A special salute to the Stan and Jeff show

The Los Angeles Rams are not the worst team in the NFL – though I imagine that if they played Cleveland home, away or in Stan’s Emirates Stadium in London that the Browns would somehow manage to come out on top – maybe by like a 5-2 score.

Jeff Fisher has the chance to go into the record books as the coach with the most losses in NFL history. With Stan Kroenke's backing, he should easily take the record to new heights (or lows).

Jeff Fisher has the chance to go into the record books as the coach with the most losses in NFL history. With Stan Kroenke’s backing, he should easily take the record to new heights (or lows).

Even though they’re not the worst, they will soon have the coach who has been on the sidelines of more losses than any other coach in the history of the game. That is quite a distinction and certainly worthy of a 2-year contract extension to assure that Jeff Fisher manages to firmly cement his name at the top of the list as the biggest NFL loser of all time.

Stan Kroenke is certainly astute enough to know that when he’s this close to a record, he’s got to go for the gusto and with their band of Merry Pranksters, they should be able to virtually guarantee another two years of ineptitude to really rack up Jeff’s loss total to unapproachable levels.

The Rams are already irrelevant in Los Angeles. They rank in the bottom tier of TV ratings for NFL cities overall. Other NFL games not involving the Rams have drawn more viewers in La-La land than Rams games multiple times this season. The amount of empty seats is more prevalent in L.A. than it was here. Today’s slaughter was witnessed by 53,979 brave souls, most of whom were probably stuck in traffic somewhere by the time the 4th quarter rolled around. That’s almost 40,000 no-shows.

Together, Stan and Jeff share that special Alfred E. Newman ideology of, “What, me worry?”

Why would they? Jeff Fisher is getting about $7 million a year to lead the charge of this pitiful product. Stan is in the midst of constructing a new NFL palace that also will have attached retail and living arrangements and he owns all the land.

He is not someone I would want as a landlord (just ask the hundreds of people on the Waggoner Ranch down in Texas). Once the stadium is built and the area is developed, Stan will be rolling in even more riches – provided of course, that the city of Los Angeles doesn’t demand that the Rams leave and stop shaming their city.

It’s all kind of comical to watch and I know I’m not the only St. Louisan attuned to their failure. Personally, I’m hoping that Stan tears up that two-year deal and instead, signs Jeff to a lifetime contract so that the Rams can continue to go on to 4-12 or 5-11 seasons into infinity.

So congratulations, once again to Jeff Fisher. I’ll be pulling for you to break the record this Thursday night on national TV. The Seahawks should be more than motivated to help you make history.

Rams fans opting out before season begins

Don't worry, be happy.

Don’t worry, be happy.

Well, Stan, I guess your wish is coming true.

Your high-powered St. Louis Rams football team is now 0-3 on the pre-season and the big St. Louis debut of Nick Foles and company packed in a whopping 37,000 fans into the Ed who apparently had nothing else to do on a Saturday night in St. Louis since the Redbirds were on the coast.

We’re season ticket holders but we opted out, choosing instead to go out to dinner with friends and when I checked the score right around dessert time, I knew we had made the right decision.

I’m sure Jeff Fisher will say there’s nothing to worry about. And from Jeff’s point-of-view, he’s probably right – Stan’s going to pay him anyway whether they go 2-14 or somehow manage to shock the world and finish maybe 9-7, posting the Rams first winning record since 2003.

“Well, we’ve got a few penalties to clean up and need to stick to our routes a little better,” or something along those lines will be stated by Jeff. “We can fix that.” Then they’ll get ready for the big Governor’s Cup Showdown this Thursday night against the Chiefs. And drop the ball … again.

Nick Foles did manage to go 10 of 11 which is excellent but it amounted to a whopping 123 yards and led to one touchdown. Go crazy, folks, go crazy.

I’m sure this Thursday evening, downtown St. Louis will be buzzing with excitement, tailgaters everywhere, spilling over into Laclede’s Landing and lining the streets of Washington Avenue with Rams and Chiefs fans both before and after the game.

Uh, no.

And since the Cardinals have an off day on Thursday night, the echoes you hear as you scream out loud, “Stan, what have you done?” will bounce off the walls of an empty downtown.

It’s going to be a very long season.

I’m not quite ready to go the route of wearing a sack over my head – that’s too much effort. But I am expecting a partially-filled Edward Jones Dome that will only grow worse as the season rolls on as the Rams stumble and bumble and fumble their way to L.A.

And as attendance dwindles and the season fizzles, the NFL will come out and say that the fans of St. Louis just don’t know how to support a professional football team.

If only we had one.

 

Take a stand, Stan

The Rams will not make the playoffs this year. Again.

They won’t have a winning season. Again.

They’ll be lucky to win one more game of their three remaining matchups and will probably finish in the bottom third of the NFL standings. Again.

So what’s Stan Kroenke supposed to do with this mess? He didn’t cause it, did he?

He made what almost every media person said was a great coaching hire by bringing in Jeff Fisher – who before joining the Rams had a winning percentage slightly above .500 and now enjoys one that is slightly below.

I’m not upset with Coach Fisher and from everything I’ve read, neither is his team.

It’s not Jeff’s fault that Sam Bradford shredded his knee. Sam wasn’t all that mobile to begin with and unlike many who have had Tommy John surgery, I don’t expect him to find new-found mobility or ability when he returns next season. The Rams have a quarterback problem. Again.

It’s not Les Snead’s fault that Tavon Austin hasn’t quite had the breakout year we were all hoping for. Tavon had that one game with the punt return, the end-around and a few great grabs and he’s had a few great returns called back because of penalties which the Rams seem able to accumulate faster than points. But it’s hard to be a major flash when you’re running a guy who weighs about half of what a defensive lineman weighs up the middle. He’ll get better next year, I’m sure.

It can’t be Brian Shottenheimer’s fault that the offense hasn’t quite jelled. We lost our QB. Now we’ve lost our center. We shifted to a power running game without having a power running back. And all these games are now beginning to take their toll on Zac Stacy who has taken the place of Daryl Richardson who took the place of Steven Jackson who has had his own problems down in Atlanta.

It can’t be the fault of the Rams receiving corps, either. We didn’t really have a shining star to begin the season and though Pettis, Quick, Cook, Bailey and Kendricks have had their share of drops, who can blame them when Sam was rushing his throws and now Kellen is still trying to find his groove?

Maybe it’s the fans fault. I’ve been to three Rams games so far this year and will be at the upcoming debacle against the Saints this Sunday. Our seats are in the end zone and the majority of games we have been surrounded by fans of whatever opponent the Rams were facing. Upper tier seats generally show their lovely purple colors because no one is sitting in them. It’s hard to fill a stadium when your team has one of the lowest winning percentages in the NFL the last 10 years and there’s really no reason to be optimistic that things are going to get better any time soon.

No, it’s not the Rams fans fault.

I’m going to place all the blame on the Invisible Man.

Just once, it would be nice if Stan Kroenke would emerge from his mansion in Columbia, Missouri, or one of his two mansions in Colorado or one of his other mansions in Malibu Beach or his 124,000 acre ranch in Montana or his Steamboat Springs duplex or whatever dwelling he may have in London when he’s watching his Arsenal team in action and come out and say, “Hey, St. Louis, I’m committed to the Rams being here and we’re going to turn this organization into something that would make the Rooney family jealous in Pittsburgh and create a dynasty where season tickets get passed on in wills like in Green Bay.”

But that’s probably not happening. We’re stuck with one of the richest men in the world as an owner who has other priorities and who, if he had the chance, would probably move the Rams back to L.A.

But the NFL has basically reserved that spot for an expansion team and moving across the pond to London-town is still a concept that is far, far away.

So the Rams are going nowhere, playing in a second-tier stadium with a lease that’s about to expire. The fan base is fed up with losing and afraid to really support a team led by an owner who never shows up for games or comments on the state of the team or gives any indication that he has any intention whatsoever of keeping the team here.

It’s a big, sad, mess of a football franchise.

Please, Stan, take a stand.

Tell St. Louis your vision for the Rams. Let us know where you stand and maybe that might help right the ship.

That would be the right thing to do.

But I’m not holding my breath.

 

 

 

Is there hope for the Rams?

I was stunned by the Rams pre-season victory over the Chiefs last night.

It’s not that they won the game, they actually looked pretty good and were light years ahead of how they played last week.

Of course, it’s only the pre-season. Last year is a telling reminder of that when they won all four of their pre-season games only to blunder and fumble and mis-tackle their way to their mighty 2-14 record.

This is the losing-est franchise in professional football over the last five years. Maybe over the last seven. I’m not sure. I just know they’ve been terrible.

So was last night cause for optimism? Perhaps. Still, I can’t see this team winning more than 6, possibly 7 games this season. If they do that, everyone will call the season a success – a step in the right direction for a franchise that’s on the rebound. Unfortunately, 6-10 or 7-9 is not a lot of reason to celebrate. Everyone may point to the fact that Jeff Fisher has turned things around and got them heading in the right direction. Everyone should remember that Jeff Fisher is a slightly better than .500 career wins coach.

So winning the coveted Governor’s Cup was indeed a pleasant surprise. Kansas Citians must be shaking their heads this morning, wondering what happened to their once proud franchise. Football in Missouri has fallen on hard times. With the Tigers facing a daunting SEC schedule, wins should be celebrated and enjoyed in the state of Missouri, no matter who gets them.

Is there hope for the Rams? There’s always hope – that’s the good thing about hope.

So hope that Sam’s ankle doesn’t turn, D’Anorio can play in maybe 10 straight games, Saffold can stay onside, Stephen gets 1,500, Danny keeps his elbow from popping and James turns into Urlacher and maybe that hope will turn into actual reality and we’ll see a winning season.

For now, I will remain a doubting Thomas.