Welcome to the 2017 preview for the Los Angeles Rams. I’m sure you’ve been looking forward to this like Carroll Rosenbloom looked forward to boat rides, but the site’s sponsors (MySpace and Circuit City) require we do a preview for each NFL team, and despite appearances to the contrary, the Rams are indeed an NFL team. So as Brett Favre once said right before pressing “SEND,” here goes nothing.
The Rams first played in Cleveland in 1936 (back when LeBron James was just starting to see his hairline recede). The ownership named the Rams after the powerhouse Fordham college program; a secondary reason was that the short nickname would fit easily into newspaper headlines. (Just 10 years later, New York newspapers were given a giant middle finger by the Knickerbockers ownership.) The Rams struggled for most of their first decade, until World War II finally evened out the talent pool in the NFL, and Cleveland won the title in 1945. Buoyed by their newfound success and led by star quarterback Bob Waterfield, the Rams took the next logical step and got the fuck outta Cleveland, heading for the palm trees and desperate starlets of Los Angeles. Don’t cry for Cleveland, though; the Rams were replaced by a new team coached by Paul Brown, creatively named the Pauls. (ed. note – we sure about this?) (writ. note – mind your own fucking business.)
The Rams moved into the Los Angeles Coliseum, which made integrating the team a condition of the lease. So the Rams added like two black guys, for a couple years, then went back to Team Mayonnaise soon after. So brave. Anyway, in the late 1940s the Rams’ halfback Fred Gehrke painted horns on the helmets, paving the way for almost all other teams to likewise decorate their lids. (A notable exception to this trend is the Cleveland Browns, whose helmets are solid…orange. In honor of Paul Brown.) The Rams had a pretty good run for the next few decades, generally fielding good-but-not-great teams, and then the coked up 1980s arrived. Despite getting the best SMU running back that didn’t kill five hookers, the Rams’ fortunes started to dwindle. There was, in fact, only one great Rams highlight during this period:
So by the early 1990s, the scene was set for ownership to look for a new home. After all, what did Southern California have to offer that, say, Missouri didn’t? Obviously, the only smart thing to do was to head to St. Louis, where there was no team because
it had already failed as an NFL home it was a land of opportunity just waiting for the right kind of opportunist. Naturally, after abandoning their fanbase (including yours truly), the Rams struck quarterbacking gold in an Iowa Hy-Vee and landed Kurt Warner. He teamed up with Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, and fan favorite Ricky Proehl to form The Greatest Show on Turf, and their success culminated in a Super Bowl win in early 2000. This picture doesn’t make me want to ragekill anyone at all:
Fast forward about 15 years, and the bloom was inexplicably off the St. Louis rose. The citizenry wouldn’t pony up for a new stadium, so new owner Stan Kroenke (married into Walmart money…sensing a pattern here) headed West, back to the now-empty NFL landscape of Los Angeles. The new stadium megaplex will be finished in 2019 or 2020 or whenever (tiny amount of rain permitting), so the Rams will play in the still-standing Los Angeles Coliseum in the meantime. Turn, turn, turn. (No, idiot…those are seagulls.)
2016 in Review
The Rams decided to start the training camp off the right way, by appearing on HBO. Charisma void Jeff Fisher was the coach, and the starting quarterback was Case Keenum, so I assume ratings were low (no one cares, truly) for this version of Hard Knocks. The Rams played the 2016 season about as well as can be expected, which is not well at all. Toward the end of the season Jeff Fisher was actually fired, which was amazing because he seemed to have a lifetime pass to coach uninspiring football forever. Shiny new rookie QB Jared Goff played poorly, or maybe not because the whole team sucked harder than Hope Hicks at a GOP job fair. Seemingly-pretty-damn-good running back Todd Gurley ran like a
girly person who gets no blocking and sees nine-man fronts all day long (“Lucky!” – Aaron Rodgers). Overpaid scatback (“Lucky!” – Najeh Davenport) Tavon Austin had like three good plays, leading the offense for the season. The defense was fine, at least until all the offensive three-and-outs (“Amazing!” – Rick Pitino) caught up with them. All in all, the Rams ended the season with a 4-12 record, but this at least guaranteed them a high 2017 draft pick. Oh wait, no it didn’t, since they traded their first round pick to draft Jared Goff in 2016.
2017 Season Preview
Winter, then spring, followed by summer, autumn, and finally back to winter.
Sean McVay is thirty-one years old. Sean McVay tiene treinta y un años. Sean McVay ist einunddreißig Jahre alt. Шон Маквей тридцать один год.
Ok, What About Other Coaches?
Well, Wade Phillips is a good defensive mind who can wear the fuck out of a sweatshirt:
Players Worth Mentioning That Weren’t Already Mentioned
Aaron Donald is one of the best defenders in the NFL. Naturally, the Rams are fucking around with his contract, so he’s holding out. When you only have, say, one good player, you should probably try to keep that player happy, no? The punter, Johnny Hekker, is a ginger but is still pretty good. Rookie receiver Cooper Kupp will be described as gritty and/or scrappy by the national media. In another part of the country, he’d instantly be the most popular player on this team, but here in Southern California, we just don’t care enough to be sports-racist.
What We Can Expect
The Rams will finish 4-12 again. They’ll beat the 49ers once or twice and maybe get a cheap win early if Andrew Luck misses the opening game. They would also have a chance against the “Houston Texans” if such a team actually existed.
If You Drive To The L.A. Coliseum From Orange County
Google Maps will send you through Compton and South Los Angeles (formerly called South Central Los Angeles) because Google Maps is woke. People in those neighborhoods enjoy when you stop and ask them where they filmed Boyz N The Hood.
Why Attend A Game At The L.A. Coliseum
I honestly have no fucking idea. Enjoy the season!