Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2010 is going to be the year I kick the Ram-habit

I think 2010 is the year I am going to kick the Ram-Habit.

Most would say it's a bad habit. I've been a Ram-fan since late 1979 and early 1980. We played the Steelers in the Super Bowl XIV that year. For better or worse, the spectre of that defeat shadowed my youth. Jimmy Carter was running against Ronald Regan back in those days. Vince Ferragamo got paid $52,000 a year as the starting QB of the Rams in 1980.

I've been a fan ever since. Through two moves, oppression at the hands of the 49ers, many bad seasons, a Super Bowl victory, and another Super Bowl defeat; I've stuck with the Rams through thick and thin. I've seen us at the bottom of the league twice: 1996-1997 and 2009-2010.

Now I am calling it quits. Just pull the plug. Disconnect. Get out of the market. Pull-up stakes and leave. Legally separate. File the divorce papers. Tune out. Throw in the towel. No mas! I am done. It's finished. This is that magic moment when Sara Brightman and Andrea Bocelli singing "Time to say goodbye" on PBS.

So why now? Many would say "why not now?" It would seem like an opportune moment. The Rams are a one-victory team at the bottom of league, who just blew the big draft of the decade in which they were selecting #1 in every round. Just about all power-rankings [be they expert-driven or fan-based] have the Rams occupying the #32 spot.

That's dead-last folks. Obviously, they don't think much of Billy Devaney's 2010 Draft or free agency moves. The consensus on these moves amounts to "no felt impact in 2010". Most would say that this is a good moment to sell your stock, cut you losses, and protect assets.

Mike Mayock says that missing on an absolute #1 picked quarterback will cost you five (5) years of lost franchise history, primarily because of the money involved. That is estimated to be some $80m with $50m guaranteed. That's a lot for a small-market team like the Rams. I could hire a regiment of 1,538 Vince Ferragamos in one year for that price tag. I could also have Battalion of 256 Vinces for 6 years for that price tag. Vince was good, too.

I think we missed. It's not Sam's fault that he will become a medical bust. It's Devaney's fault. Goodness of fit is the absolute issue. Sam is a bad fit for the Rams. The Rams are a bad fit for Sam. It is a classic mismatch. I never bought into Devaney's theory. I'll tell you why, one last time.

Over the past 10 years, no team has surrendered more sacks that the Rams. Our OL has allowed 40+ sacks each year and every year for the past 10 seasons. O-Linemen have come. O-Linemen have gone. One thing has remained constant: we have allowed copious sack totals each year and every year. The reason is obvious. We are a rooty-poot organization with no commitment to building a steel-reinforced concrete bunker for our quarterbacks. That is a fact, not a theory. The facts are indisputable.

Given the proven fact that we are a rooty-poot organization with no commitment to building an all-pro offensive line, the logical mind is faced with certain absolute restrictions regarding what sort of QB we may and may not select in the draft and free agency. Specifically, the organization is restricted to fast, evasive, athletic, running quarterbacks. As a rooty-poot organization with no line, you also need quarterbacks (plural) that are highly robust mesomorphs who, like Timex, have proven that they can take a licking and keep on ticking.

This means guys like Tim Tebow... and maybe Michael Vick. Alone among QB candidates in the 2010 draft, Tebow had the unique combo of winning-character, muscle mass, speed, running ability, toughness and evasiveness to make him successful with the Rams. Tebow was never really on Devaney's radar. This speaks volumes about Devaney.

Given the robust fact that we are a rooty-poot organization with no commitment to building an all-pro offensive line, there are certain fruits that are absolutely forbidden to us. Namely, we cannot take a fragile, injury prone, surgically repaired high-precision passer with questionable ability to take a hit. If you do so, you are one stupid, drunken riverboat gambler throwing paper money (on fire) into the muddy Mississippi.

Given these lawful restrictions, what did Devaney do? He took Sam Bradford. Sam is unquestionably the worst sliding quarterback 'Chucky' Gruden has ever seen. That statement is on video-tape, by the way. He takes a lot of hits, and he gets hurt. Our line will certainly let him take plenty of hits, but maybe his body wont.

So now that Devaney has chosen Sam Bradford what has he done to logistically support that decision? Did he sign Alan Faneca? Did he sign Bobby Bell? Is he trading for Stephen Neal? Did he trade for Jammal Brown? Did he sign Flozel Adams? I could go on folks. The answer is no, no, no, no, no and no. I am tired of making suggestions. Devaney is not entertaining reason at this time. He is not open to reason.

The results are highly predictable. We are going to absolutely destroy a good kid who should have a wonderful NFL career. We are going to destroy Sam Bradford the way we destroyed Marc Bulger. In fact, no sooner had we completed the absolute destruction of Marc Bulger than we began the plot to destroy Sam Bradford.

Mike Mayock says that missing on an absolute #1 picked quarterback will cost you 5 years of lost franchise history. Ram-fans are staring right down the gun barrel at 5 years of lost franchise history. I refuse to go through this. I never signed up for this. I was against it all the way. Right up until the very last split-second, I was hoping Roger Goodell would come to the podium and announce the trade with Cleveland. I had hoped we would accept Mike Holmgren's gracious offer. I am not on-board with this decision, even now.

I want to know who the idiot was who invented the fanciful campaign slogan, "The Rams have to take Sam Bradford; they need a QB to give their players and fans hope for the future." That asshole didn't know anything about the Rams or football.

I don't want this. I don't need this. I don't like this. I was never on-board with this decision. I did not sign off on this decision. I non-concur. If this were the Senate, I would have filibustered this draft pick. I don't intend to watch this carnage. I am not going to witness this travesty unfold. I don't want to see a good kid, in flames, at the hands of a stupid GM. I don't want to be disappointed anymore. I am not going to blow another Sunday morning watching the fiasco in progress. I am resigning.

The first move is to cancel the NFL Super-Fan package. I have DirectTV. I have had the Super-Fan for the past three years: 2007, 2008, 2009. I am scheduled for automatic renewal. It's not going to happen. I am canceling. I don't want it. I don't need it. It's a small token of resistance that will certainly be lost among a slew of cancellations on the second dip of a W shaped recession. It's not much, but it is the best I can do.

Someday soon, I will be able to say with honesty and without venom "I used to be a Ram-fan, but not anymore. Now I am just an impartial football fan. I like the sport, not any particular team".