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Sam's Silver Linings - Week Thirteen
One year ago today, every fan of the St. Louis Rams was already hanging their head, hoping that Santa would bring us a true Christmas miracle – a team that could win games. We got our wish – we now have a team that can win. Not only CAN they win, they can beat what many believe is the best team in the NFL. A lot of us (me included) sit and watch the games and see the holes we still have to fill. We also sit and see the improvement of the Rams over the past year, and even though we still have a ways to go, we watch in awe when the Rams dismantle a team like the *****.
I can only speak for myself – I became a Rams fan in 1999. I don’t consider myself a “bandwagon” fan because I did not become a fan because of the Super Bowl win. I became a fan because of the way the entire team stepped up and took control when Trent Green went down. I became a fan because of the way they changed the game from a strictly physical one into an intensely cerebral contest. I became a fan because of the way they didn’t back down in the face of insurmountable odds. I became a fan because Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, Tory Holt, and the entire rest of the team did everything they had to do to win a game without cheating. I became a fan of seeing the guys drop and do pushups after they missed a catch, how they did the “bob and weave” when they scored, how they managed to take away the ball from opponents at just the right time.
In other words, I was hooked.
That meant I had to take the bad with the good. I knew the Rams wouldn’t be able to maintain a dynasty in the era of NFL parity – no team could. At least, no team could be a dynasty without cheating, having lots of help from the refs, and filming other team’s walkthroughs. (No need to go into that – we all know the truth.) That also meant that I “inherited” the spirit of the rivalries. It’s amazing how my extreme dislike of the whiners came on so suddenly and with such ferocity. A lot of Rams fans – those who have been fans longer than me – know about the “SOSAR” comment, and that intensified the hatred of the whiners for many of you. For me, it was a reason to see the whiners lose every week.
Well, now, to our surprise, the whiners have become an NFL powerhouse. Last season, they came out of nowhere to dominate the NFC West. I wasn’t looking forward to playing them this year, I thought they would extend our embarrassment another season. I was wrong – and I couldn’t be happier.
We tied one of the top teams in the NFL a few weeks ago. The majority of the “knowledgeable” football “experts” (yes, those quotes are sarcastic) thought that it was just a fluke. This past Sunday, the Rams repeated the first meeting by keeping the game close and sending it into overtime; the good part is that Legatron was able to make the kick that sent the message to the whiners that we are the better team, and the message to the rest of the NFL: You better take the Rams seriously.
What I find most satisfactory about the win isn’t that we beat the whiners; it’s that we beat the whiners without the best receiver on our roster. Even though the Rams made a statement loud enough for the entire NFL to hear, so-called “experts” like Gregg Rosenthal are so star struck by Kaepernick and his crew that they think the Rams win proves nothing, wanting to leave San Francisco at #2 or #3 in the power rankings “because they deserve it”.
No, they don’t. They deserve exactly what the Rams gave them on Sunday – a butt kicking to let them know that the Rams are back – and this time, we are letting it be known that we are the BEST team in the NFC West!
Now, for this week’s Silver Linings:
1. Janoris Jenkins: Once again, his name is on the list. His beautifully acrobatic recovery and subsequent touchdown reignited a hungry Rams team, reminding them what was most important – winning. The true value of the play wasn’t the six points he scored, even though we wouldn’t have won without the points – it was the play that changed the momentum of the game.
2. Legatron: After the first few games of the season, Rams fans thought this guy was infallible. It seemed that no matter what we expected from him, whether it is an extra point or a 60-yarder, he was going to do it with enough extra to have made it another 10 yards. Then it happened. He missed. With the game on the line in OT, he redeemed himself in the best way possible by making the kick that won the game.
3. The Defense: Due to comments from Brenda about the game, I had to put the entire defense on here. She knows nothing about football, but she did notice that the majority of the game featured our defense pounding the horns into the whiners. While the whiners did outdo us on yardage, our defense did what it does best: kept them from putting up points. As an added bonus, we were treated to the sight of Rams players smacking the innards out of our foes.
4. Chris Givens: No, he did not score a TD this week, but he did show a lot of progression towards his potential. With 11 receptions for 92 yards, he stepped up in Amendola’s absence to help propel our offense down the field.
5. Sam Bradford: Zero TD’s, Zero INT’s, 26/39 for 221 yards. Fairly pedestrian for a first overall pick. But, the numbers do not tell the true story. The tale is told by the last 1:34 in the fourth quarter. Sam ran a fantastic “two-minute offense” to put the ball in range for Legatron to kick it into overtime. Say what you will; Aaron Rodgers had better numbers in the Packer’s bid to beat the *****, but they still got beat. This year, Sam is UNDEFEATED against what some claim (mistakenly) is the best defense in football.
6. Jo-Lonn Dunbar: I still think that if there is an award for the best free agent acquisition, it should be shared between Dunbar and Finnegan. Nine tackles, two assists, and the ability to make the whiners offensive line stain their tighty whiteys. I don’t care who you are, you have to agree the man has added much needed ferocity to the Rams defense.
7. William Hayes: He is responsible for 1.5 sacks against Kaepernick. He is also responsible for Kaepernick saying “mommy” in a whiny little voice right before hitting the ground. To me, seeing the sacks was extremely satisfying.
8. The 12th Man: Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this game, but my 12-year old daughter, Sami, has a “boyfriend” who did attend. It was his first Rams game, and I am sure he had a fantastic time judging from the crowd response. On TV, the fans sounded LOUD, and I am sure the dome was filled with an intensity everyone enjoyed…except the few “fans” who decided to leave with 3-4 minutes left to play. They missed out on a fantastic finish. Serves them right.
9. The “Legends”: Although there was no broadcast coverage of Jack Youngblood, Todd Lyght, Isaac Bruce, or the other Rams of history, I was glad to see that they were invited and honored by the organization. Naturally, there are those who believe this is an omen that the Rams are moving back to LA. Those people need to accept the Rams for who they are, wherever they are. The point they should have gotten from the visit to the game by these legends is that the Rams are rightly proud of their past, and that as we step into the future, we can look back at these men and realize what they contributed to us, the fans.
Last week, before the game, I was teasing Danny about his walking boot, telling him to man up and stop using it as an excuse. I was brought up to use the tools given to me to accomplish a goal, so I suggested that he take that boot and “donate” it to the backside of the nearest guy wearing a ***** uniform. Hopefully, this week when we travel to Buffalo, Danny will be back. I have no doubt that we can beat the Bills, but you know the saying…”Any given Sunday”.
The Rams are still in the hunt for the playoffs. While I hope everything falls in place, I doubt it is in the stars for this season. However, considering the improvement in the team just this season, I have a feeling that next year we won’t just be “in the hunt”, but instead, we will be looking at clinching our place by this point in 2013.
Have a great week, and be careful. There are women drivers out there.
Re: Sam's Silver Linings - Week Thirteen
You officially don't have to defend being labelled a bandwagon fan anymore when 13 years after the Superbowl win you still regularly go to a Rams forum even though the team just had one of the worst 5 year stretches in professional sports history.
-12-06-2012 #3Registered User
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Re: Sam's Silver Linings - Week Thirteen
Very good post. I have been a fan of the Rams since the 70's when I was a kid. They were always good. Since that time, but for a stretch of time in the 80's and late 90's/early 00's, they've been horrendous. I've made my share of negative and/or facetious observations on this forum and elsewhere, and apologize for none of it. Skepticism and Hopelessness are justified, the byproducts of years of futility and bad football.
It appears the Rams' fortunes have started to change. It starts with leadership at the top, followed by a willingness to spend money, a quality head coach and sound personnel decisions. There is reason for hope- and there's no reason we can't be a legitmate playoff contender next season with a few more added pieces to the puzzle. Until then, it will be interesting to see if we can finish out these next 4 games in a manner befitting a quality team.
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