Last night, Tony Romo cracked me up. Not quite Jon Gruden hitting rookie QB’s with pool noodles crack up, but close. The Pats were about to kick off, and the ball fell off the tee. For some reason, Jim Nantz found this hilarious and said, “welcome to the football follies.” Romo didn’t laugh at all, and then did this over the top fake laugh that HAD to be his way of fucking with a goober like Nantz. That’s the way I interpreted it, and no one can tell me any different. But that’s not what this blog is about. Nantz may have helped me to get to the title, but nothing else. I am in the midst of a rather large folly as a football fan. Here’s why…
I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. I was too young to remember when the football Cardinals moved to Arizona. I have no fan allegiance to them whatsoever. The Rams came to town when I was entering middle school, and I’m not going to lie, it took me a minute to warm up to them. I always liked the Raiders, Eagles, and Bucs because of their uniforms or the players I had on my fantasy team (my dad and I started playing fantasy in his office league in 1990 – Christian Okoye was the first pick in my first draft). The Rams didn’t exactly storm in St. Louis, but they did have a quarterback who had taken me to the fantasy promised land for the first time in Chris Miller. I had Miller, Bad Moon Rison, and Michael Haynes on the Jerry Glanville coached, run and shoot Falcons of the early 90’s. That was enough to pique my interest. It didn’t last long, as Pretty Tony Banks was soon at the helm and Ram mediocrity persisted for their first four years in STL. Everything changed in 1999.
If I’m being honest, the Greatest Show on Turf has become my favorite team in hindsight. I still wasn’t the biggest Rams’ when the grocery bagger from Iowa took an insane collection of skill players to the Super Bowl title. Back in the day, the ’01 team was probably my favorite. You know, the one that Brady and Belichick started their demolition of the NFL against. That in and of itself makes my fandom within the constructs of the NFL a folly – I like the team that LOST the Super Bowl more than the one who won it.
After ’01, things got bleak fast. The two decent Rams’ teams since got smoked by the Vick helmed Falcons and by a Steve Smith OT touchdown. SIDENOTE: I watched the Steve Smith with ATrain and some other buddies in STL on winter break from college. ATrain was the ultimate dickbag during that game…he was relentless. Jerk. Despite their hapless ways as a franchise, I was now a diehard Rams fan. I almost took pride in how horrendous they were. I’m going to breakdown their drafts in subsequent posts, but no team was worse. The perfect example of this is when they took DT Adam Cariker one spot ahead of Darrelle Revis, and the following season took CB Tye Hill one spot ahead of Tamba Hali. That’s not one of those “what if’s” that is a pipedream (like the ones fuckboi Simmons throws out daily) – the Rams could and should have had two of the largest destructive deforces on defense in the 2000’s. The Browns and the Rams were the worst. Not debatable.
I moved to Los Angeles in 2012 for professional reasons. It was the place where I got my personal life in order – forever indebted to that city. Just as I was completing my 2nd year sober, the Rams were in the midst of the return to that city. Unlike my STL buddies, I didn’t throw in my fandom. This was the first time I had one of my teams in my backyard since high school. I was still in a “love to hate” place with the team, but I could watch every game locally, and it felt good to have a hometown team again. This was short lived.
I moved back to STL this year. I’ve tried to swear off the Rams. I have Ezekiel Elliott in the Holy War fantasy league ATrain speaks of. He’s one of my keepers – one of “my guys.” He’s STL bred. That fueled my decision to attempt to dump the Rams for the Cowboys. Before the season started, I would’ve bet the house that Jared Goff was a bust and the Rams were due for another 5-11 season. I’m such a folly. It culminated with the Rams beating the Cowboys on the road last week.
I’m cutting through the fluff right now – I’m still a Rams fan. Screw the fact that they left STL – I can’t quit them. I don’t have it in me. My buddies here can call me Judas. They can be “mad” at me. I don’t give a fuck. This Rams team is the first fun Rams team since the days of Marc Bulger, and I’m on the gravy train. The Bears may have Mr. Biscuit wheels, but we have Bodhi Goffer. I now give you the debut of my Jared Goff voice – as he talks to my favorite Ram, Cooper Kupp – about his weekend.