By Jim Thomas
Sunday, Oct. 08 2006
The arrival of linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski now makes it debatable whether
quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is the smartest Ram.
Fitzpatrick has a degree in economics from Harvard.
Kacyvenski, scooped up by St. Louis after his surprise release in Seattle, has
a pre-med degree from Harvard.
"We're taking over -- Harvard players," Fitzpatrick joked. "It's a football
factory out there. I would say this is probably the first time it's ever
happened in the history of the NFL -- two Harvard teammates."
Close. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harvard men Charles Clark and
Arnold Horween were teammates on the 1924 Chicago Cardinals.
Fitzpatrick arrived at Harvard in 2001, two years after Kacyvenski's departure
to the NFL. But Kacyvenski's name remains well-known in the program.
"He was one of the examples that was always talked about," Fitzpatrick said.
"He was a guy that set every record there was on defense for tackles and stuff.
So he was sort of the one guy that everybody looked to become, with the hard
work ... his work ethic."
Turk's homecoming
Rams punter Matt Turk grew up a Packers fan. As a Milwaukee native, he really
didn't have a choice.
"Growing up in Milwaukee, you had to be a Packer fan," Turk said. "So the whole
family was Packer nuts."
He has only a few relatives remaining in Milwaukee. "And most of my friends are
already season-ticket holders," Turk said. "So the ticket count wasn't too bad
this week: 21."
Turk was signed by Green Bay in 1993 as a rookie free agent out of
Wisconsin-Whitewater. "It was a dream come true to be able to sign with the
Packers," Turk said.
But the dream was short-lived. He was cut after playing in just one exhibition
game for the Packers. Twelve seasons and three Pro Bowls later, Turk makes his
first regular-season appearance in Lambeau Field on Sunday. He has punted there
before in exhibitions, but never in a game that counted.
Remember me?
Despite being a sixth-round draft pick by New Orleans in 2000, Marc Bulger
never got a single practice rep in a "team" period in his rookie training camp.
Much less play in an exhibition game with the Saints, before getting cut.
The Saints' offensive coordinator at the time was Mike McCarthy, now the rookie
head coach in Green Bay.
"I honestly didn't get to know him," Bulger said. "I grew up a block from him
in Pittsburgh, literally. When I was there (in New Orleans), Frank Cignetti was
the quarterback coach, and I really didn't get to know Mike."
Does that experience become a motivational point for Sunday's game against
McCarthy's Packers?
"Every week you could find something that's motivation," Bulger said. "I'm
happy. I'd much rather be here (in St. Louis), and have met the guys I met
here, went to a Super Bowl my first year here.
"So I've loved it here. I love the city. I love living here. I love the team.
So it's a blessing in disguise. At the time it's tough, because it's your
profession and you're trying to get going."
And me?
It has been eight years since Rams offensive guard Adam Timmerman played for
Green Bay. But he went to two Super Bowls as a Packer and still gets plenty of
fan mail from the land of the cheeseheads.
"I get probably just as (much) from Green Bay still as I do here in St. Louis,"
he said.
Sunday's game is only the second for Timmerman at Lambeau Field since he signed
a free-agent contract with the Rams before the 1999 season.
"It's where I got my start in the NFL, so it'll always be special," he said.