Rams could find a tonic at top of draft
Rams could find a tonic at top of draft
Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
[More columns]By Bryan Burwell
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
In this, their unfortunate season of imperfection, the Rams get no breaks. Whatever can go wrong usually does go wrong.
On Monday afternoon, Steve Spagnuolo had just finished running through the injury report from the Rams latest defeat when he paused for a moment to stare at the slip of paper that was chock full of names and assorted bumps and bruises.
"Wow this thing really is pretty long," he said, only half-joking.
There are other places in the pro football universe, like Indianapolis and New Orleans, where they contemplate the ramifications of trying to get through their schedule unblemished. Every NFL talking head, talk-show host and ex-player and coach has an opinion about the value of chasing a perfect season.
Oh, to be so lucky. The Rams haven't been in that exclusive neighborhood in nearly a decade. Way over here on the darker side of the NFL, the imperfect Rams — the worst team in pro football at 1-12 — just ponder more creative ways to suffer.
And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, it does.
A swine flu mini-epidemic just swept through Rams Park.
Practice was canceled Thursday when a half-dozen players or so came to work suffering from swine flu symptoms.
You can't make this stuff up.
Q: Who where the only Rams players who didn't get the swine flu?
A: The wide receivers. They haven't caught anything all year.
On Thursday afternoon, the only thing the Rams coach could do was laugh about the crazy circumstances. When someone asked him if he was worried that he might not have enough healthy players to suit up for Sunday's game with Houston, Spags chuckled. "I will be out there," he said. "Don't even send me down that direction."
This wretched season just keeps getting more curious, and I just happen to love it. Stop me if you've heard this before, but I have found the silver lining in this dark, dark cloud. At this point for the 1-12 Rams, losing is definitely a very good thing. If they're going to be bad, you might as well aim to be the worst team in the NFL, because losing does have its rewards.
If you're going to be this historically bad, the silver lining is knowing that there is a stud future Pro Bowl game-changing defensive tackle waiting for the Rams if they get the first pick in next spring's NFL draft and if they're only smart enough to take him.
Sometimes you get star-crossed when you are a bad team, and that is what has happened to the Rams the last few years. They get just bad enough to be near the top of the draft, but then they get stuck with having to draft a player with the second overall pick who isn't really a drop-dead, game-changing automatic stud.
This year, they are in the running to get one of those once-in-a-generation players whom NFL scouts and coaches drool about.
Who should the Rams draft if they get the first pick?
Oh, that's easy.
"That defensive lineman from Nebraska, I can't pronounce his name," said former NFL coach of the year Tony Dungy.
The name is Ndamukong Suh.
And just so there are no mistakes, folks. Repeat after me:
N-dom-AH-ken .... SUH.
Write it down. Memorize it. Teach it to your kids with flash cards if necessary.
"He's a great player, and I don't think you can ever pass up defense if you can get a dominant player like that," said Dungy. "That's where I would go."
But here's my only fear. The way things have been going for the Rams lately, I am petrified that the bad news is never going to end. I am fearful that they will actually find a way to win a game or two over the last few weeks and simply hand the first pick in the draft over to Tampa Bay.
But if the Rams actually have to show up Sunday even more woefully undermanned than usual with this flu bug, this just puts them one step closer to a shot at that first overall pick.
So for all you people who keep whining about how bad things are and you pay your good money to see them win, know this: You are out of your minds.
Winning accomplishes nothing for the Rams at this point. It is a cosmetic more useless than lipstick on a pig. We have to make you understand just how bad things are at Rams Park, how talent-deficient things really are (and if you haven't figured that out by know, you are blind or just plain stupid).
The only thing that can fix this franchise is an influx of talent, and I will keep beating this drum until everyone in Rams Nation understands the message.
Let the Colts and Saints contemplate victories.
N-dom-AH-ken SUH. N-dom-AH-ken SUH. N-dom-AH-ken SUH.
Re: Rams could find a tonic at top of draft
I totally agree at this point. Ive been following the rams since 98' (only 17) and this has been the worst season in terms of not only production, but injuries, talent deficiency and just blame dumb luck. Swine-Flu epidemic???!? seriously...Jesus..