead basically a non-factor in the eyes of the organization.They should be making a concerted attempt to reach out to those successful players of the past in an effort to restore pride and dignity to an organization that has become a laughingstock. Guys like Youngblood, Dryer, Slater, Ellard, Dickerson, Deacon, Dennis Harrah, Gabriel- the list goes on.
    I could not agree more,I to grew up in the 70's and remember wearing the youngblood jersey every sunday,had to get one made back then and of course being from NY didn;t get to see many games on tv,I met Youngblood once and it was a thrill of a lifetime.
    NJ Ramsfan1, ZiaRam and Ram1979 like this.

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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    I once met Jack Youngblood and he was and is the epitome of the Rams. I grew up in late 60's and 70's and became a Ram fan due to the draw of folks like Mr. Youngblood, Roman Gabriel, Merlin Olsen etc.

    The Rams moved to St Louis. The rich tradition of the Rams. If ownership was not going to honor the tradition of the Rams, leave the name in the city they left and name their new team in their new city, something else.

    Not recognizing and embracing your history is just wrong. What identity do the Rams really have beside losing? I am hopeful that the new onwer changes this.

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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    No wonder the Football Gods hate us. Even our alumni hate us. Heck, they don't even think we are the same franchise anymore.

    This is really sad.
    live4ramin likes this.

  11. #11
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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    I Hear ya laram0. Those guys are Legends, i thought i would go a little more mortal. I mean Waddys crossing pattern against the cowboys(or was that Hill) and Perrys outstretched arm agaist Stallworth. The High estasy and low of defeat. Aahh exciting times!
    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    It goes even later for some of us old timers. How about the Fearsome Foursome, Roman Gabriel, Jack Snow etc...Those where the RAMS!

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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    This cracks me up. This is all news to y'all? ...and some of you wonder why there was such a deep hatred towards Madamn Ram and her cronies? Really? This is the sentiment of many former LA Rams fans.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    I heard Jack on the Rome show yesterday, brought back wonderfule memories!!! Told my 10 year old to listen to this man he [palyed in the superbowl on a broken leg. That is tough!!! He is the reason I am still a Rams fan, that group of men had pride!!! They would not tolerate the crap we are now subject to. They would have been to embarassed to go out and get beat like someones dog.

    I seem to remember a game the Rams were losing big and Jack grab a guy by his facemask with both hands and swung him around like a rag doll. Then just let go and threw him. Sure it was a 15 yd penalty but that was guy standing up and saying you are not going to beat me again.

    Now they seem to say, I get this much money and all I have to do is go get embarassed for 60 minutes 16 time a year? What a country!!!!
    ZiaRam likes this.

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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    It's a crime that an iconic Rams legend, a man who personifies the history of the franchise, feels like an unappreciated outsider.
    Nick, jkramsfan, macrammer and 4 others like this.

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    Re: Jack Youngblood: Rams 'forgot us'

    I remember comtemplating whether or not I would continue to be a Rams fan when the team went to St. Louis. Had the team changed the name and logo, etc., I would have went a different direction.

    It has not puzzled me why the Rams the Rams do not embrace the past - it isn't as profitable as building fanbase and loyalty in the new city. After all, owners have teams to make as much money as they can. It doesn't sit well with me, but I can see why. Rather than "blue seats for the Dome", perhaps an "Embrace The Past" campaign is in order?
    ZiaRam likes this.
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