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Thread: Why wait to clean up a big mess?
Why wait to clean up a big mess?
By Bryan Burwell
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Wednesday, Sep. 17 2008
This used to be a lively NFL paradise, but now we're a depressing football
wasteland. St. Louis has fallen from a must-see destination on the pro football
map to the same laughable category with those hopeless NFL bergs like Detroit
and Oakland, where the franchises make a mockery of the reputations of
In case you were wondering, I'm not finished pounding on this Rams franchise.
In fact, all I've done so far is clear my throat. I don't have the luxury of
Chip Rosenbloom's patient approach to evaluating what's wrong with his newly
acquired and broken business. I have watched the decline and fall of his late
mother's football empire from its glorious Super Bowl zenith to this absurd
winless nadir, and I can comfortably advise Rosenbloom that careful
deliberations won't do anything but make a wretched situation even worse.
The new owner is probably reluctant to start firing people so early in the
season because under most normal NFL situations, it would be silly to can the
coach and dismantle the front office structure after only two games.
But this isn't a normal situation, and this isn't early at all.
This is not Week 3 of the decline and fall. It's Year 7. This thing has been
free-falling since the team lost that Super Bowl to the New England Patriots
and in the aftermath set off nearly a decade of selfish, self-destructive
bickering, backstabbing and unchecked, ego-driven corporate sabotage.
The Rams are an eyesore on the NFL block, and now the neighbors are
complaining. Good, smart football people throughout the NFL grapevine now
consider the Rams the worst franchise in the league, which is an absolutely
staggering statement because it means the Rams have slid past the crazy Raiders
and fruitless Lions as the bleakest organization in pro football.
This is not a quick fixer-upper. This thing needs to be leveled to the ground
as soon as possible. Rosenbloom can't wait any longer. He needs to instruct
team President John Shaw that he hasn't retired yet, so wake up, stop mailing
it in and get back to work. I know Shaw's already halfway out the door into
retirement and preoccupied with estate planning. But those chores need to be
tabled for the time being. Shaw needs to be the man who defrocks general
manager Jay Zygmunt once and for all, and bring in a new impressive football
man with a name, reputation and know-how to start the rehabilitation of this
I want to see someone at the top of the Rams' organizational chart who has real
clout and a real football background. It doesn't have to be a big name, but it
has to be someone who is his own man and who answers only to Rosenbloom. It has
to be someone who won't make cosmetic changes, and who will end the conniving
office politics that have wrecked the Rams for years.
Is that person already in the Rams executive suites? I don't know. It's hard to
tell because everyone up there is either too busy currying favor with Zygmunt,
worrying about their job security or cursing under their breath at how such an
incompetent organization took this long to fall completely apart.
What's the point in waiting? So things can turn around?
Pul-eeeze. They won't. The head coach has no true authority or responsibilities
and the players seem to know it. Upstairs and down, everyone is running around
in 100 different directions with 200 separate agendas, and none of them is
designed to turn the Rams back into a winning franchise.
Waiting merely sinks the Rams into deeper disrepair. Waiting gives other
failing teams the opportunity to step to the front of the line to pursue the
most competent available football executives (and the eventual head coach), and
leave the always dawdling and clueless Rams to pick from the flawed leftovers.
Everyone already knows what the problems are and who's causing them. Waiting
patiently for two days, two weeks or two months will do nothing to fix this
season. But acting quickly would send a message throughout Rams Park that 2008
isn't a complete waste of time, and more important, it also guarantees that
next season and the one after that won't be lost either.
Over the next few days and weeks, there will be a lot of names thrown out there
as possible saviors of the franchise. I won't bother doing that because I'd be
guilty of using a similar process to the one the Rams have been using for
years: off the cuff, emotional and completely lacking in substance.
The big, glamorous names aren't always the best ones. Look around the NFL and
see how many famous names are actually running successful franchises. Not many.
So this time, wouldn't it be a pleasant surprise if the Rams did this more
intelligently than the previous hiring circuses?
I know Shaw was hoping to take an early exit into a quiet retirement, but
that's not going to happen. It's time for him to earn his golden parachute
before spending it.
You created this dysfunctional mess by your incredible indifference. The very
least you can do before riding off into the sunset is to restore your blemished
reputation and defective franchise to their former glories.
And if Shaw doesn't have the stomach for the job, he ought to be the first one
Re: Why wait to clean up a big mess?Originally Posted by Burwell
Shaw and Zygmunt must go now!"Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
Re: Why wait to clean up a big mess?
Myyyy, Burwell seems angry!
Agreed by most of you out there, if not all.
I vote we put Shaw and Zygmunt on the practice sqad to play against the ones!! Wouldn't that be interesting?
Re: Why wait to clean up a big mess?
I am all for Shaw and Ziggy getting fired now. All for it. As said, it doesn't need to be a big named person, just someone who knows what the hell to do.
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