JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 01: Head coach Steve Spagnulo of the St. Louis Rams watches the action during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on September 1, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
When 7-9 seasons are turning out to be the gold standard of football for the St. Louis Rams' regime, things are going wrong. Horribly wrong.
Tough decisions are ahead for the St. Louis Rams organization. Steve Spagnuolo has amassed a record of 8-30 in his two-plus seasons as the Rams' head coach. GM Billy Devaney has collected an assortment of hideous football players. Stan Kroenke still operates in the shadows, giving pause to all Rams fans who wonder how this gets better-slash-is this the beginning of the end for the Rams in St. Louis.
Yes, it's a wondrous thing to be a Rams fan.
Saturday, the 0-5 Rams were surprised with World Series tickets to watch their city counterparts the Cardinals play the Rangers in Game 3. Many questioned the move, likening it to rewarding your dog with a treat after it takes a big steaming dump on your white carpet.
Sunday in Dallas, the Rams peeled back any illusion of hope for 2011 by having the historically inept offense finally get matched by its fast fading defense. Cowboy RB DeMarco Murray gashed the Rams for 253 yards on the ground, setting a new franchise record for yards in a single game, including a 91 yard romp that was the longest ever surrendered by a Rams defense.
Amusingly, the Rams couldn't even get to half of the runs scored by the Cardinals in the game they saw.
I say amusingly because we've been here before. The 0-for-something laughingstock of the NFL. The extra bye week for the real football teams. The punching bag that won't stand up for itself. The collection of losers who accept their fate at the first sign of a fight. The feckless franchise that doesn't know where it's going.
All you can do is laugh.
Worse? This limbo. Were the Rams of 2010 a 7-9 fluke that should have been more like 4-12? Did they overestimate their luck in 2011 and now we're seeing some true colors? Perhaps this team isn't all that bad and with a few less injuries, they'd actually be a contender.
I'm not sure anyone knows.
That's what makes this really frustrating. Because the Rams are probably going to keep this leadership corps intact for one more season to find out. A huge gamble, because if that 7-9 season was a fluke, now they've sunk 2012 and have really just spun their wheels for four years while we all endured more of the same crap football that's been pervasive in St. Louis for the better part of eight seasons now.
In a league of parity, the Rams are the paradox—inertia in a rapidly changing environment.
Trouble is, St. Louis has an extra layer of intrigue surrounding its annual decent into the cellar: LA.
The City of Angels is still trying to get their stadium ground broken. And once they do, it's game on to poach a franchise. As we are all fully aware, the Rams are only guaranteed to be in STL through 2014. After that, they are a free agent, able to play where the money is the most bountiful.
Don't know about you guys, but I'm not really planning on spending any money on this team the rest of 2011. I'd have to expect that more of you are checked out for an even more substantial amount of time. Never good. And hell, we haven't even hit the blackout portion of the TV schedule that is sure to be a pervasive conversation in the second half of the season.
But hey, maybe they'll get the Saints this weekend. They seem to be letting up when they play bad teams.
It's ugly in Rams Land. And after this Sunday's drubbing, the 0-7 Rams will be in contention for the number one draft pick.
Who will be the next group of people to try and make the bleeding stop?