One hot summer’s day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch.
“Just the things to quench my thirst,” quoth he.
Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: “I am sure they are sour.”
LARams.net understands that many, many Rams fans in Los Angeles have stayed loyal from even the years before ol’ Georgia Frontiere packed up the NFL franchise willed to her by deceased/possibly professionally offed husband and moved it to St. Louis.
From 1,800+ miles away, this lot cheered the Rams as though they’d never left, supporting the team through obscurity to the thrilling Greatest Show On Turf years to the gut punch upset that was Super Bowl XXXVI, through the almost-rebuilding years of Marc Bulger to the stupefying malaise of the Jeff Fisher Era (all apologies, but it’s true).
To these fans I apologize in advance for the following: So the Rams won’t make the playoffs this season – Who needs it? Another 8-8 season and a mid-range finish among NFL teams might be perfect for the franchise’s future and could be especially so for the fans in Los Angeles and Orange County.
On the field, a playoff berth means a top-10 or -12 finish, which means lower picks in an NFL draft when several holes on the depth chart desperately need filling. On top of this, squeaking into the playoffs (and, by inference, beating out the defending champion Seattle Seahawks) would likely be deemed as blisteringly successful for a front office with a low budget – I mean, low *expectations*.
In turn, Fisher and GM Les Snead would seemingly be more likely to stand pat even in areas of concern. Hell, they’d probably re-sign Wes Welker and re-up Case Keenum for crazy cash after he bottles lightning for eight games a la that dude from the Eagles a few years back.
But here’s the main thing: business. If Fisher somehow guides this team into the playoffs on his seventh winning record in 21 seasons (!) as a head coach, surely the seats at Edward Jones Dome would be filled, right? Okay, so the surprising revelation of Todd Gurley as a metahuman isn’t exactly packing the place and local TV ratings have dipped to 31st in the league to only Jacksonville after some reasonably good numbers early in the season.
If a sub-.500 team leaves the city, all but the diehards are tempted to do more than mutter “good riddance” and the team is forgotten in months: Check out San Diego fandom at this time next year for reference. But an NFL team moving the year after a surprise playoff appearance with the youngest roster in the league? Unprecedented. In fact, the only franchise since the 1960s with any potential to immediately compete that moved cities was – you guessed it – the Oakland Raiders in 1981 and they even finished with a 7-9 record that season.
Sure, the NFL could trot out the old rhetoric and complaints about “pressures of the marketplace,” but with the accrual of bad PR this league has seen recently, moving a winning team from a city that by appearances adequately supports said team would be quite derisive indeed. (Of course, the NFL owners could reject Stan Kroenke’s bid to move the Rams franchise and then he could attempt to do so anyway. Which would be verrrrrrrrrrry interesting.)
So no, LARams.net isn’t bothered by the Rams again missing the playoffs. Even though this year’s playoffs are set to be rife with upsets. And in a wild-card spot, the Rams might draw a fallible team like the New York Giants or Green Bay Packers…
Nope, forget it. Those grapes are sour. Next year’s crop will surely be better.
– written by Os Davis