Some people are fans of the Los Angeles Rams. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Los Angeles Rams. This 2017 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Los Angeles Rams.
Your 2016 record: 4-12. From Will Brinson at CBS, here is the drive chart from L.A.’s first two games of last season:
TURNOVER ON DOWNS
END OF GAME
God, that is so hot. I’m tweaking my nips just reading through it. Anyway, that list of war crimes above was merely the opening salvo to a long, miserable first season in LA, a turgid slog that led to the (televised!) firing of longtime coach and “guy who’s been at the office for years and years even though no one is quite sure what he does” Jeff Fisher. Remember when he went jacket-diving for his challenge flag and came up empty?
Neat. Please note that the Rams were somehow stupid enough to EXTEND Fisher before canning him, so you’ll excuse me if I don’t get terribly choked up over the co-losingest coach in NFL history getting his ass thrown out onto the pavement. This is the guy who trolled the Skins for the RGIII trade only to end up with one dude from that trade still on the roster. This is the guy who barred Eric Dickerson from the team sideline because Dickerson had the audacity to point out that the team is god awful. This is the guy who couldn’t name a single Patriots running back before his team had to go play them. This is “I’m not going fucking 7-9” guy. Jeff Fisher can get his mustache stuck in a paper shredder. I hope Vince Young DOES expose his ass.
Your coach: Sean McVay, pictured here!
DAWWWW LOOGIT THOSE CHEEKS! HE THINKS THE BLANKET IS A HAT! Adorable. Who likes quick reads to the tight end? Is it you? Is it you? IT IS YOU!!!
McVay, who in actuality looks like an Ed Sheeran tribute act, is now the youngest head coach in NFL history. Who would have guessed that such an honor would be bestowed upon the grandchild of a successful former NFL GM? Football is the last pure meritocracy, folks! Doogie Howser here spent the past three years as the Skins’ offensive coordinator and a lot of people in D.C. thought he was the brains of the outfit. One look at Jay Gruden and I can’t say I blame those truthers, but I’m not exactly wowed by McVay’s bold innovation of springing a pop quiz or two on unsuspecting veterans. What a crazy, totally newfound approach to alienating your personnel! Join us in training camp when the Boy Wonder invents a little something he calls the “Oklahoma Drill.”
If you four brave souls in RAMS NATION are concerned about McVay’s callowness, just know that he brought in some old fogey muscle to help balance out things:
Yessir, ol’ Wade’ll shape that defense right up, and then get heartlessly dismissed a year later for his trouble. God, he’s such a lovable chump. I want a Wade Phillips plush toy. I would sit on it and play Xbox all day.
Your quarterback: It’s Jared Goff. Jared Goff is an empty box. Even his name sucks. He was one of the most obvious reaches at No. 1 in modern history, a college stat-hound that got shoved up the draft board mostly because he looks the part. Meanwhile, Dakota Boy looked like Joe Montana next to poor Goffling last season. It’s entirely possible that McVay doesn’t care for Goff at all, and will spend next season trying to lure Kirk Cousins to California with a contract offer that will set your underpants on fire. Imagine trading away a shipping container full of draft picks for stupid Jared Goff. Somehow the Rams are always in the center of a big draft day deal, and somehow they always come out of it the same tired and shitty team they’ve always been.
Thankfully, the Rams handed a fatass contract extension to Tavon Austin last summer, who responded with a career-best 506 receiving yards. WHAT A WEAPON. Tavon Austin is like Percy Harvin after six migraines.
What’s new that sucks: Well, Todd Gurley is dead now. Somewhere between his glorious rookie year and the 2016 season, he died and was replaced by a Razor scooter with square wheels. Let’s rip off the scab and take a look at the numbers.
Jesus. JESUS. Look at those yards per attempt. You’re supposed to get more than ONE year out of running backs before they break down entirely, man. I haven’t seen a dropoff like that since True Detective. ZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! Can we still make True Detective jokes? Fuck it, this is the Rams preview. No one is gonna read it.
Elsewhere, your new stadium got flooded by rain and the NFL had to take the Super Bowl away from you. Bereft of notable draft picks after the Goff trade, the Rams brought in a handful of free agents to keep up appearances as they monkeyfart their way through an extra season or five in the L.A. Coliseum. Here’s Connor Barwin, who can get 11 sacks a year and do literally nothing else. Here’s Lance Dunbar, who will grab carries from Gurley once everyone accepts that Gurley’s regression is permanent. Here’s back-injury-in-waiting John Sullivan and former Bengal Andrew Whitworth, here to help out a line that allowed 49 sacks a year ago. Remember Greg Robinson, the bigass tackle they drafted at No. 2? They just traded him for a sixth rounder. The Rams’ line is a terminally shabby edifice that has all the structural integrity of a toilet paper dam.
Aaron Donald is extremely wisely holding out. Dominique Easley already tore his ACL.
What has always sucked: Les Snead! The John Wick villain who fucked up both the RGIII trade and the Goff trade is still lingering around the place. You listen to me, Rams and Jaguars and Bills and the rest of the NFL’s sewer-dwelling trash: If you’re gonna clean house, clean the WHOLE house. Don’t fire your coach and keep the GM, then sweep all the used syringes into the nearest available closet and tell me you’ve spruced up the joint. Les Snead. Another awful name. Fuck him. I need less of Les Snead, tell you what! (Again, no one is reading.)
Meanwhile, the Rams lost a series of lawsuits from PSL holders they fucked over by leaving St. Louis. And I want to believe between that, and the a recent ruling declaring that the Rams owe Missouri $350k in back taxes, and the drowning of the Inglewood stadium site, Stan Kroenke will finally have to eat the barest trace amount of shit for moving this team. No one deserves it more. But I know better. I know the bad guys win. I know Kroenke will get his megaplex, and his billions of dollars, and his endless, gushing revenue streams. I know he’ll be lighting hand-rolled Cubans with flaming gold ingots while the rest of us are swept away by the rising seas.
I know that, like so many other rich assholes who never have to answer for anything, Kroenke is the harbinger of our end times. Also, he looks like a guy in witness protection who doesn’t know how to disguise himself properly. He sucks now and forever and deserves to have nothing but the worst happen to him. The Rams are a nothing team. Somehow the most popular team in this town is the one that did NOT move here, and there’s nothing to indicate that will change while the Rams suck and are owned by a rat-haired fuckface.
Did you know? Kroenke drove an evictee to suicide? I bet he lost exactly one second of sleep over the news.
What might not suck: The legit biggest thrill for Rams fans last season was when Bill Belichick complimented the punter. So there you go: you guys punt good.
HEAR IT FROM RAMS FANS!
The owner of the Los Angeles Rams, Stan Kroenke, is a huge piece of shit. If he cares at all about the game of football or the Rams winning games, he does a very good job at hiding it. Our management thinks that marketing and making “splashy” draft choices are going to put butts in seats and generate revenue – which is their only priority – even while the product on the field is (and has been for a number of years) a sad circus that few want to stare at for 3+ hours every week.
If trading up in the 2016 draft to select frightened stick-boy Jared Goff with the top pick wasn’t evidence of our management’s failed approach at running this franchise, I don’t know what is. I remember the debate about the merits of drafting Goff after we traded up, which seemed monumentally stupid because we were going to take him 2-3 rounds ahead of where he should’ve gone. “But Goff is the hometown kid who could be the face of the franchise! He put up such impressive numbers in the air raid offense in college! It’s a flashier pick than an offensive lineman! We don’t really need to replace the defensive cogs we let walk!”
We fucking drafted him anyway and sent away a treasure trove of future draft picks to get our hands on a bottom-5 quarterback who is already gun-shy because he got continuously crushed last year behind a paper-thin offensive line. The 2017 draft was a good opportunity to amend this situation and complement a young quarterback with offensive lineman and skill-position players... which management just decided not to do. Okay. Why waste all of that draft capital on the dude when you’re not going to surround him with, well, anything?
Things haven’t been entirely bad, however. At least we have a talented running back in Todd Gurley, who is the centerpiece of the offense! Then again, after a brief first-year breakout, even he stopped looking like he gave a shit because the entire team was an absolute, middle-school mess from top to bottom. One year later, not much has changed, and I’d wager the roster is even worse going into the 2017 season. Actually, scratch that... now that I think of it, we did make one really good off-season move that will greatly benefit the team. The organization deserves big ups for dumping the monumental bust of an offensive lineman, Greg Robinson, on the Lions, who apparently are unhappy with Matt Stafford and want him sacked into oblivion. Oh, and some people are excited that we have a new head coach too. He’s, like, 22 years old or something, and chances are high that nobody is going to like him next year.
Hopefully the new stadium in Inglewood looks pretty when it’s finished, because the product on the field will most likely still be straight doodoo again. And again. For-ev-er. I’ve always kept my expectations realistic (on the floor) to avoid being disappointed, but I’m starting to realize maybe I just don’t care that much about this team. It’s obvious the owner and management really don’t give a damn, so why should any of the fans? To be honest, I guess the only reason I still root for the Rams is that I get to give a ton of shit to the insufferable Seahawks bandwagoners here in the Pacific Northwest when we beat them twice a year.
Below is a Rams billboard in LA this summer being used to drum up interest in Rams season tickets. Do the brain-dead eyes of Jared Goff inspire you to open your wallet to go sit in the Coliseum?
The scene is January 2002. I’d just moved to rural Pennsylvania from Washington, DC (my parents are evil). Do you recall the NFL landscape at that time? Ohhh boy, let me refresh your memory. Playoffs, baby. Conference Championship games on the horizon. The Eagles facing the Rams, as well as the Steelers playing the Patriots.
I’m stuck in the middle of Pennsylvania. I don’t know anyone, but the place sure is excited. Everyone seems happy. The Eagles and Steelers are in the midst of great seasons. Everyone around me is thrilled about an impending “Pennsylvania Super Bowl.” Gonna be a “Pennsylvania Super Bowl.” Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in a “Pennsylvania Super Bowl.”
Well, fuck you. Fuck Pennsylvania.
I’m a miserable-fuck-teenager and I hate every damn one of these people.
Anyway, Sunday rolls around and wouldn’t you know it, the Patriots beat the Steelers. These scrappy, underdog Patriots. I’m saved! These nobody, Cinderella Pats have saved me from these morons and their stupid Pennsylvania Super Bowl. Remember, I’m like 12 years old. I just found out this team existed like two weeks ago. So, I’m about to jump aboard the Pats’ fledgling bandwagon, right? Wrong!
I get greedy. I think, man, if the Rams can pull this next game out, I don’t have to listen to any of this Steelers garbage nor any Eagles garbage. C’mon Rams! Well guess what, the Rams beat the Eagles. I, an idiot, decide that the Rams have saved me from any Pennsylvania Super Bowl representation and I am forever in their debt. (Pick the Patriots! You moron! SHIT!).
I was one logical second away from being a Patriots fan and I picked the Rams. The Rams! Instead of the Patriots. There could not be a greater divergence between two teams’ imminent futures. Games of Russian Roulette don’t include such disparate outcomes!
The last memory I have of a decent Rams team involves Steve Smith shitting on Jason Sehorn in playoff overtime. Live on television. Just destroys him and can’t be bothered to apologize. Asshole. Rams lose. Panthers go to the Super Bowl. They lose to the newly-dynastic Patriots. Because, of course.
The next ten years are shit-miserable. The Rams do nothing of note except lose more than the Browns (!) and make fun of Washington during a coin flip. That’s the highlight of the last decade. The Patriots roll over everyone. I literally sat down one day and picked the Rams over the Patriots.
Fast forward to present day, I think I’m finally ditching the Rams. Until now, I was willing to tolerate just about anything. Perennial losers? (Can’t quit on my team!) Players destroying their brains in pursuit of such futility? (At least it pays well.) Years and years of Jeff Fisher? (Out of my control.) Team/owner totally screwing their loyal home city? (Ha! I don’t live in St. Louis, who cares, right?)
A decade with the worst record ever. A total bullshit move away from their fans. And I’m still in. But, then. Theeennnn. Earlier this year, we get word that five NFL owners donated a million dollars, each, to Donald Trump’s inauguration. “Don’t let it be Kroenke, at least have him do something right,” I think to myself. Johnson, Snyder, Khan, McNair, Kraft. Phew.
But wait! Update: more owners, including, wait for it, Jones and . . . Kroenke. (Surprise!).
Roughly fifteen years of putrid Rams play coinciding with unprecedented Patriots success. The Patriots that some parallel-universe-me loves. I put up with all of it. But, I’m finally selling low. The entirety of my NFL fandom forever contained within the worst fifteen-or-so years of football ever produced.
So, yeah. Fuck the Rams with whatever’s left of the Gateway Arch in 4 years. And fuck Kroenke. And fuck Osama Bin Laden for scaring my parents into moving to that place. I hate football.
Now, let me tell you about my fantasy team . . .
I wrote you last year, when everyone in LA was giddy about the return of “our” LA Rams but I knew they’d be the same shit team that left town back in the 90s and finally broke me of any foolish childhood notion that words like “loyalty” and “community” mean anything when it comes to professional sports. If you’re an adult and still buy into that you probably proposed to a hooker at some point.
“Oh the Rams didn’t suck when they were in LA” you hear the old fools whine, “they were LEADING at halftime during Super Bowl 14!” Really? Atlanta had a bit of a lead recently too, and nobody with half a brain and steady employment thinks that wasn’t anything less than a seminal moment of fuckupery.
But I’m a dumbass and possibly nostalgic, so I bought two tickets to a game last season. Against Atlanta. You know, the game where the Falcons didn’t have their two starters at WR but didn’t need them because their most potent offensive weapon was Jared Goff. His stat lines for that game rival anything Buttfumble ever shat out on the turf. And there I am in the concrete toilet bowl called historic LA Colosseum, paying $14 for a Bud Light while the four Raider fans in front of us were doing spectacular business selling weed to the fans. The Raiders haven’t played there in a decade but their fans are like turtles who must return to their spawning grounds every year; either instinctively or to check in with their probation officers who are also dipshit goons who paid for PSLs.
Now we have the Boss Baby running the show and I’ll be shocked if he’s not sticking his jaw out like Gruden the first time he’s on camera to project his intensity and grit. Fuck the Rams and I’m going to preemptively say fuck the Chargers too...
I’m a former Rams fan. I’m from St. Louis, (I know, spare me), and was 10 years old when they won the Super Bowl with the Greatest Show On Turf. The Rams were electrifying and I loved watching them tear up defenses every Sunday.
Then, they started to sputter. Nothing too terrible for a few years, but by the time I got to college, they’d won three games in two seasons. That’s 3 - 29. They still haven’t even made it back to .500.
But then 2015 comes along, and Stan Kroenke tries to up and move the team to Los Angeles so he can make some more money. Mind you, the city of St. Louis still has to pay for the Dome for another decade.
The city follows all of the NFL’s rules and guidelines to keep the team in St. Louis, spends millions of dollars doing so, and Kroenke still gets to move his team.
I’m rambling here, and don’t know the purpose of this email, but fuck the Rams, fuck Roger Goodell, and seriously, go fuck yourself Stan Kroenke.
Oh, Kevin Demoff, the Rams COO can go fuck himself, too. Go get bent, the lot of ya’s!!
I grew up a Rams fan, but moved to St. Louis when I was nine, resulting in a profound deescalation of my passion for the NFL for a long time. As the years wore on I gained more interest, so once the team announced its move back to LA, I hit the shops to deck myself out in blue and gold and plant roots on the bandwagon. And then Hard Knocks premiered. My expectations plummeted, but my spirits remained high - WE HAD A TEAM!
I happened upon tickets for Dolphins at Rams, my first NFL game (at 31 no less)!
Here’s how my day went:
- Go to brunch (yes, LA brunches before football games, and yes we are assholes about it)
- Drink my weight in bottomless mimosas
- Drink a 40 oz. on the fancy new metro rail that goes from Santa Monica to the Coliseum and beyond. This isn’t allowed, but I went to New York once and I have learned how to be discrete.
- The forecast said 74 and sunny. I’m in a t-shirt. It’s raining. As we walk into the parking lot, someone at a tailgate asks my friend and I to shotgun a beer with them. At this point I can barely feel a buzz because of all the food and how much I’ve drank, but in about 20 minutes I’ll be approaching hammered at light speed. I’m also filled to the brim, so I say “No, it’s a guarantee I’ll barf right here and now.”
- Everyone calls me a pussy, so I give in, but not before I clear a landing pad for my inevitable sick.
- Shotgun beer.
- I am barfing. I am a fountain. I am a fire hose. I am Lardass from “Stand by Me,” except instead of blueberry pie, it’s Mickey’s, champagne, orange juice, and a smattering of breakfast pizza.
- Kind tailgate people give me a beer to “replace all the beer I lost” and we meander into the game.
- Barf in bush. Sip beer. Barf in trashcan. Sip beer. Barf in two bushes. At this point, I’ve given up. I’m walking and talking and barfing in between sentence fragments.
- Stop barfing and somehow keep my rain-soaked shirt free of my expulsions, so I bought an ugly Christmas sweater to get me through the game.
- Watch Jared Goff’s debut and subsequent bungling of a 10-point lead in the last 5 minutes of the game. He went 134 yards through the air that day. There is no way that man has a functioning brain up there. And who was he paired with? Jeff Fucking Fisher, who couldn’t keep track of his dick if it wasn’t attached to him.
I drank through the game and at home resulting in me getting so hammered that I went on a date that I didn’t know I went on until the girl reminded me TWO MONTHS LATER. I still had a better time barfing and the walls of LA’s sacred (lol) Coliseum and going on a phantom date than I did at the game.
After Stan Kroenke moved the team from St. Louis to LA and made sure to burn every bridge on the way out, most of St. Louis took great pleasure in watching the Rams lose week after week. Also, I should mention, a Dairy Queen in the St. Louis area offered $1 ice cream cones the day after each Rams lose. It was an Ice Cream lover’s paradise.
Fast Forward to December 11th, a home game against the Atlanta Falcons. With a loss Jeff Fisher would tie the all time record for most losses by an NFL head coach. As the St. Louis area knew a loss was imminent, most of the attention turned to the following Thursday Night. A tasty Rams vs. Seahawks match-up at CenturyLink Field in Prime Time. Bars began to plan watch parties and were going to bust out the champagne and toast Jeff Fisher for being the all time leader in losses.
BUT NO, the Rams had to F THIS UP like everything else they do! THEY FIRED HIM 3 DAYS BEFORE THE SEATTLE GAME, and ONCE AGAIN ROBBED ST LOUIS OF ANY ENJOYMENT OUT OF THIS EMBARRASSMENT OF A FRANCHISE! I HATE THIS ORGANIZATION AND HOPE THEY NEVER HAVE A WINNING SEASON AGAIN.
Should I talk about how the Rams humiliated themselves on Hard Knocks last year by doing dumb shit like crashing golf carts and Goff not knowing where the sun rises and sets?
Should I talk about how the 49ers would have been the 2nd team to ever go 0-16 if it wasn’t for the Rams?
Should I talk about how in the first game of the Rams season they got shut out by said 49ers, led by Blaine “WOAH THERE MOTHERFUCKER” Gabbert on ESPN (did I also mention I’m a KU fan)?
Should I talk about how our owner decided to buy a six-county ranch in Texas, force people out that were already living in that area, and cause one person to commit suicide (whose suicide note read “You took my home Stan”)?
Should I talk about how only two players since the 2011 season are still on the team (Roger Saffold and Robert Quinn)?
Should I talk about how I can never find a solid answer anymore to the question “Why are you still a Rams fan”?
Should I talk about how I believe Kurt Warner and the ‘99 Rams made a deal with Mephistopheles and since then has been collecting on his end of the deal?
Should I talk about how this team has the longest active under .500 seasons streak at 10 years, currently tying the ‘01-’10 Lions for 3rd in all time, and are 5 seasons away from breaking the ‘83-’96 Buccaneers record?
Should I talk about how I hope they break said Buccaneers streak so that they will have accomplished SOMETHING in this timeframe and because Kroenke doesn’t deserve success?
Or should I talk about the RG3 trade where the players drafted either didn’t pan out (Isaiah Pead, Rokevious Watkins, Greg Robinson), were decent, but traded/let go to FA (Janoris Jenkins, Zac Stacy), are just mediocre (Michael Brockers), or were shot twice in the head, somehow still lived, but could never get medically cleared to play again and was let go in April (Stedman Bailey) with the only exception being Alec Ogletree?
Actually, I know what to talk about. Fuck Stan Kroenke. Watch this video
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