Some people are fans of the St. Louis Rams. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the St. Louis Rams. This 2015 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
Your team: The St. Louis Rams…
Your 2014 record: 6-10. But such a COMPETITIVE 6-10! When Jeff Fisher is your coach, you’re in all 10 of your annual losses. Feels pretty good to be a tough out! Everyone who beats the Rams walks off the field being like, “Boy, it wasn’t easy beating them for the ninth year in row!” So you’ll always have that to hang your hat on. Jim Nantz approves! “You know, the way the game is played these days, it’s such a rarity to see something like this game, with no touchdowns, six field goals, 14 punts—and a whole lot of suspense here with six minutes to go!”
Your coach: Jeff Fisher, who can trick you into thinking he’s a decent coach by cooking up one shocking upset and/or cool special teams play per season, like so!
Winning games is WAY too much to ask for in St. Louis. All you can really do is isolate small moments like this and celebrate them as if they were the birth of a new child.
By the way, Fisher made the troll move of the century last season when he appointed every player traded for RG3 as captains against the Skins. But when people pointed out that he was taking a dump on the Skins, he tried to back away from it.
“No, not at all, we’re not like that,” Fisher said. “We don’t do that.”
Oh, fuck you, man. OWN YOUR TROLLING. Don’t pull a sick burn like that and then try to disown it. It’s the fucking Redskins. No one will blame you if you unload with both barrels.
Your quarterback: Sam Bradf… OMG IT’S NICK FOLES! YOU DID IT! You finally realized that Sam Bradford died three years ago and his corpse can only walk thanks to the synchronized lifting of a large ant colony. And the Rams must have really caught Chip Kelly in the middle of an ether binge, because the Eagles tossed in a second rounder for good measure. This is how the Rams roll: They make remarkably shrewd trades surrounding the QB position that result in … Well, they don’t result in any kind of on-field improvement at all. But still … SO SHREWD! They’re the smartest bad team in the NFL.
By the way, Foles has never made it through a full season unscathed, so this is not exactly a sea change from having Bradford at the helm. The only difference is that Foles will hurt himself in the MIDDLE of the season, instead of prior to it. Foles was jettisoned from Philly for a) Being crazy ugly and b) Failing to spot receivers who were open by nine furlongs …
JESUS. That was with actual receivers, too. The Rams wideout corps consists of Tavon Austin and three Monopoly pieces (I get the hat!). Once Foles gets his collarbone snapped into eight pieces of equal length, your choices at QB are Case Keenum and the immortal Austin Davis. I picked Austin Davis up off the waiver wire last season, and started him. I am as bad at fantasy football as the Rams are at real football.
What’s new that sucks: TODD GURLEY! Holy shit, look at how fast he is! What a beast! I can’t wait for him to ****LIGAMENT AUDIBLY TEARS**** OH MY GOD HIS KNEE DIED I AM SO SAD THIS IS ALL SO SENSELESS.
Only the Rams would draft a running back too high AND have that same running back be a dude who just ripped his knee apart. Gurley is currently on the active roster and is cleared to practice. But come on now. These are the Rams. By Week 10, all their running backs will be dead and you’ll be eyeing Benny Cunningham like, “I guess I could see him doing stuff!”
Also, Nick Fairley is here. The Rams only sign free agents who are fat enough to think that toasted ravioli is actually a delicacy.
What has always sucked: The Rams are less a football team right now than they are a living chess piece. Owner Stan Kroenke, seen here auditioning for the role of Morrie Kessler in Goodfellas 2: Age of Morrie, has already purchased land in Inglewood, Calif., with the intention of moving the Rams back to Los Angeles. He’s basically openly fucking Los Angeles while St. Louis sits by watching helplessly, tied to the nightstand.
Kroenke’s quest to beat the Chargers and Raiders to L.A. has resulted in not one, but TWO cities being openly exploited via every possible bureaucratic loophole. The Rams convinced Inglewood to NOT allow a public vote on the Rams stadium project. In turn, the St. Louis Stadium authority sued to prevent residents from voting on a counter plan to keep the team in town and assist Kroenke in fucking over the public for decades to come. That riverfront stadium would cost a whopping $985 million, of which only a quarter would be fronted by Kroenke personally.
This is St. Louis, mind you. Their budget is already stretched thin because of their historic need to overspend on tanks for killing black people. And so this story ends a few months from now with either a) The Rams finally leaving, or b) A cash-poor town getting buried in debt for centuries to come to help make a shitbag billionaire even wealthier.
I’d go right ahead and put my money on the former. After all, when Rams players made the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture while running out of the tunnel last season, the local police association reacted as if the Rams had taken a shit on their lawn.
“Cops have first amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours.”
If you play for this team, you can’t pack your bags for California fast enough. I would hop on a jet TODAY and flee that dump, watching it burn from 30,000 feet up in the air. St. Louis is a shitty town filled with shitty people. Full desertion is the optimal future outcome.
Also: Fuck the Cardinals. I didn’t forget!
What might not suck: Fisher has quietly (the Rams do everything quietly because who cares) built a fantastic defense that will be just enough for the Rams to lose every game by a score of 13-10.
Hear it from Rams fans!
Since the Rams last made the playoffs in 04-05 season, every other team in the NFC has made the postseason.....twice.
The Ferguson police handled everything after the shooting better than the Rams have handled personnel decisions after the Super Bowl appearances.
As a British NFL fan, I could’ve picked any team to support. I picked the Rams. I’m a fucking idiot.
Last year, I went to a Rams game for the first time since I was in high school. I had the honor of tailgating next to an abandoned factory building that most likely housed multiple homicide victims that will never be discovered because this is St. Louis, and that’s how we do things around here. We froze our asses off in an abandoned lot full of obnoxiously obese fans wearing blue jean overalls and decade old Kurt Warner jerseys.
The Rams proceeded to get absolutely dicked by Odell Beckham Jr, and all I could do was stand there (we never bothered finding our seats) and wonder why the fuck I would ever subject myself to this dumpster fire of a franchise.
Please get this team (and Stan Kroenke’s weird man boobs) the fuck out of St. Louis.
I went to the official draft party with Rams executives the year that they drafted Sam Bradford. I paid over $300 for a football signed by Sam Bradford at a charity auction thrown by the Rams two years later. About 18 months ago, I started letting my then 12 month old son play with the signed football. He now throws it around the house, takes it outside, and plays with it in the dirt. I could have just spent $15 and got him a football from Target to play with, but I already had this one worth basically the same amount.
When talking with fans of other teams about how the Rams shape up coming into the year, I find myself starting with the statement, “Well they are young, but.” I’ve been reverting to this statement for the last 6 years.
Just last year, as Odell Beckham was making the secondary look like swiss cheese, a lady in front of us was reading a novel. When we cheered a nice catch and turn by Kenny Britt for a first down, she asked us to please be quiet as it was her first game.
The Dome is an under-lit wasteland of overpriced Budweiser and Greatest Show on Turf era jerseys.
Last year I was in Vegas for the week 1 matchup against the Matt Cassel led Vikings certain that this was the year I would witness victory at the hands of an inferior opponent. The Vikings p0wn3d the Rams 34-6 and in my frustration (and or drunkenness) I threw my Bradford jersey on the floor of the elevator on the way up to my room.
The jersey was still there two hours later when I went down.
For the love of God, just suck in Los Angeles already.
Gonna be the best 7-win season yet!
Fuck Stan Kroenke with a jackhammer dipped in ebola.
Our defensive coordinator looks like he walked out of a Lifetime Movie Channel casting call for “stepfather with a drinking problem and a dark past.”
I have completely forgotten what it is like to root for a winning team.
Because Stan Kroenke IS going to move this team back to LA, and nobody cares because in terms of sports popularity here in St. Louis, football sits a distant 4th place behind baseball, baseball, and baseball.
There is no reason for us to be fans at all. When they showed up in the 90’s, they sucked, had about 3.5 great seasons, and then have not only shit the bed, but have been rolling around in it for 12 years.
I’m kind of losing steam here, but the Rams aren’t any good, and Stan Kroenke can go eat a bag of dicks. I seriously hope he dies.
The Rams suck for so many reasons, and by far the top one is Stan Fucking Kroenke. Despite the fact that the city is going to build a brand new stadium for the second time in 20 years, this piece of shit is going to up and move the team to Los Angeles apparently without even speaking to a single person in the entire state. St. Louis is actually making an honest attempt to keep the team under reasonable terms, and literally no one gives a shit. Kroenke bought this team with the express purpose of moving them to LA, even blocking the local guy who genuinely wanted to keep them where they were. Fuck him so fucking hard with his own goddamn mustache. This team has so little respect for their home base that they ALREADY moved part of training camp to California.
And maybe this would be even harder to take if the team wasn’t by far the least relevant team in the entire NFL. When was the last time the Rams mattered on the field? They haven’t had a winning record since 2003, and they only finished at .500 twice since then (and not since 2008). That huge haul they got from the RGIII trade? The best player is probably either Alec Ogletree or Janoris “Strip Club Ready” Jenkins. Two of those picks are ALREADY off the team, and two more have served PED suspensions. They’ve had six top 10 picks since 2008, and the most successful of that group was Chris Long, who wouldn’t have nearly the reputation he does if his dad wasn’t in the Hall of Fame. Jason Smith was an epic disaster, and there’s no real reason to think Greg Robinson won’t follow in his footsteps (but hey, when you can get a right guard with the number 2 pick in the draft over Sammy Watkins and Khalil Mack, you gotta do it). But yeah, I’m sure the running back who demolished his knee in college will turn it all around.
We literally couldn’t even hire an offensive coordinator this offseason because no one wanted to walk into this mess, so we had to promote Frank Cignetti, who somehow got elevated to being a “QB guru” despite the quantifiable evidence of Sam Bradford’s career. But don’t worry! We still have Gregg Williams, because after the disaster that was Steve Spagnuolo and his Four Pillars of Chastity, we went in the COMPLETE opposite direction and hired Jeff Fisher, the guy who’s totally cool with turning his roster into the team from ESPN’s Playmakers.
But you know what the worst part is? In trying to find a new team for when this one inevitably flees, I can’t choose my new hometown team because I live in DC and only an idiot would willingly start cheering for Dan Snyder. I can’t choose the second-closest team in Baltimore because I have a soul. So I figured I’d eventually adopt my wife’s hometown team. Where’s she from? Philadelphia. The team that the Rams unloaded Sam Fucking Bradford onto. Fuck.
Triple fuck D’marco Farr with a radioactive pinecone.
We adopted a puppy and we really enjoyed that puppy. When that dog was five years old, it was the best. For a brief period, he was the best dog on turf. But then that puppy got older and grumpier and started pooping on the floor. Then you’d clean it up, but you’d look at the picture of you and your dog from 1999 and remember the good times. Now that it looks like your dog is going to die, you’re not sad. You’ve been hearing he might leave for like three years and preparing yourself. So when he does die, you’re not going to feel sad. You’re going to be glad it’s over.
Maybe now you’ll take up woodworking on fall Sundays while listening to NPR and having a cup of warm cider (that you also painstakingly make now since you have so much free time on Sundays). Maybe you’ll donate some wooden toys to some less fortunate kids making you feel like a good person and setting a good example for your young son who likes spending happy time with you in the workshop learning the value of a craft rather than grousing while watching that mean old dog.
No you’re not going to be sad that dog died. You’re going to be happy it’s dead freeing you from the shackles of being a loyal fan and opening the door to your becoming a better person. Fuck that stupid fucking dog.
We’re going to spend a few hundred million taxpayer dollars to fund a stadium that houses a team we don’t support that is probably going to end up leaving anyway. But hey, Nick Foles!
Our metro politicians, developers, mainstream media, NFL pushers and their enablers claim there is hundreds of millions of dollars to build new stadium, most of which will be paid for by...magic? In an area that no person wants to hang around in? And did I mention they will be keeping the “old” stadium for...monster truck rallies or something? So, in a city that has questionable fan support, and on shaky financial ground, is willing and able to support two NFL-caliber stadiums? All for eight fucking games a year?
A couple years ago, in the throes of the Rams terrible-ness, the local ESPN radio affiliate ran promos because they air the games. One of these promos ran ad nauseum and consisted of a “game call” like this: “Josh Brown lines up the kick, its up, and its good! The Rams win the game!” The announcer sounded weird to me, just kind of boring given it was for a game winning kick. I googled it and Josh Brown had NEVER had a game winning kick for the Rams. The call was entirely fabricated. Not only was it made up, the most exciting thing they could think to create was a game winning field goal from a mediocre kicker. That was enough to entice us Rams fans to listen, I guess.
Jeff Fisher is the best coach in the NFL at making a shitty season seem adequate.
It really sucks when your highlight for the whole year is a Stedman Bailey punt return.
The Rams hit on a 5th round draft pick on RB Zac Stacy two years ago, he ran for nearly 1,000 yards after not starting every game.
The next year, they use a 3rd round pick on Tre Mason, who also had himself a solid rookie year.
But, not content with having 2 fair running backs, they use #10 overall this year on Todd Gurley.
Also as of late June, the dome had pictures of cut lineman Jake Long and traded QB Sam Bradford decorating the outside.
The highlight of the city of St. Louis, the gateway to the west, is a monument which is dedicated to the people who didn’t stay here.
The pinnacle of Jeff Fischer’s coaching career was losing to the team he now coaches.
We suck because we are so desperate to keep this barely competent team we will do anything to keep Stan Kroenke happy, including suing ourselves to prevent a public vote on if we should be on the hook for more than $400 million for their new stadium, arguing over the word “adjacent.” (fun fact: According to lawyers, adjacent can mean 20 miles away!) All while blissfully ignoring the fact that Kroenke has already started clearing the land for his City of Champion’s stadium in L.A., with his own money. (Well, probably his wife’s money). I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sports Commission leaves drunken messages at 3 AM on Kroenke’s voice mail begging him not to move the Rams.
This is a team that had a 5 year run of 15-65. Their solution to this was to hire the most boring coach in the NFL who gets the shakes when there is a downfield pass.
Submissions for the 2015 NFL previews are now closed. Next up, a week from Monday: the Minnesota Vikings!