Found November 27, 2012 on
As I woke up this morning, I entered the Rams’ Twitter contest to win a signed Dick Vermeil mini-helmet, a totem embodying memories of the greatest era in St. Louis Rams history.
The question to qualify for the prize was even based on the Rams’ meteoric rise under Vermeil, asking for the disparity in the team’s record from 1998 to 1999. For the record, it went from 4-12 in 1998 to a Super Bowl victory and 13-3 record in 1999.
I didn’t win, but the contest jogged my memory and put me back into the comfortable and cozy space that so many of us long for when Sam Bradford’s tosses to Brandon Gibson fall short of conjuring up images of Kurt Warner bombing passes down the field to Isaac Bruce on the way to a Lombardi trophy.
However, I’m lobbying that it’s time to quit going back to that place and to accept that this Rams team will never be that Rams team, no matter how often we don our #13 and #28 jerseys and watch highlights of the blue and yellow track meet that defined a trip to the Ed in the late 90’s.
Bradford is compared far more often to Andrew Luck and RGIII than Warner, but the ghosts of the Greatest Show on Turf loom over Sam more often than we care to admit.
I’m not defending when Bradford has a let down game or lauding him for his superlative performances either. I’m simply arguing that subconsciously, we have to collectively let go the idea that he is the man to fill the Warner-sized shoes cemented in our hearts.
It speaks to the larger narrative that Rams fans long for the Greatest Show on Turf era, but are really longing for that feeling of dominance and competitiveness that came together magically in the autumn of 1999.
This perspective skews Bradford’s and the team’s performance into a prism of inadequacy, even as the quarterback is in his third offensive system in three years, the roster had a 60 percent turnover from last season and injuries have been commonplace to cornerstone offensive starters the last few seasons.
This team is built on a defensive mentality and is limited by the offensive skill players at Brian Schottenheimer’s disposal. The wealth of skill players the ’99 team had make the ’12 players look like cast-offs from a thrift shop.
Brandon Gibson is not Torry Holt. Danny Amendola is not Isaac Bruce. Sam Bradford is not Kurt Warner.
No one is making that comparison forthright, but the whispers of the days when a Rams offense averaged 33 points a game continue to permeate expectations for the present-day Rams. Subconsciously, this is stunting the rebuilding we all must learn to embrace for a Rams team that is still far from the upper rung of the NFL.
The 2012 Rams and beyond will succeed on defensive strength, a strong running game and performances from Bradford ranging from game manager to medium-level NFL starter, not explosive offense that lights up the scoreboard like a Clark Griswold Christmas tree.
Just this morning, one of my twitter followers mentioned how drafting USC receiver Marqise Lee next year would give the Rams a chance to start up the “Greatest Show on Turf 2.0.”
It was a statement so many of us think of when we see these Rams struggle through coaching changes, roster turnover and growing pains.
We want that overnight success that Vermeil delivered 13 years ago, going from a 4-12 cellar dweller to the Super Bowl penthouse suite.
It’s the NFL and anything can happen from season to season, but I’m not holding my breath.
Just like I’m going to quit holding on to a perception that this team will ever be the “Greatest Show on Turf.
BEST OF MAXIM
Jeff Fisher expressed nothing but confidence when the St. Louis Rams drafted Janoris Jenkins and since the rookie made history he looks like a genius.
Jenkins became the first rookie since 1960 with a pair of interceptions returned for touchdowns in the same game. – GatorSports.com
According to Fisher the Rams did a tremendous amount of research into Jenkins and was sure they...
ST. LOUIS - Rams coach Jeff Fisher admitted after their 27-13 loss to the New York Jets last week that he probably should have given running back Steven Jackson more carries.
He didnt let the same mistake happen twice.
Jackson had a season-high 139 rushing yards on 24 carries to help lead the Rams to a 31-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals on the road Sunday. It was his second-most...
Five St. Louis Rams’ players did not participate in practice
Wednesday, including wide receiver Danny Amendola (foot), running back Stephen
Jackson (foot) and defensive lineman Robert Quinn (concussion), according to
the team’s injury report.
Amendola sat on the sidelines while sporting a walking boot
on his injured left foot yesterday. Even with the boot he was noticeably...
This week Janoris Jenkins showed why he should have been a first round pick. The former Florida Gator put the St. Louis Rams defense on his back as he picked off two of Ryan Lindley passes and returned them for touchdowns in the Rams win over the Cardinals. Jenkins was one player that everyone felt like ragging on in the beginning of the year. No one wanted to give him the...
ST. LOUIS (AP) Danny Amendola was pretty much a decoy last week, limited by a heel injury. The St. Louis Rams leading wide receiver was back in a walking boot Wednesday and watching at practice.
Amendola, who has 51 catches and an 11.3-yard average, was optimistic about playing Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. He was on the field for just seven snaps in last week's victory...
The five-game winless streak is over for the St. Louis Rams, and not just because of rookie Janoris Jenkins' historic day. Steven Jackson and rookie Chris Givens had big days on offense, too.
The bruising Jackson had a season-best 139 yards rushing, putting him in easy range of an eighth straight 1,000-yard season, which would extend his franchise record. Givens, a fourth-round...
I'll be honest, I didn't expect to be writing this article. Not after Rodger Saffold's rookie promise evaporated in an all-around-awful 2011 season. Not after Saffold worked his way back to the starting lineup, only to be laid out flat on a stretcher in the first quarter of his first home game back.
Nope, I was, rather petulantly and rather foolishly, willing to write...
The Cardinals’ 2012 campaign fell to a new low on Sunday following a seventh consecutive loss at the hands of the St. Louis Rams.
For three years now, Rams fans have been told to have patience with Sam Bradford. We have all heard the excuses, new offensive coordinator (each year), no quarterback coach (last year), terrible quarterback coach (first year), wide receivers that can’t get separation (all three years), wide receivers that can’t get deep, and, of course, inconsistent or bad offensive line play...