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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Jun. 22 2008

    Everything about Steven Jackson is outsized. He laughs big, he runs big, and
    oh, my goodness, he talks big.

    When the Rams' all-pro running back talks, the truth tends to come out of his
    mouth in all of its unfiltered, sometimes uncomfortable glory. I happen to like
    that about him, for what his unsettling words usually lack in diplomacy, they
    more than make up for with disturbing spot-on honesty.

    Since arriving in town four years ago, the man with the flowing dreadlocks has
    readily spoken his mind about his playing time, his uneasy coexistence with
    Marshall Faulk, his public image, his desire for greatness and his
    underachieving teammates. Much to the mortification of the team's always
    anxious public relations staff, Jackson has even dared to tread on the
    ultra-sensitive subject of the fickle St. Louis fan base.

    So how coincidental was it that in the same week the Rams broke out their new,
    edgy "Bring It!" ticket sales ad campaign

    featuring Jackson stomping through a full page in your sports section, the
    outspoken runner was mounting an even more edgy campaign of his own to rouse
    Rams fans out of their '07 malaise.

    In an interview with Michael Silver of Yahoo.com, "The Train" brought it hard,
    chiding Rams fans for selling their tickets to Packers and Steelers fans last
    season. ("It was like playing road games," he said. "We ran out of the tunnel
    and got booed. It was ridiculous. I was livid.") If you want to characterize
    that as controversial, feel free. The truth is, what he told Silver is nothing
    we haven't already heard here in St. Louis.

    After the Packers game last December, a seething Jackson sat in front of his
    locker stall at the Edward Jones Dome and ripped into the fans. "It's a joke,
    as simple as that," Jackson said, the words spitting out of his mouth in
    disgusted staccato bursts. When someone asked Jackson if at times it felt like
    he was at Lambeau Field, the disgruntled tailback barely let the reporter
    finish the question. "We were at Lambeau Field," he snapped. "The whole first
    level was Green Bay Packer fans. And then we're allowing them to put up signs."

    So tell me once again, what did Jackson say that wasn't right on the money
    about the state of pro football in St. Louis?

    Later in the Yahoo.com article, Jackson basically said there are plenty of
    reasons why the 2008 season should be worth the price of admission. He said
    because he's in a contract year, he has to produce. He said because the team is
    coming off a disastrous 3-13 season, coach Scott Linehan has to produce. He
    said because the team's ownership future is unclear, even the franchise's
    future in St. Louis is unclear. All of those factors are reasons why the Rams
    should be plenty motivated to go from worst to first.

    Again, Jackson spoke the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    If you think this is a fool who pops off on ill-advised, selfish rants like
    T.O., you don't know Jackson. He's an intelligent man who knows the weight of
    every one of his potent words. When you hear him ripping on fans, it's a rant
    with a purpose. It's his way of letting them know that they have to play a part
    in this Rams revival, too. The Dome has to return to those Sundays when it was
    one of the most imposing home-field advantages in the NFL.

    When he stomped off the field during games last year and screamed at teammates
    and coaches, that was purposeful, too. Too many dumb play calls and
    undisciplined penalties. If he's one of the main cogs on this team, it's his
    job to open his mouth and get on underachieving teammates. That's what team
    leaders are supposed to do.

    If you think it was a careless error for him to criticize his wide receivers
    for not blocking for him in the Yahoo.com interview, you're missing the point.
    I think it was a well-thought-out surgical strike and a loaded message aimed
    directly at some veterans who had off years last season and are being expected
    to be more ferocious downfield blockers in Al Saunders' new system.

    Since the '07 season ended, Linehan has repeatedly said that he expects his
    veterans to be more vocal and exert more leadership than any of them displayed
    during the train wreck of last season. By simply telling the truth no matter
    how uneasy that truth might be Jackson is doing just that.

    I keep reading that interview and I can't find anything that Jackson said that
    wasn't true. So how can the truth be a problem?


  2. #2
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    Again...GOOD FOR JACKSON! He speaks the truth and there are way too many fans in St. Louis that are all about feast or famine. It is nice to see a player call them out.

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    I agree 100%. Jackson calling out the fans and his teammates has nothing to do with casting blame, and everything to do with motivation. NFL teams with potent offensive machines have blocking WR's.

    He is talking about the future of the franchise in regard to the fans. He is saying "If Stl. wants to keep the Rams, show up and support the team!"
    A defeated look of consternation, dissappointment, or even pain. The name derives from the look one often gets when challenged by a large BM.

  4. #4
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    SJax proves a valid point. That they are being rooted against in their own house. This shouldn't happen, I could understand a fan or two, but not a majority of the stadium. If the city wants to keep the team, fans have to start showing up.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    I for one applaud Jackson for calling out the St. Louis fans. It made me sick seeing fans from other teams taking over OUR dome. Heck, what few Rams fans that did show just sat there with their heads down. If we do have our first to worst season this year, I for one won't be welcoming the bandwagoners.

  6. #6
    skelley Guest

    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooselini View Post
    SJax proves a valid point. That they are being rooted against in their own house. This shouldn't happen, I could understand a fan or two, but not a majority of the stadium. If the city wants to keep the team, fans have to start showing up.
    ST Louis fans are spoiled & better watch it...............
    That's how we Californians lost the Rams.

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    It is a problem to be sure. However, on this whole "if the city wants to keep the team, they'd better start showing up" thing? It probably would have helped if the team showed up to play, too. I mean I'll support the team through thick and thin, but last season exciting plays were few and far between. The quarterback was getting sacked all the time, the passes often were not where our guys could get to them, and when they did arrive on target, we dropped them anyway. Our offensive line was cobbled up out of street free agents who couldn't even earn a spot on a practice squad anywhere in the league before we signed them. The play calling was painfully predictable-- especially in the red zone--and the defense would throw in the towel in the fourth quarter.

    The fair weather fans are a legitimate problem in St. Louis, but there was a distinct possibility that we could have gone winless in football's weakest division last season. Certainly a team like the Packers or the Browns would have still turned out huge numbers regardless, but Rams football hasn't been in the city long enough to have developed into the tradition that spans generations like it has in Green Bay or Cleveland.

    We've had 4 winning seasons in the 13 years that the Rams have been in the city and haven't been to the playoffs in 3 years. Compare that to the Rams as they once were: from 1967-1989 (23 years), we only missed the playoffs 7 times. The St. Louis fans weren't around for all that history. Those that have grown up with Rams football in the city had enjoyed 5 years of being a legit contender sandwiched between the ugly '90s and the "Ides of Martz".
    Last edited by Goldenfleece; -06-23-2008 at 01:22 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    Jackson's rant against the fans was spot on. Things have to change and people in the seats have to do their part. Sitting around waiting for something good to happen and holding back enthusiasm is rediculous. I honestly don't know how people can do it, especially after making the effort to actually attend games, but that's just me.

    Jackson's anger at the Packer and Steeler games is understandable, but those pale in comparison to the Chicago game a few years ago when OUR offense had to go to a silent count because Bears fan were making so much noise, IN OUR HOUSE! Inexcuseable. As far as I'm concerned, Jackson was easy on the fan base.

  9. #9
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    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    Quote Originally Posted by skelley View Post
    ST Louis fans are spoiled & better watch it...............
    That's how we Californians lost the Rams.
    Your right there.
    The Breakfast Club. You want cheese with that?

  10. #10
    IzzyHigh1212 Guest

    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    I like Steven. He's really the only one that's stepping up and taking the leader position. It kind of pisses me off to a certain extent. My feelings are spot-on with his, though.

  11. #11
    ImJohnWayne is offline Awaiting Email Conformation
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    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    Not trying to defend the fans, but a couple of things to think about.

    1). St. Louis is a very VERY poor city.
    2). Cardinal games are cheaper.

  12. #12
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    there are 81 cardinals games a year and 8 rams games. That makes a huge difference in looking at the difference in ticket prices. Also, you can buy rams tickets all day long on ebay at or below face. you dont need to buy season tix to go.

    Can anyone imagine the packers playing in front of a crowd where half the fans were rooting for the visiting team.

    I dont really have a problem with the fans booing the team when they stink. The fans buy the tix, they have the right to vent frustration at a terrible team. However, there is a difference between booing and not caring enough to either show up at all or give the tix away to someone that wants to see the game. When 1/3 of the stadium is empty and we know the tix are sold, that tells you many people dont want the seats for free.

    ramming speed to all

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  13. #13
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    Quote Originally Posted by ImJohnWayne View Post
    Not trying to defend the fans, but a couple of things to think about.

    1). St. Louis is a very VERY poor city.
    2). Cardinal games are cheaper.
    With all due respect, you're kidding right?? Poor has nothing to do with it. We're talking about fans who can afford season tickets, buy season tickets, then sell them to the highest bidder. We're also talking about fans who attend games and either sit on their hands or yap on their cell phones for 4 quarters while fans of the opposing team make a mockery of the term "home field advantage".

  14. #14
    GreatestShow99's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    What Jackson and Burwell fail to realize, for the 100th time, is that this happens everywhere. The Packers are the New York Yankees of the NFL and have more tradition than any team in the league, whereas the Rams have been nomads throughout their history. Huge difference. I'm sick and tired when others act like STL is the only city in the league that allows this to happen. It's getting old, folks.

  15. #15
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Jackson speaks nothing but the truth

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatestShow99 View Post
    What Jackson and Burwell fail to realize, for the 100th time, is that this happens everywhere. The Packers are the New York Yankees of the NFL and have more tradition than any team in the league, whereas the Rams have been nomads throughout their history. Huge difference. I'm sick and tired when others act like STL is the only city in the league that allows this to happen. It's getting old, folks.
    Have you ever heard of a home team having to go to a silent count because the visiting fans were making too much noise?

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