No more fear: Rams fan comes out of the closet
I am a St. Louis Rams fan! I (allegedly) picked them in every office pool imaginable, I have a blue and gold helmet in my car, and I am willing to spend hundreds of dollars just to see the Kurt Warner Show in person. I can finally say this without any fear of being ostracized from the sports writing community.
For years the nay-sayers laughed at my No. 80 jersey ($125), my seven fitted hats ($20 a piece), my Rams underroos ($15), and my pile of ticket stubs. They giggled at my undying support for a team that was transplanted from the great city of Los Angeles because of a lack of fan support. This was a team that had not been to the playoffs since Ronald Reagan got the biggest acting job of his life; a team that seemed to have a very fine-tuned knack for finding the worst possible man for any given position, and placing him there at the worst possible time; a team that was on pace to be the poster child for NFL inferiority; and a team whose rival happened to be a team with four Lombardi trophies sitting on their mantle.
But I stuck it out, through two head coaches, six quarterbacks, the whole PSL mess, Lawrence Phillips and the ever-rising cost of the whole NFL experience. I sat through the ups (a 4-0 start) and downs (records of 7-9, 6-10, 4-12). I tried to conceive why a head coach was fired after one so-so season and replaced by a burn-out who had two horrible seasons. I tried to understand why the draft system had failed me yet again, getting us a heck of a lineman, but also an anti-football magnet, a convicted halfback, and numerous "the (insert favorite position here) of the future."
I watched as my beloved Rams, who I gave a rat's posterior about until 1995, I admit, tried their best to emulate the Big Red's final seasons in St. Louis, and they did a pretty good job.
But I kept telling myself, all is well. Every preseason I would talk up the boys in blue, and I would brag that (insert favorite Ram here) would lead the league in (insert corresponding statistic here). I would boast that (insert coach here) would finally take St. Louis to the top of the NFL.
Well, guess what. I WAS RIGHT. The St. Louis Rams are 10-2. 10-2! We have already clinched the NFC West Division with four weeks to spare! We are considered heavy favorites to take the NFC title, and Sports Illustrated has us seeded No. 2 in the NFL. And, yes, people actually believe this, myself being one of them.
We have a quarterback making roughly $250,000 this year who has a QB rating of 111, a running back who is near the top of the NFL in both rushing and receiving, a kick returner who missed four games due to L.P. syndrome and is still tops in return yards, and a coaching staff whose Geritol intake is higher than most players caloric intake.
So if you're not on my bandwagon yet, please jump on. But be prepared to hear "I told you so!"