SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 04: A.J. Feeley #4 of the St. Louis Rams fumbles the ball that was recovered by the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on December 4, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
In times like these, you'd like to have something to hold on to. Some bit of hope for the future. The St. Louis Rams can't even give you that.
Let's say you're hungry. Real hungry.
Most people get hungry, so you're in luck. There are a plethora of places to get food. In fact, I bet wherever you are, right at this very moment, you could probably get some food real quick if you wanted it.
But 'good' food? Now that's a different story. Walk into an Aldi and 10 bucks will feed you. Actually, it'll probably feed you and a couple of friends. Probably isn't going to be the best meal you've ever had, but you will be fed. On the other hand, 10 bucks won't get you a baked potato at Morton's Steakhouse. Maybe it'll get you a napkin.
St. Louis Rams fans are hungry. Real hungry.
When 2011 started, we had aspirations of Morton's. Sitting at that big, oak table with a suited waiter serving up a freshly made playoff berth. As the season started slipping away, we downgraded our expectations. Week after week, we had the same grumblings in the tummy, but what we'd settle for was significantly reduced.
After getting abused in San Fransisco on Sunday, it's evident that this team, this staff, this organization isn't willing to give us even a bone. They're watching us wither away to nothing and could care less. They've made their position clear... if you're a Rams fan, you're going to starve.
2-10 in his third season as Head Coach, Steve Spagnuolo is going to be dismissed at the end of the season. The Rams marketing department can't sell another go at this team in 2012 without significant turnover. Fair or not, whatever your opinion, he just hasn't done anything that can be sold to the public. That's death for an NFL team.
More disappointing to Rams is the lack of anything tangible to hold on to and pull from the rubble. The star QB has been injured and looks to be way more of a gamble than we thought 3 months ago. The start RB is a year older and more beaten up without a clear back-up in place. The offensive line is overpaid and in shambles. The other draft picks haven't shown progress.
There isn't that one thing that makes you think twice about getting excited for 2012. And after the 49ers leaped into double digit wins and buried the NFC West by December 5th—the hope is even less evident.
The Rams are a monstrosity. Even worse, we don't know where to look for the cure. Even worse than that—2012 and 2013 are the most critical years in this franchise's history, the ones that will determine if St. Louis even has a team by the middle of this decade.
I wish I could sit here and tell you I've got answers. That everything is going to be peachy-keen. That 2011 was an aberration, a mixture of bad luck and bad breaks. But when we were in the exact same situation after the Scott Linehan era, the same people that had input then, still have it now. Perhaps moreso. So what makes us think that the Rams can pull themselves out of this deep tailspin?
Maybe they can't.
Maybe we're the new Saints. Or the old Rams. Eventually we'll find our Drew Brees or Kurt Warner again. But the idea of actually being expected to be good and delivering results are not something that this organization is capable of.
That might be harsh. But if you need my evidence, feel free to head over to NFL.com and search for "Rams Highlights" from Sunday and tell me what you dig up. That's the competition for the NFC West now. Feel better?
Rams fans are starving.
The Rams are famine.