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  1. #1
    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Replacing legends and the question of Dynasties

    There's been a fair amount of controversy within Rams nation in recent years regarding the legends of Superbowl 34. Or rather, the replacing of them.

    Whether we talk about Kurt Warner and his departure, Marshall Faulk and his potential return, or Isaac Bruce and his staggering cap value, there is a substantial amount of often heated debate. On other, less sophisticated boards it usually amounts to barrack room brawling and personal poison.

    The thing that struck me, and for this I had to look at other franchises in the NFL and other sports and leagues worldwide, is that those teams that are the most successful long-term, are those which most successfully and ruthlessly accomodate the deterioration and aging of talent.

    Manchester United,Leicester Tigers and Bath Rugby Union teams, the Brazilian national football team, the Australian Cricket team, the New England Patriots of recent vintage and the Whiners of the 80's to name but a few, are examples of continuing success being sustained by a ruthlessness towards playing staff.

    England's only world cup success was achieved by the most ruthless manager we'd ever had. It was reflected in the lack of emotion when he died a couple of years ago.

    There is no room for sentiment, no room for emotion, no room for fan feeling, and no room for past glory. The whole momentum of these organisations is geared for future and further success and what is necessary to sustain it.

    "Don't tell me what you did last year, tell me what you are going to do this year"

    The bar is constantly raised, the expectations are set higher and progress over the long term is assured.

    There is little room for legends..............

    Is it worth it, this relentless pursuit of the ultimate at the cost of sentiment and history?

    Should we consign Marshall and Isaac to the FA list and concentrate on Jackson and Curtis as their replacements?

    Will there ever be a day when we refer to Steven and Kevin?

    Or is it also about sentiment and history? Was Dez' poll regarding Isaac and the playoffs wicked, or realistic?

    We were all thinking about dynasty when we won the big one a few years back. Maybe to get to achieve dynasty we had to be more ruthless with the guys who got us to the brink of it in the first place?

    Is it worth it?
    Last edited by Fat Pang; -02-13-2006 at 09:26 AM.


  2. #2
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    Re: Replacing legends and the question of Dynasties

    Very, very interesting proposal, Pang. Very compeling.

    No doubt a matter of deep business speculation, this need, this challenge to balance the sentimental aspect of the organization Vs. its cold, factual potential that is based mainly on the force of its players, specifically, the outstanding superstars who in turn are supported by a lesser but reliable potential from the rest of the roster.

    That's where the savvy and acumen of the individuals in the Front Office comes into critical play, as in "4th and a yard" plays that call for smart and gutsy decisions.

    Yes, it can be 'ruthless' indeed!

    I understand the view you present from the successes of other near-dynasties and legends worldwide -- a clear tendency of the past 20 or 25 years in professional sports.

    Perhaps before that era the legend issue was a more comfortable, less "cold and factual" one ... we were able to better enjoy the face value of one Franz Beckenbauer in the mid to late 60s, of a Jim Brown (as a RB, not as an actor), a Bobby Charlton or a Gordon Banks, Pelé with Brazil 70, Sandy Koufax, etc.

    Legends of long ago. And rightly so. :tut

    Thus the question, a question as heavy as it is vital. To treat our great players primarily as stock exchange in the market and forget this emotional thing about building dynasties -- or at least relegating it as a museum asset for philosophical contemplation from younger generations.
    Is it worth it? --Fat Pang
    :1: Count me as one of the sentimental, diehard fans of the L. A. Rams of 1966.

    I'll just hope that our FO achieves its goals for this year and for the short term to come.
    Last edited by RealRam; -02-13-2006 at 06:41 PM.

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    Re: Replacing legends and the question of Dynasties

    I. Bruce -- I just cannot see him leaving the team (again, as a fan emotionally speaking).


    BTW, Pang: who was England's Soccer Manager that died a couple of years ago? The name escapes me right now... Interesting reaction from the people / players though. It makes sense precisely because it is logical and not necessarily sad.

    'Kind of sad.

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    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing legends and the question of Dynasties

    Sir Alf Ramsey,

    A rather cold fish who attracted criticsm before the '66 tournament by dropping Jimmy Greaves who was England's top striker at the time.

    Unsentimental but effective.

    When he died, he didn't attract the same postive eulogising press that others have and in the last years of life was a pretty remote figure.

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    Re: Replacing legends and the question of Dynasties

    Well, Marshall clearly can still contribute. A healthy Issac might still be playing at a high level too. So, the question seems a little premature in that sense.

    At the same time, it seems belated. This is exactly what management should have thought about when these two negotiated their last contracts. I'd give the FO a pass on Issac since he signed it a few years ago, but you have to wonder about Marshall's contract since it was last year.

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    Re: Replacing legends and the question of Dynasties

    M. Faulk + I. Bruce + O. Pace + M. Bulger + T. Holt = $

    ?

    Will there ever be a day when we refer to Steven and Kevin? -- Fat Pang

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    Re: Replacing legends and the question of Dynasties

    Well, Marshall clearly can still contribute. A healthy Issac might still be playing at a high level too. So, the question seems a little premature in that sense. --Chiguy
    Agreed. :angryram:

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    Re: Replacing legends and the question of Dynasties

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam
    M. Faulk + I. Bruce + O. Pace + M. Bulger + T. Holt = $

    ?
    Yep, that's the equation. (excellent way of putting it too)

    chiguy is right in saying that this question if applied to our 'Legends' is both premature and belated. It's so damn hard to make these judgments at the right time. That's where RealRam's point about the excellence of the F.O comes in.

    The ideal way of dealing with it would be gradually of course, but as we all know it doesn't work like that. Warner's fall from grace was more sudden than we would have liked, Duncan didn't replace Fletcher the way Lovie thought he would, Turley proved to be a disaster so succession plans are sometimes feeble at best and you are left trusting to youth before you really wanted to.

    There does seem to be a way however, and those organisations that have enjoyed the most prolonged success have been ruthless when confronted with what they see as deterioration in performance.

    Not so much however with coaching staffs, and maybe that's the key point. Maybe we must have an organisation that's ruthless with players but gives coaching staffs enough time to develop a winning tradition and culture.

  9. #9
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    Re: Replacing legends and the question of Dynasties

    I'd just point out that even the ruthless dynasties tend to have a backbone of players that hold it all together. New England has its Tom Brady; Man U had its Roy Keane. It's about leadership, continuity and example. Yeah, we get sentimental about these guys, but emotion is a powerful thing itself and a player whose physical skills are on the decline can still rally his teammates. I think Bettis and the Steelers is a good example. Look at our defense where we've had a steady stream of guys taking on new positions to take the place of those who had left. There's a lack of veteran leadership--and it shows. Have we not been cutthroat enough or did we let the wrong guys walk?

    How many starters did we have on defense who had even been in the league 3 years at the start of last season? I figure Little, Arch, Coakley (who wasn't exactly a long-term presence), and a couple guys on the D-line had just reached the 3 year mark. If we dump Bruce and Faulk and let's say some of our young linemen hopefully crack the starting lineup, we're looking at a really young team at almost every position.

    Something is going to have to be done about Bruce's cap number, and I've always disliked the total lack of foresight involved in NFL contract negotiations. But are we really a better team without those guys?

  10. #10
    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing legends and the question of Dynasties

    'Wraith's thread about the PPD has some relevance here.

    I personally think that Marshall and Isaac still have value to the team, but I'd like to see some indication that at least we're thinking about the future.

    It's a damn hard thing to get right that's for sure.

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