Friday, October 30, 2009

So did I hear that right? Did everybody pick my Rams to win this weekend?

I sit hear a bit dumbfounded at the moment. Jamie Dukes, who has a perfect record in upset specials this week, picked my Rams over Detroit as his upset special. Some may complain that this is cheating, as a Ram victory over Detroit may not actually constitute an upset victory. Why? Because Brian, Sterling and Joe all picked the Rams to defeat Detroit also. They did this right at the top of the show on this weeks NFC Matchup.

One of the reasons for their pick may actually be invalid. Joe noticed that the Rams like to throw to the outer flats. Detroit seems to have particular difficulty in covering this spot. Donnie Avery happens to run several different routs to this point, and he runs them extremely well. Joe and Sterling focused on how well Bulger throws to these two spots on the field.

As of this would be very well and good, except it would appear that Marc just might have had his last strike last week against the Colts. That failed 4th down conversion combined with with an utterly stupid pick-6 turned a modest loss into the worst blow-out of the day. Both plays were courtesy of Marc Bulger.

The current scuttlebutt says the following things:
  1. Don't be surprised when you see Kyle Boller start on Sunday.
  2. Don't be surprised when the Rams look around for a quality veteran free agent quarterback early in 2010. I haven't the slightest clue who that would or could be. There is no such critter scheduled to enter the market this off season. I only hope we don't bring in Jeff Garcia. Likewise, I hope it is not Chad Pennington. God forbid that Brett Favre should retire and un-retire again with the Rams. It would be best if simply stick with Kyle Boller. Regrettably, other teams may be smacking their chops in anticipation of acquiring Bulger, believing that they can protect him better than we can.
  3. Don't be surprised at all when the Rams spend the #1 or #2 pick overall on a Quarterback. The presumptive favorite is Texas Longhorn QB Colt McCoy, although I would greatly prefer it to be Tim Tebow.
Ergo sum, Bulger will probably not be making throws to the outer flats this weekend. Hopefully, Boller will be making those throws to the outer flats where Donnie Avery will be waiting for the rock. Hopefully, we will prevail. It should be noted that Detroit is working a young and star studded offense right now. They have some really beautiful weapons in their offensive arsenal. The key issue is their defensive weakness, and in particular, the weakness of their secondary.

So if I were to write Bulger's epitaph with the Rams right now, how would I phrase it? I would say that Bulger was a fugacious epiphenomena of Mike Martz. Martz simplified the game enough for Bulger to be successful. He told him things like "I want you to count to five and throw to this spot here." Martz made the rest of the play work. The moment Bulger was called upon to read progressions of adaptive routes in a sophisticated ball control passing attack (one which may not actually work anymore) it all went to hell in a hand basket for him. Although the soft spoken Bulger comes off as a fairly intelligent chap, it is clear that he is not a thinking man's QB. This guy does not have the mind of Joe Montana, or even Jeff Garcia.

We also need to consider the proposition that the 49er West Coast offense doesn't actually work anymore. As Coach Brian Bilick says, everybody runs a little West Coast, and nobody runs it as Bill Walsh did. The reason is clear: Quick ball-control passes are still helpful in acquiring a few first downs, but you can't do that all game long. The counter measure is just too easy.

As I have said several times before, a certain dude by the name Belichick figured out how to stop this offense in 1980's when he was the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants. He invented a thing called the 40 yard box. The notions is simple. You defend 40 yards from the line of scrimmage and no more. The first 20 yards are called the Red Zone. The second are called the Yellow Zone. You defend the Red Zone with hard man-on press coverage. You defend the yellow zone with a soft-zone coverage, notorious for knocking teeth out of mouths, and creating major concussions. If a receiver goes outside the 40 box, you let him go. You dare them to wait for the long pass, because you have a blitz or two or three headed for the QB on every play. If the QB holds the ball, you will get a Leonard Marshall vs. Joe Montana situation soon.

I should remind you that Marshall's hit on Montana effectively terminated Joe's career with the 49ers. It was more or less Steve Young's show after that play.

There is no way to solve the Belichick 40 yard Box unless you have all three of following elements:
  1. An extremely mobile QB who can run for good yardage, just like Steve Young, Randell Cunningham or maybe Michael Vick.
  2. An all-pro offensive line that can really defend the QB.
  3. A deep-strike speed burner who can get out of the box in big hurry. Torry Holt was precisely this sort of man, which makes his release even more inexplicable this season. Marshall Faulk was also this sort of player.
Absent these features, I see no reason to believe Coach Walsh's masterpiece system will work in the modern league against a fully-modern 3-4 defense. Furthermore, we can say that its success is entirely dependant upon the bomb. If you can't nail a few good bombs per game, you cannot force the defense out of the Belichick Box. This is why Dan Fouts says that the first precept of the Don Coryal offense is the Bomb. The bomb is that which makes everything else possible.

Should we pick a QB this season, and I have every reason to believe we will, we need to keep in mind Coach Bill Parcell's super formula for selecting a Quarterback. The guy had almost matchless success in finding these guys through all of his many travels. Let's pay close attention to the Big Tuna. When selecting a QB, the Tuna demands all of the following criteria be fulfilled:
  1. The candidate must have graduated from college
  2. The candidate must have been a 3 year starter in college
  3. The candidate must have made a minimum of 3o starts as the first string QB of his college team.
  4. The candidate must have won a minimum of 23 games as the starter in college
  5. Candidates who did some graduate course work after receiving a Bachelor's and before entering the draft will be preferred.
  6. The candidate cannot have had any run-ins with the Police blotter.
  7. The candidate must come highly recommended by his college coach.
  8. Character issues are paramount, and the candidate must impress us as a leader figure.
Fortunately, I do believe that both Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow will be able to fulfill these criteria. Much depends upon whether these guys graduate on-schedule academically. I believe they are on course to do so. We need to make sure that this is true.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Post-Surgery Blog

So I had my Arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday October 23, 2009. Dr. Bachner found a nice ugly piece of torn cartilage jamming my right knee joint. It was around the back the knee joint, stuck in a place it clearly did not belong. He went after it with a meat-grinding vacuum cleaner, and suctioned it out.

As I came out from under the Propofol, I felt a burning, throbbing, itching pain in the knee itself. I told them so. The surgical nurse immediately reached for a syringe, and began to shoot it into my IV bag. I asked her what she was giving me. "Demerol" she answered. That is the synthetic morphine that Michael Jackson was addicted to. "Jesus! You're giving me the full Michael Jackson stack", I said. The anesthesiologist took the floor and said, "But you have a guardian angel, and that makes all the difference." The guardian angel was the anesthesiologist, of course.

You may be able to kill Michael Jackson with a combo of Propofol & Demerol, but you can't kill me.

Amazingly, enough, I was able to put considerable weight on my surgically repaired right knee immediately after surgery. I crutched out of the surgery center, but I used the right leg to bear weight. As it turned out, this was just because of the Demerol and Toradol. The pain would soon come.

Saturday, day 2, was the rough day. The Demerol and Toradol injections wore off. The inflammation and pain went up considerably. I was reluctant to use the full dose of Vicodin the Doc prescribed for me, mostly because of Brett Favre's bad experiences with the drug. For those of you who do not know, Vicodin is basically hydrocodon. It is a narcotic opiate given to us by the poppy plant. It is not all that different from morphine, opium, and heroine. I wasn't to thrilled by the prospect of using this shit. There was a painful burning itch and throb deep in the flesh. This is the trauma of the surgery. Couldn't sleep a wink with that pain beacon going off. Finally, I caved in and took the full dose of.

Sunday, day 3, was truly a day of rest. Looobed on the Vicodin, I fell asleep repeated. I must have slept 16 to 17 hours out of that 24 hour period. This was good. The sleep was vital to healing. Monday, day 4 was similar. The only interesting aspect of this day was the fact that I cut the surgical bandages, cleaned my wounds, applied neosporen, and re-bandaged the knee.

At this moment, I still need the crutches to get around. I can put considerable weight on the knee, but it does not feel stable. I would not want to try to walk on it. I hear an assortment of clicks and pops as I move on it. The joint feels loose. I may have to go through a full battery of rehab before it tightens up again. I'll let you know how things go.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A few thoughts on the eve of the apocalyse

The Rams are going to play the Colts on Sunday. Full stop. Most Ram fans stopped reading right there. We just want to forget that this weekend is about to happen. It hasn't happened yet, but we want to forget about it already.

In all seriousness folks, I would love to give some sort of Knute Rockne speech, fire up the boys, and watch them win, but you know and I know that this is a dreadful mismatch. We know that the transitive property of equality does not apply to football teams, but follow this reasoning:
  1. The Seahawks shutdown and embarressed us 28-0
  2. The Seahawks shutout and embarressed the Jags 41-0
  3. The Colts blasted the Seahawks 34-17 in a score that did not reflect how badly the Colts trashed them. The Colts were playing Checkers by themselves. They made any move they wanted when they wanted.
  4. The Colts beat the Jags 14-12 in a strange one I can't explain.
  5. The Colts made the Cardinals--who are the class of our division--look pretty bad.
  6. The Cardinals also made the Seahawks look pretty bad
  7. We have not played the Cardinals, but they have made us look pretty bad the last several times we've played them
I have enough points of common data to know that the Colts are schmearing teams we loose to. Everybody knows that Colts are the class of the AFC, and one of the two leading contenders for the Super Bowl. We are not contenders for the crown. We are contenders for the #1 pick again.
It doesn't take a Las Vegas handicapper to figure out that this one is going to get real ugly real quick.

Now flukes do happen. Teams do accidentally take the weekend off when they are supposed to play. Great teams sometimes overlook weak competition. You see sleepwalkers on occasions. I doubt that this is going to happen, but it is the only hope that the Rams have. Otherwise, the Colts are going to Schmear us.

Even if this were our only victory of the year, wouldn't it be grand if we beat the Colts. All the Colts fans just said "FUCK NO!"

Aaaah Bouyyyy Denver...

Well, I guess it has come time to eat some crow. I am not quick to do that. It has become fashionable, and I hate following fashion trends of any kind. However, as one of the leading detractors of the recent changes in Denver, I guess I have to print a retraction.

The Broncos are undefeated at 6-0. They have taken down a few good teams in the process. Yes, the Bengals would have beaten them on opening day had it not been for the "Immaculate Deflection." Still, the Bengals are a very good team this year, and this loss would only make Denver 5-1.

Nobody, but nobody, but nobody expected the Broncos to do as well as they have this year. The Broncos are the stunning story of the year. They are eclipsing even the Saints (whose year has finally arrived) as the NFL's biggest shock.

Somehow, someway, the Broncos magically rebuilt a terrible defense that was permitting something like 30-34 points per game last season. Now they are permitting 6.6 points per game. The three men responsible for this massive turn-around are Mike Nolan, Brian Dawkins and Elvis Dumervil.

They have also turned the #2 ranked passing attack into balanced pass-run team which sometimes struggles for points. Still, they are looking good. They fight like hell and score when they have to score.

I still feel the Broncos are winning with some sort of black magic, voodoo, smoke and mirrors tricks. Nevertheless they are winning. Josh McDaniels somehow got the players to buy into his system. They are playing with enormous effort and enthusiasm. It is impressive to see how these men get after it one each and every play. McDaniels even convinced disgruntled WR Brendan Marshall to get on board with the program and play with high effort. Now that is a serious achievement. I think we have to admit that McDaniels holds one of the most important keys to coaching: The Motivation Mojo. Somehow, he gets these guys to buy into his system, and he motivates them to sacrifice their bodies for the battle right here and right now.

Honestly, I still don't think they have a shot, but I have seen stranger things in the past. Just yesterday, I mentioned the Raiders 1980 campaign. They shocked the world with an under-talented cast of rejects. They were a high-effort squad like this Bronco team. Like the Broncos, that Raider team was expected to be in a full state of rebuilding for years. The rebuild was immediate. We had no idea how it happened.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Get Mark Sanchez together with Kristen Bell

So I was just reading just a few moments ago, and Kristen Bell was offering up her top 5 favorite movies of all time. The list does not appear to be in any particular order. One of the top 5 movies just happens to be Fletch, staring Chevy Chase.

What a co-inky-dinky?!?! In the run up to the NFL Draft, Mark Sanchez announced that Fletch was his favorite movie of all time. Or maybe he said that during the preseason game with the Rams. I don't fucking remember.

Anyway, it sounds like a match made in heaven. Mark, you should get after her. She's drop dead gorgeous. She's a heart attack thriller. She could get your mind off the 5 interceptions; make you feel all better, send you back out to the field with a positive mind set. You two can watch Fletch together and see what happens.

Since she is a 1980 baby, she is a tad old for Mark. Mark is a 1986 kid. She is a little more than 7 years older than Mark. Nevertheless, I say GAME ON! Don't be conservative. Go deep and get the big play. I am giving you the green light.

I saw Fletch. I have never much of a Fletch guy myself. I am hard to please when it comes to comedy. Hard to believe I am 13 or 14 years older than this girl, and old enough to be Mark's pappy. Shocking that I can remember the entire Raider campaign from 1980. I remember the Giants' campaign from 1986.

Don't laugh. Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin are just about my same age. My brother Bruin Troy is almost 2 months younger than me. Michael is just about 6 months older than me. I bet they remember the Raiders 1980 campaign also. I know they remember the Giants' 1986 campaign.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saints vs Giants 2009

The Saints 48-27 massacre of the Giants is the biggest shock of a weekend that had several. Take it from a big Saints booster, a guy who has been on the bandwaggon since pre-season: This result was vastly better than anything I expected.

I believed that the Saints would could and should win this game, but I was expecting a much tighter affair. I thought 34-31 sounded about right. 5 or 7 lead changes were on my mind. Also, there was always the prospect that the Giants might win.

No such thing happened. The Saints jumped all over the Giants like a jailhouse rapist going to work on new meat in the shower. They had 34 points on the score board before halftime. They could have scored more than 48 if they had wanted to.

At the Half, Drew Brees had an official QB rating of 157.7. That is an outrageous Kurt Warner like figure. Did I mention that the Giants had the #1 ranked defense in the NFL? How do you wrack at 157.7 against the top defense in the NFL? There is no doubt that Drew Brees must be considered the other favorite to win MVP, right beside Payton Manning. Frankly. Payton has had so many, I would really like to see Drew get this one.

This was the kind of game that has to make everyone say "Oh my GAWD! It's the greatest show on turf Mach II!" Drew Brees threw into the #1 ranked defense with impunity. He took what he wanted when he wanted. They couldn't stop him. They couldn't pressure him. They couldn't lay a glove on him. The Saint offense busted up the #1 ranked defense in the NFL like a rhino running through wet toilet paper.

But this is only half the story. You see, the Giants have an All-Pro Quarterback and a powerful offense also. The Saint defense utterly shut them down. Eli had a very bad day, despite a pretty strong effort. The Saints were blitzing all around him, crashing him from the blind side, then knocking out his right tackle. It was damn ugly if you were a Giant fan.

No offense is intended to the Giant fans. I still have a hell of a lot of respect for the Giants. I still think they are the overwhelming favorite to win the East, and I still think they can be the #2 seed in the NFC. However, there is no doubt that they were sleep walking today. The team truly believed it arrived with the thrashing they put on the Raiders last week. That was a mistaken thought. As Chuck Noll used to say, "You never arrive."

I wouldn't be surprised to hear Drew Brees say "Playing against the Giants was like playing a scrimmage" after a game like that, but you know Drew is not that kind of a guy.

The amazing thing is that Head Coach Sean Payton immediately commented on the areas of the game where the Saints need a tune up. We all knew he was right. As overwhelming a performance as this was by the Saints, it was not perfect. This team has not yet peaked. It can absolutely get better, and there are some obvious ways in which this is true.

The rest of the NFL should be filled with dread, fear & trembling. The Saints are playing lights-out football, and they are going to get better.

So who can oppose them? You may think I am crazy, but I have a very short list of names on that list:
  1. The Colts.
  2. The Falcons
  3. The Cardinals
We'll see if the Bears can continue to improve. I see signs of weakness in the Vikings, but we will talk about that in another blog.

Right now, I think we have to start looking forward to a show down between the Saints and the Colts in Miami. What a collision of offensive super-powers that would be?!?!?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Arthroscopic surgery on 10-23-2009

My ROM rehabilitations was going just fine until Tuesday. Both knees were responding incredibly well to the ROM lower body workout routine. My left knee & leg are in the best shape it has been in 12-15 years. My right knee and leg were headed in that same direction, and then... bang! Something went bad awful wrong on Tuesday 10/13/2009.

I went through the workout normally. The leg felt great after the workout. That day, at work, the knee began to stiffen up and become painful. I limped out of work around 6:00pm in significant pain. After climbing two flights of stairs to get to my living room, the knee went hyper-critical. It swelled up to twice the size of its companion, and locked in a bent position. I could not straiten the joint. Putting weight on my right leg was excruciating, and mean crucifixion excruciating. I have a high tolerance for pain also. Climbing one flight of stairs to get to my bedroom was pure murder. My blood pressure was totally elevated by the time I got there. I was sweating.

I saw a bit of footage the next day which indicated that Troy Palamalu was going to return to action for the Steelers after his dreadful injury. I saw footage of him walking off the field after the injury occurred. I was no where near as ambulatory as he was. It was at that point that I knew that Dr. Bachner was going to perform some sort of surgery.

I spent about 24 hours on the couch doing heat a cold treatments. I pressed my steam cleaner into use for something the engineers had never intended it for. I steamed my knee joint. All of this helped. The inflammation steadily decreased, and I was able to begin limping with an improvised walking stick. When yesterday (Thursday) morning came, I was able to make it down the stairs to my car and drive to my appointment with the doctor. It sure as hell wasn't easy.

Sure enough, Dr. Bachner set the date for 10/23/2009 at the West Hills Surgical Center. 1:30pm is Propofol time. The surgery is scheduled for 1 hour. At the moment we don't know precisely what will happen. Bachner is uncertain as to what the damage is, although he suspects a burst cyst or floating bone spurs. The previous MRI stated that I had both components necessary for this condition. His basic plan is to investigate and clean out the knee. If there is a full tear of the meniscus, another surgery will have to be scheduled.

I always knew it would come down to this. I have known for decades that I would have a date with the A-Scope sooner or later. It is not the O-Scope as some people call it. Basically, I am optimistic. I think I am going to get a big gain out of this. When Dr. Bachner gets in there, I suspect he will find a lot of little bone spurs he can get rid of. I suspect that that cyst burst also, and he can flush the fragments out of there. If this is the case, I will make big improvements.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One last thing about the St. Louis Rams Rush Limbaugh controversy

Just wanted to make one last comment of about the Rush Limbaugh controversy: You can be assured that this whole thing plays right into the hands of Enos Stanley Kroenke. You can rest assured that the NFL will wave it's cross-ownership restrictions because of this controversy.

As surely as I am sitting here, I know Stan is smiling today. Mr. Kroenke must be pretty excited to have this kind of imbroglio flying on the sidelines. Sometimes life gives us these little gifts... or maybe they are arranged... but in any case, this episode of the saga will surely enable Kroenke to get what he wants. He can also come off as the good guy and savior in all this.

What a delight this must be to his soul.

Rush Limbaugh and the PC HQ of the NFL

When I got home from work last night, I was rather amazed by some of the things I saw on ESPN. Less so with the NFL network. Before playing a nice game of "He said, She said" let us establish the ground rules for the interpretation of PC statements.

First, let us forever dismiss in the Kindergarten of social inquiry the preposterous notion that PC is about being Liberal. That is simply not true. Second, we must dismiss the misguided theory that PC is about avoiding offending anyone. Third, let us also dismiss, with some consideration, the idea that PC is about establishing a fascist-enforced liberal orthodoxy of speech and thought. That was almost true for a time during the early 1990s.

No folks, PC is not about any of those things. Rather, it is about outright intellectual dishonesty. It is about not saying what you think. It is about not dropping a card which can be used against you at a later time; ostensibly when you are running for office, or when you need a favor. It is about making ambiguous statements that people can interpret as they please, without clarity. This allows you to become all things to all people. That is something most politicians want to do.

Did Roger Goodell say he would oppose Rush Limbaugh as an NFL owner? Nope. You read that into his statements. You had some help. Remember PC is about outright intellectual dishonesty, and making unclear statements that people can read as they will. Did Jim Irsay say that he was a liberal and would never allow a conservative to buy an NFL franchise? Nope. You may have interpreted it that way, but you would be wrong.

No folks, what these two gentlemen said was more like this: "We of the NFL market a product. We want to sell to everybody. We have a lot of Black customers. Right or wrong, Black folks tend to hate Rush. Ergo, we just can't allow him in the organization because he just might spoil one segment of the market. We don't want that."

When you strip the unclarity from Roger's statements, he basically said that the NFL cannot afford to have a highly political owner of any type. That's all he said. Any highly political dude is going to be controversial with some segment of the vast NFL market. Ergo any highly political owner would polarize the NFL market. This cannot be allowed. It would be bad for marketing.

Let's do three bits of truth telling while we are at this. I hate PC with all my heart and soul, so let me be brutally honest with you.
  1. Reports of Rush Limbaugh's racism are vastly over-stated. Regrettably, the Black community--or at least certain bad leaders like Jessie Jackson--have had a tendency to pull the race card against any guy who might oppose social welfare policy or affirmative action. Any opposition to these two planks gets you blacklisted as a racist immediately. There is a massive logical fallacy in this reasoning, but this has always been the argument.
  2. Reports of the NFL's anti-racism are fairly exaggerated. If you could really see inside the minds of some NFL owners, you would find a degree of racism there that would dwarf anything inside the mind of Rush Limbaugh.
  3. Owners are going to be required to be a-political for marketing reasons, not for any egalitarian reasons. It's a financial thing. It has nothing to do with ideology.
So what about the famous Donovan McNab statements made by Limbaugh? Truth be told, he was absolutely and completely right. Those statements were made in the run up to the 2004 Super Bowl which featured the Eagles and the Patriots. Donovan's horrendous performance in the 4th quarter sure justified everything Rush said about Donovan. Donovan made Rush look great in that terrible 4th Quarter.

Do you remember the game? Did you watch the game? Did you actually really watch the game? I saw the Eagle defense absolutely hammering the Patriot offense by the 4th quarter. The Patriots were on the Ropes. The Eagle offense had ample opportunity to win that game in the 4th quarter. They did not. Terrible passing and horrendous clock management by McNabb lost the game for the Eagles. It was one of the most pitiful performances I have ever seen by a QB in the clutch moments of a game.

I am not the only one who knows this to be the fact of the matter. Why don't you consult Terrel Owens about this question. He sure felt that way, and with good reason. Donovan fucked it up. Instead of admitting that Donovan fucked up the Super Bowl, the NFL powers that be label Terrel a big trouble maker, they throw Rush off of ESPN, and they deride all the Philly fans who know that Donovan fucked the game up.

To this day, many Eagle fans know they cannot win the Super Bowl with McNabb at the helm. They know this because of that terrible Super Bowl performance. Both ESPN and the NFL Network continue to beat Philly fans for expressing themselves on this subject.

You know why? Because it messes up the marketing campaign, that's why.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Connecting the dots

Had a conversation at lunch with a friend who read my blog earlier in the day. He felt there was a missing link in the argument that I should clear up. If Kroenke is in the pole position for ownership of the Rams, how does this connect with Ed Roski's field of dreams in Industry?

Oh this is the most facinating question (in sports business) currently on the table for consideration. We have scuttlebutt, and scuttlebutt only, but it is highly logical scuttlebutt. The logic goes like this:
  1. St. Louis is not a growing city. It is a shrinking city. It's economic base is shrinking. Its population is shrinking. People say that the ghetto covers more and more of St. Louis every year. Many are expressing their doubts as to whether St. Louis can be considered a viable NFL city both now and in the future.
  2. Many other cities, particularly Cincinnati, are in the same boat. Around the center of our country, we have a collection dying Midwestern towns that were formerly flagship destinations in the U.S. These are the towns in which the NFL has established camps back in the 1930s through 1960s. Many financial analysts have forecast an unprecedented period upheaval and movement as teams like the Bengals, Jags, Bills, and perhaps the Vikings begin looking for better markets to play in. Do you recall that moment in time when a bunch of NHL teams suddenly packed their bags and moved south? Do you remember the Quebec Nordiques?
  3. Other teams in other dwindling cities are not for sale. The Rams are. The Rams new owner is going to have to figure out some way to payoff the sizable debt he will incur by purchasing a minimum of $550 million in stock. We do not expect any billionaire to produce this sum as cash out of pocket. There will be financing in this purchase, probably from Goldman Sachs. This will not be easy to do in a dying city.
  4. The specific rumor is the Kroenke is well aware of all this, and it is already in his plan. He has cut a deal with Ed Roski which is absolutely confidential. It is confidential for several reasons. It is confidential because any announcement of this deal would destroy the Rams next several years in St. Louis. This would produce terrible financial repercussion for the new owner, at a time when he needs to pay down debt, and prepare for a move. It is confidential because Kroenke is not yet the majority owner of the Rams. The deal could still fall through, no matter how unlikely that is.
  5. Further rumors say that Kroenke will temporarily take 100% ownership of the Rams, and never comment on questions regarding a move to Los Angeles... At least for the next two years. Shortly before the Rams break their lease, something between 33% and 40% of the Rams' stock will be sold to Mr. Edward Roski Jr. Roski will then become the minority owner of the Rams. The Rams will then break their lease on the Edward Jones Dome and head to Industry California.
  6. It took the Cowboys 3 years and 8 months from ground breaking to grand opening to get Dallas Cowboy stadium ready. They broke ground on 9/30/2005 and opened for business on 5/27/2009. This is the Taj Mahal of football. It cost $1.8 billion to build. The facility planned for Industry California is not nearly so glorious. Cut a billion off that price tag. We're talking about a much more modest open-air stadium. Let's presume that the Roski needs 2.5 to 3 years to get the stadium ready.
  7. This would mean that the facility could be ready for the 2012 season. Yep, right on schedule. That is when the Rams can break their lease on the Edward Jones Dome.
  8. This would also make Los Angeles an NFL city just about the right time for Los Angeles to put in a bid for Super Bowl 50.
Yep, it all sounds like a plan coming together. How about that?

The one huge point of inference, rumor, innuendo, and speculation is the connection point between Roski and Kroenke. Some say the two are rivals, competing for ownership of the Rams. Many others think this is not the case at all. Rather, the two are partnering to get the job done.

Next time, we shall discuss the possibility that Los Angeles might windup with 2, not just 1 NFL franchise. Surprise! It ain't the Jags, and it ain't the Vikings, and it ain't the Raiders either. Rather they say it is the Bengals.

A short discourse on the sale of the Rams

Yahoo's top ranked search Tuesday 10/13/2009

I visited Yahoo's front page this morning to consult their financial section regarding the state of current interest rates on real estate. My company provides those rates to Yahoo. I have full database admin rights. I could perfectly well look them up myself right here, but we have an agreement with Yahoo. Our guys are supposed to use their site.

To what did my wandering eye did appear? The St. Louis Rams are actually the top-ranked search on Yahoo's search rankings. This hasn't happened since Kurt Warner blew up in 1999. We out-shot Hedi Klum for the title. Shocking. So how does an 0-5-0 team in the cellar of the NFC West get to the top of the Yahoo search pages?

Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson are pissed that Rush Limbaugh wants to buy the team, that's how. Ah shit... What else can go wrong this year? Fuck... Now we have three (count 'em three) of the world's biggest assholes slapping each other over my team. Please, fuck off and die; all three of you shitheads... especially Jessie Jackson. Jessie is a crap-hound and a manwhore. If Rush pays him $50k, he'll go away, just as he did with NASCar. I think they are all demagoguing this as a publicity stunt.

So without further ado, let us look dispassionately at the facts and assess the situation. I am not thrilled by the prospect of Rush owning the Rams. At the same time I am not concerned about this because I do not regard it as a serious probability. Let me tell you why.

Rush vs. Kroenke: bullet for bullet.

Rush is a poor boy folks. They talk about his vast fortune from broadcasting, and they have no idea what real money looks like. Let me tell you about real money and real pole position.

Enos Stanley Kroenke owns 40% of the Rams. Kroenke has the right of first refusal on any sale of Ram stock. This means he can match any bid, and he gets the stock. Kroenke is estimated to be worth $3.5 billion dollars. This puts him higher than #163 on the Forbes 400 for sure. His wife, Anne Walton, is a Walmart heir. She is thought to be worth more money than he is. It is rumored that Kroenke also holds a poison pill. If he does not like the new majority owner, he has the contractual right to force this new owner to buy his 40% of the stock.

Rush owns exactly 0% of the Rams. He is not worth $3.5 billion. Most people believe his total collective assets are worth far less than $1 billion. By the world's standards, he is not all that rich. Rush is not married. Last time he was married, it was to an Aerobics instructor he met on CompuServ. Do you remember CompuServ?

Kroenke needs to come up with approximately $550 Million liquid cash to close the deal. Rush just might need to come up with $929 million to do the deal. Kroenke just might drop the poison pill, remember?

Now in a financial shoot-out between Rush and Kroenke who do you think is going to win the day? All of you Las Vegas handicappers are laughing your fucking asses off right about now. You might as well put the Indianapolis Colts up against the JV team at East Podunk High School. This is a mega-blow out. Kroenke wins, hands down. It ain't even going to be a close call. It will be worse than Super Bowl XX.

Kroenke holds all the cards. The end of story. Rush better hope that Kroenke loves him, or there is no play on the Rams for Rush.

The Fly in the Ointment

Kroenke owns a lot of sports franchises. He owns the Denver Nuggets of the NBA. He owns the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL. He owns a sizable chunk of the Arsenal FC in England. He also owned the Colorado Crush when there was such a thing as Arena League Football. He was partnered with John Elway and Pat Bowlen in this affair.

The NFL has bylaws which forbid ownership of professional franchises in other leagues... at least if they are in NFL cities. That was the latest ruling when they decided they wanted Paul Allen in the club. Kroenke would run afoul of this rule. Most of his toys are in Denver. This is Pat Bowlen's turf.

However, Bowlen is a buddy, and presumably a political advocate. They have been partners. If Bowlen advocates Kroenke, I think Kroenke is in the owner's booth. Unattributed and unconfirmed rumors say that NFL HQ will waive the cross-ownership restriction for Kroenke. He would seem to be the sort of guy they want in the owner's booth.

So you see, my friends, this PR flap is much ado about nothing. It is an opportunity for political manwhores to jiggle their junk in front of the camera for all to see. The Rams belong to Kroenke if he wants them. I think he does. Rumor has it that he bought 40% to secure his position in line to buy the team. He expected Georgia to sell or die sooner or later. His angle has been well played. He is now about to reap his harvest.

Ed Roski Jr. has been given the greenlight

Ad meanwhile, Mr. Edward P. Roski Jr, ranked #163 on the Forbes 400 with about $2.5 Billion in networth, has been given the green light to go forward with his new $750m to $800m stadium in Industry California. Make no mistake folks, this is L.A. County.

A settlement has been reached in Walnut's lawsuit against Industry. The story is fascinating. When the City of Walnut raised lawsuits against Industry over the environmental impact of a new stadium construction, the State of California Legislature immediately threatened to pass an exemption for Roski, so that he could go forward with the plan. Shortly afterward, crushed opponents agreed (under duress) to terms of surrender. If they hadn't negotiated a surrender, the State would have castrated them legally anyway. It was a no-win situation.

What does this tell you about the situation? Powerful forces in California want this deal to happen. They want an NFL stadium in L.A. county. Presumably, this means they want an NFL team in Los Angeles, and they would like Super Bowl 50 here also. They want it done with private money. They want the stimulus that this construction will bring. Believe me, the politicians are 4-square behind this.

Now you explain to me why Mr. #163 on the Forbes 400 list risks a sizable share of his megar $2.5 billion to build an NFL Stadium when there is no NFL team in the Los Angeles area? I'll tell you why.

There just happens to be a team for sale right now.

The band that would not die

A certain director named Barry Levinson has made a film about the Colts moving to Indianapolis and the Browns becoming the Ravens in Baltimore. It is called "The Band that Would not Die". It is set to air tomorrow on ESPN. The theme is about how devoted fans cope with the loss of their teams when they move.

I know a little something something about that. I lived through 1995, you know. My Rams left town for St. Louis. Now it looks like they might do precisely what the Raiders did before them. They might return home. It is funny how many gaffs I have heard lately on the NFL Network, Fox broadcasts and ESPN where seasoned sports casters (like Rich Eisen) call my boys the Los Angeles Rams. Now why in the hell do you think they are doing that?

This is on everybody's mind folks. I'm telling you, this is on everyone's mind.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How to rescue something out of 2009 if you are the Rams

Week 4 of the 2009 produced one hell of a dreadful sequence of outcomes. It was one of the worst weekends of football I've ever seen, and not just because the Rams got shutout and blown out by the 49ers. There were a lot of other dreadful results beside this one. Thank God the Bengals, Giants, Saints, and Dolphins won, otherwise the weekend would have been an absolute disaster.

By now everybody is well versed in the fact that the Rams have the longest loosing streak in the NFL. The streak stands at 14. Many expect it to get longer, as we are now playing the Vikings, fresh off their smacking of the Packers. Were it not for the Browns, we would be the unanimous choice as the worst team in professional football. There is a small controversy about whether the Browns or the Rams are worse. Many say the Browns, because they have apparently quit on Man-Genius. Man-Genius is one of the several reason why I say that there is no such thing as a Patriots coaching-tree. As a head coach, he is truly rubbish.

So without further ado, what is the Dave plan for salvaging something out of 2009 and building for the future:
  1. Trade Alex Barron and a draft pick to Green Bay for Aaron Kampman. The Viking game highlighted the terrible problems the Packers have on the left side of the offensive line. The Rams and the Packers have similar contractual problems with Barron and Kampman. Things are not working out well for either team with either player. Let's help fix each other's problems. I do not pretend that Barron is worth Kampman straight-up. We will have to give up a pick to make this deal. Hopefully, no higher than a 3rd rounder. We just need to ensure that the Packers will get more than the 3rd round compensatory pick we'll give them if we sign him at the end of the year anyhow. Kampman is ideal for Coach Spagnuolo's 4 DE defensive line scheme. He will help compensate for the loss of Adam Carriker.
  2. Make Jason Smith our Left Tackle. It's time Smith takes his rightful place as the successor to Orlando Pace. That's why we drafted him in the first place.
  3. Bring back Phil Weintraub.
  4. Fire offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Clearly, Shurmur was not ready for this assignment. We officially have the worst and lowest scoring offense in the NFL. We have produced a total of 26 points in 4 football games. That is 6.5 points per game. You cannot win a single game at this pace. We will be winless at the end of the season at this rate. We will duplicate the Lion's feat last season if something isn't done to repair the situation. Our offense has been so terrible that the coaching staff must held accountable. You cannot be as dysfunctional as we are given how much talent we have unless the offensive coordinator is absolutely fucking things up horribly. I do not believe this is Coach Spagnuolo's fault. I do believe it is Pat Shurmur's fault.
  5. Hire Trent Green as our new Offensive coordinator. I have already written on this subject. You know my views about this question. We should do it.
  6. Stop running the Football with Steven Jackson. Start throwing the football to Steven Jackson al-la the proper West Coast Offense. I still see no signs of the West Coast offense in St. Louis. If we are indeed trying to implement the West Coast, we have the worst offensive coaches in the history of the sport, which is indeed possible.
  7. Consider trading Steven Jackson. This is the most controversial element of this game plan. Most Ram fans would never consider trading Steven Jackson. We all believe that he is the one and only piece of championship material we have on the offensive side of the football. Folks, my reasoning is simple. Steve is already playing in his 6th season, and we have already done a lot to ruin his career. I think Steve has earned the right to play for a winner. I think he deserves the opportunity to play for a championship. We will not be ready to contend until the twilight of his career... and maybe not even then. There is one contender we have dealt with before who would be only too happy to have Jackson. That is the Pittsburgh Steelers. They were more than happy with the last RB we sent their way. I think they would be more than ready to do it again. I think we would be handsomely rewarded for putting the Steelers in a position to defend their championship.
Folks, the absolutely mono dimensional dependence on Steven Jackson has to end, and we need to stockpile picks for the future. We can get younger, more diverse, and shed salary all at the same time. This is the best we can do for all folks involved in this train wreck.

I had an interesting conversation with a fellow Ram fan about our offensive woes. He liked most points on this list save one: Why get Trent Green when Mike Martz is still out there?

Folks, I seriously doubt that Martz would want to return to our team as a Coordinator. He would be the cream of the crop pick, but he was once the fucking head coach for Christ's sake. What a humiliation! I doubt he would take the job.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Thoughts before a few great NFL matchups this weekend

If you have done any prep for week 4 of the NFL season, you must have noticed two things:
  1. Most of the matchups are poor this week.
  2. A few of the matchups are pretty spectacular
This weekend will signify the 25% competition mark in the 2009 NFL season. We have already had plenty of surprises. We have already had plenty of disappointments. They are already playing "Contender or Pretender" on the NFL Network. No doubt we will see this on the Fox and CBS pre-game shows also.

So which games are poor and which games are good? First the bad matchups:
  1. Detroit at Chicago
  2. Cincinnati at Cleveland
  3. Oakland at Houston
  4. Seattle at Indianapolis
  5. Tennessee at Jacksonville
  6. NY Giants at Kansas City
  7. Tampa Bay at Washington
  8. St. Louis at San Francisco
This means that fully 50% of the games on the board are not good games. Pitifully, most of those games are stacked up in the morning hours on the West Coast. That means last night was the night to go out and party. So which games are good?
  1. Baltimore at New England
  2. Buffalo at Miami (Questionable Call)
  3. NY Jets at New Orleans
  4. Dallas at Denver
  5. San Diego at Pittsburgh
  6. Green Bay at Minnesota
Regrettably, Baltimore vs New England is the only watchable game in the AM hours today. The NFL Network knows it. The spent much of this week hyping that matchup. Oddly, they continued to hype the Patriots as the dynasty of this moment, a move which is sure to loose them credibility in the eyes of football scholars around the country. They also documented the strange decline in the Ravens' defense and the massive rise of their offense.

To promote this one-and-only matchup in the AM hour, the NFL Network replayed the 2007 game between the Patriots and the Ravens... The one where the Ravens got robbed and the Patriots almost blew it. I saw a couple of Rams named Kyle Boller and Jason Brown balling their asses off against that 'undefeated'** Patriot team. Jason will be snapping to Kyle today against the 49ers. Don Shula strongly praised Boller's performance in that game. We're going to need one just like that if we are to have any chance today against the 49ers.

As I have noted, many will question whether Buffalo and Miami is a good match up. I say yes because Buffalo is much better than I expected them to be, and I don't think Miami is anywhere near as bad as their 0-3 mark indicates. I am wonder if this is the moment when one of these two teams will start a ferocious rally, or whether this is the moment when either or both teams break and fold.

In my mind, the Jets vs Saints is the biggest match up of the weekend. These are the two hottest teams on the board. Both have shocked the football world several times in the first three weeks. This game should be a mighty adventure with two new young & rising football teams. Also, this a very rare match up. These two teams don't know each other at all, and they play vastly disparate styles of football. It reminds me of the regular season match up between the 1999 Rams & Titans. Neither of those teams were expected to make it to the big dance that year. Both did. I am wondering if maybe... just maybe... this could be a Super Bowl preview.

I am going to be perfectly honest with you and tell you that I am praying for a massacre in Denver. Nothing would make me happier today that a 43-3 victory for the Cowboys over the Broncos... except maybe a Ram victory over the 49ers. I believe Denver is the biggest pretender on the board. I have no clue how these spotty wee little fuckers have gotten out of the blocks with a 3-0 start. They are the most fortunate cheeky buggers I have ever seen. I am looking for big strong Dallas to score a bloody knockout today and crush the weasel. I think Dallas can improve their standing and expose these fools as the pretenders that they are.

San Diego vs. Pittsburgh is a remarkable match up, but I doubt it will be a good game. Frankly, Pittsburgh is a team which is struggling with a one-dimensional offense that can't run. They are going to play against the strength of the Chargers defense, which is the pass. This is a game that the Steelers must win if they are to remain competitive. We'll see, but the tables favor the Chargers rather heavily.

Green Bay and Minnesota is a soap opera drama that might actually provide us with a good game also. The faggott analysts on the networks love the telenovella dramas. I like soap opera as much as I like balls across my nose or a pooh-poo snake in my mud-whistle. This match up is interesting because these are the two teams socking it out for the NFC North, and Green Bay cannot afford to go two down this early in the race.

One more point: I would be remiss if I didn't mention a few more things about the Rams vs. 49ers game. For those of you on in Connecticut who know nothing about the West Coast, this is one of the four days each year which hyper-galvanize a lot of us in PAC-10 country. The Raiders vs. Chargers is another match up which drives a lot of regional interest.

The 49ers are our hated enemies. This is one of the reasons Eddie DeBartolo sited as a pretense for a supposed lack of interest in buying the Rams. We are brutal rivals. Whether both teams are bad, good, good or bad, we still hate the hell out of each other. Marshall Faulk officially picked the 49ers during the handicapping session on the NFL Network's pregame. By the end of the show, he let loose with a burst of optimism that we might surprise some people today.

Watching Kyle Boller play against the 'undefeated' Patriots in 2007 spun my head around a bit. A saw a terribly good looking young quarterback playing one hell of a competent effort. Shula's comments only proved that this was not my personal bias in effect. Boller was a key reason why the Ravens gave the Patriots a horrendous scare on that evening in 2007. Certainly, Kyle has a moment today when he can become the full-time regular quarterback of an NFL franchise. You can loose your starting position as a result of an injury. You can loose your starting position as a result of chronic perpetual injury. Nobody would be more pleased than I would be if Kyle Boller took full advantage of this opportunity, and settled our problems at Quarterback.

After 3 years, it is pretty clear that Bulger does not get the West Coast offense. Looking at the tape from 2007, Boller looked pretty damn comfortable running Brian Billick's implementation of the West Coast.