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  1. #1
    RamsInfiniti's Avatar
    RamsInfiniti is offline Registered User
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    Smile, because Ike (and Mike) still love us ....

    Definitely a tough one to read, bittersweet for sure. Ike is such a class act ...

    Make sure you read this with an open heart, because if there is ever an athlete that will tell you the unbiased truth, it is Bruce ....




    Bruce and Martz are gone, but both feel a lasting connection
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    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/17/2008
    Bernie Miklasz

    SAN FRANCISCO On days like this, after the latest immolation of the St. Louis Rams, it is difficult to resist the yearning for nostalgia and happy days.

    Except it is almost cruel to think of what the Rams used to be, and to consider how far they've fallen. They are barely recognizable.

    And so when Rams icon Isaac Bruce emerges from the tunnel at Candlestick Park, wearing the colors of the San Francisco *****, he is a ghost floating in our midst.

    And it's a surreal experience.

    Once upon a time Bruce ran into history for the exhilarating 73-yard touchdown that won Super Bowl XXXIV for the Rams. And that moment has never seemed so far away, so far removed from the present reality.

    Sunday, during his team's 35-16 rout of the sad-sack Rams, Bruce caught a 20-yard pass on a touchdown drive, drew a pass interference penalty to set up another touchdown and delivered crisp blocks for running back Frank Gore.

    If this was peculiar to watch from a St. Louis perspective, imagine how Bruce must have felt, playing his former team for the first time.

    "Yeah. It was strange," Bruce told me after the game. "Just watching guys run up and down on the field in the Rams uniform. All my friends. I had to catch myself a couple of times, because I was still cheering for Torry (Holt), still cheering for Marc (Bulger), hoping that they would still make plays. But of course, not too many."

    The Rams were pathetic for the second consecutive Sunday. They trailed the Jets at the half 40-0 last week, and were down 35-3 to the ***** at the half in this one.

    Even Bruce was pained by what he saw.

    "Part of me is still there," Bruce said. "Part of me will always be there. So I sympathize. But they have great character, and they'll get this right."

    Bruce opened up in a friendly interview after Sunday's game. Dumped by Scott Linehan and GM Jay Zygmunt in February, Bruce said he's still trying to sort out his feelings.

    "It's not easy to automatically disconnect," he said.

    Bruce insists he has no lingering animosity for Linehan (since fired) and Zygmunt.

    "Not at all," he said. "Bitterness and anger only blocks up the good things I believe in about folks."

    Bruce was a Ram for 14 seasons, the last 13 in St. Louis. He broke all of the major franchise receiving records, highlighted by 942 catches for 14,109 yards and 84 touchdowns.

    Bruce, 36, left those marks in St. Louis.

    And part of his heart, too.

    "It was very difficult to go," Bruce said. "It was a sad time. I was there for 14 years of my life. St. Louis is still home. I feel as if I developed a real bond. So when the change came, I knew it was going to hurt. Hurt on both ends. On my end, and on the fans' end.

    "I had to move on. But it will never change how I feel inside about St. Louis. I would go back there in a minute if everything worked out that way. But it just so happened it didn't.

    "So what can you do? I'll see the fans again."

    On Dec. 21, to be exact, when the ***** play the Rams at the Edward Jones Dome.

    "I've never been in that visitors' locker room at the dome," Bruce said. "That will be interesting."

    I asked Bruce if he'd like to say anything to the Rams fans who miss him.

    "I love them. I will forever love them," he said. "They were always great to me, and my family. And I thank them.

    "And I would tell them, 'Don't give up on your team.' They will always be your team, no matter who is playing for them. Don't ever give up on them."

    Former Rams coach Mike Martz, the *****' offensive coordinator, also experienced some conflicting emotions Sunday.

    "It's still hard for me to divorce myself from it," he said. "We needed to win this game. But I see those kids over there, a lot of them who played for me, and they're losing the game, and I know how bad they must have been feeling. It's hard. I miss them, I really do."

    Martz isn't surprised that the Rams are 5-21 since the start of the 2007 season.

    "To be honest with you, no," he said. "Not really. That's kind of where it was going when I left. We were just fighting to keep it up. I was real proud of the way these guys worked and competed for me. We lost players each year, players kept leaving, and we just weren't able to replace them. But they kept playing and they competed well. I'm more proud of that than anything during my tenure there.

    "Those were great years. We knew it was a special place in time. We tried to savor it as long as we could. That's a major part of my life, and I'll never forget it. Those will always be sweet memories."

    The memories are pretty much all we have now in St. Louis.

    And they're bittersweet.


  2. #2
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Smile, because Ike (and Mike) still love us ....

    That's a sad article. I can't believe that he still has respect for this team. But it wasn't the team who cut him.

    I'm glad he's such a class act. We truly miss him and I still wear his RAMS jersey. He isn't a whiner to me. He is forever a Ram...

  3. #3
    CaliGirlRamsFan Guest

    Re: Smile, because Ike (and Mike) still love us ....

    So much class on both their parts. I love how Bruce said he would come back in a heart beat.I still have a hard time kowing we let him go.

  4. #4
    locazn's Avatar
    locazn is offline Registered User
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    Re: Smile, because Ike (and Mike) still love us ....

    I miss Martz and Bruce...we only had one losing season with Martz...Great article! It's so sad to see them in red ... Not happy with their departure but its not our decision to make.. I hope Martz gets a head coaching job soon.

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