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Realfootball365: Rams Have No Respect
By Steve Reynolds on November 14, 2006 12:31 AM
The Rams seem destined to forever channel the late Rodney Dangerfield in that they "get no respect." While the various entities guilty of this are myriad, for the sake of brevity I will limit this week's discussion to two. The first culprit guilty of showing disrespect for the Rams (note: my refusal to utilize the transitive verb "disrespecting," as use of this word has been forever tainted by teenagers and select rap artists who have no clue what it truly means) is the media.
The second culprit guilty of disrespecting (so shoot me) the Rams is a little less obvious, but we'll get to them in a moment.
Here at Realfootball365, we always strive to deliver what the fans want. The networks that televise the NFL are likewise concerned with what the fans want. One would think that the executives at the Fox Broadcasting Company, headquartered in Los Angeles, always do exhaustive research in figuring out which game will attract the most viewers in a given market. Now, some markets are a no-brainer; for example, fans in St. Louis always get to watch the Rams play (blackout restrictions notwithstanding) because the networks know that you always televise the local team's game, as it would naturally generate the most fan interest.
However, what if your hometown has no team?
Such is the case with Los Angeles, the second largest media market in the country. After the Rams and Raiders packed up and left L.A., fans of the respective teams were left twisting in the wind. While some fans jumped ship out of spite, many remained loyal. Your average Joe Football Fan cannot afford weekly jaunts to St. Louis or Oakland, so he or she must either shell out big bucks for the NFL Sunday Ticket or rely on the local broadcasters to televise their favorite teams.
CBS seems to understand the debacle faced by these fans and will generally broadcast the Raiders unless a much better game is available or the local prisons are on lockdown, thus eliminating half of Raider Nation's ability to watch the game.
Fans of the Rams in Southern California are, likewise, still numerous, evidenced by nearly half of Qualcomm Stadium being filled by rabid Rams fans a couple of weeks ago, when the Rams were in town to face the Chargers. Again, Fox should know this, and broadcast the Rams unless a much better game is available, right? Well, I wasn't privy to the Fox executives' conversation concerning which game to televise in Southern California last Sunday, but I assume it went something like this:
Fox executive No. 1: "All right, I need to make the final decision on which game to televise this Sunday."
Fox executive No. 2: "Well it seems we need to decide between two games, Rams-Seahawks or Saints-Steelers."
"OK, which one do you think the fans would rather see?"
"Well, there is a large contingent of Ram fans remaining in Southern California and the Seahawks play on the west coast, while both the Steelers and Saints play on the east coast."
"OK, but don't the Steelers have Big Bad Roethlisberger?"
"You mean Big Ben Roethlisberger?
"Yeah, him too. Won't the west coast fans want to see him?"
"Possibly, but Big Ben is probably not as good as the media outlets make him out to be; he'll have a decent game occasionally, but he has thrown many more interceptions than touchdowns and the Steelers have a 2-6 record."
"Exactly! They're battling for their playoff lives! The announcers have been saying that every game for Pittsburgh is a must win for weeks now."
"Well, by that rationale, the Raiders and Titans are likewise fighting for the playoffs, they're also 2-6. The Rams and Seahawks are battling for first place in the NFC West and their last matchup was a classic."
"But don't the Saints have the sandwich guy?"
"You mean Reggie Bush?"
"Yeah, the media outlets have been posting his stats every week; doesn't he lead the league in yards after the catch, on third down on days following a full moon or something?"
"Well, I'm not sure, but Drew Brees and Deuce McAllister are really the heart of that team. I think the fans would rather watch a game that has playoff implications for both teams. Fans on the west coast are more familiar with the Rams and Seahawks anyway. There is probably little interest in the two east coast teams, outside of the hype surrounding one or two players."
"You make a pretty convincing argument, and I've made my decision."
"Good, so which game are the fans going to see?"
The aforementioned second entity guilty of showing contempt for the Rams is an unlikely one, and his name is Scott Linehan. The Rams lost their second game to Seattle in equally heartbreaking fashion on Sunday by a meager two points. One could blame the loss on the suddenly stagnant offense, special teams or the poorly timed, idiotic penalty on the maniacal Richie Incognito, but Linehan is the true guilty party.
With the Rams trailing by one in the third quarter, Linehan called for a deep pass on fourth-and-5, rather than let Jeff Wilkins attempt a 48-yard field goal that would have given the Rams the lead. The pass was intercepted and the Rams came away with nothing.
Then, in the fourth quarter with the Rams up by two, Wilkins nailed a field goal that was nullified by a Linehan challenge. The Rams won the challenge and had fourth-and-1 on the Seattle 12-yard line. Rather than kick an easy field goal or even let Steven Jackson plunge into the line for a first down, Linehan opted to have Marc Bulger gun the ball to a double-covered Joe Klopfenstein.
Once again, the Rams came away with nothing when an easily made field goal in either case would have won the game for St. Louis. Either Linehan doesn't respect Wilkins' ability to make a kick (even though Wilkins should garner serious consideration for team MVP), or he didn't trust his defense to hold the lead (despite inspired second-half play that held the Seattle offense to a mere three points).
Obviously the coach is a vital part of the team, and there is a serious problem if he makes calls based on his mistrust of players executing. Sure, the Rams appear to garner little respect around the league, but they will never earn that respect if they cannot reconcile the fact that they don't seem to trust and respect themselves. With Orlando Pace out for the year and a three-game deficit in the division (counting the tie-breaker), St. Louis has the rest of the year to think about it.
Re: Realfootball365: Rams Have No RespectFans of the Rams in Southern California are, likewise, still numerous, evidenced by nearly half of Qualcomm Stadium being filled by rabid Rams fans a couple of weeks ago, when the Rams were in town to face the Chargers. Again, Fox should know this, and broadcast the Rams unless a much better game is available, right?JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS
"HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"Adm. William "Bull" Halsey
-11-14-2006 #3sprtsmac Guest
Re: Realfootball365: Rams Have No RespectLA RAMMER
It's Jim not Chris