The NFL, in the grips of its first work stoppage since 1987, decided earlier this week to dig deep, search souls, put their collective nose to the grindstone and... Move kickoffs to the 35 yard line?
I mean, what else would the NFL meet on, silly? You think they have time to deal with 'labor impasses' or 'billions of dollars in lost revenue' when Graham Gano is having trouble getting touchbacks? Pft.
Since the NFL is taking such important measures to make sure that the kickoff return man goes the way of the single-bar face mask, arm bar and flying wedges, it's time to take a look back at the five best kick returners to ever don the horned helmets in St. Louis.
Number 5: Arlen Harris. No really, Arlen Harris. I know... I know. This list isn't going to be glamorous, people. The Rams have certainly had their fair share of nondescript return men, including Harris, who came along at the tail-end of the Mike Martz era but did produce over 1100 yards and a 23.0 yards-per-return average. He followed up his 2003 season with almost 1000 yards again on less than 50 attempts.
Just think how good he could have been if he weren't terrible!
Number 4: Dante Hall. Over the hill and digging a hole in it when he came from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Rams in 2007, Dante Hall didn't regain his legs in the Dome, picking up fewer than 1500 yards combined in his two seasons.
Then again, there was something to be said for the idea that opponents had to respect the Rams kickoff game for the first time in several years, based on his reputation alone.
Again: The standard for being on this list isn't terribly high.
Number 3: Terrence Wilkins -- Parlayed a good 2002 season (47/1074) into a free agent contract with the Colts the next year.
On his wiki, his tenure with the Calgary Stampede is listed as more impressive than his time with the St. Louis Rams. Easily could have been one of the best return-men in Rams history had he decided to not take his talents to South Indiana.
Number 2: Danny Amendola -- The embodiment of scrappy. The holy grail of whiteness. The epitome of the underdog.
Amendola went from Dallas Cowboys afterthought to the Rams' first 1000+ yard return man in more than five seasons, not to mention an excellent target for Rookie of the Year Sam Bradford.
Amendola busted a career long 84 yard return in '10 and averaged over 22 yards per return, and if swoons were tabulated by Stats Inc, he'd be the all time Rams leader.
Number 1: Tony Horne -- Congratulations, you waded through this list and made it this far. Your reward is Tony Horne. And you wouldn't know what the guy looked like if he were in your living room right now. Hell, if you're young enough you might not even know who he was.
But Tony Horne is the cream of the crop when it comes to St. Louis Rams kickoff return-men.
The 2000 season was defined by Tony Horne's spectacular game against in-state rival Kansas City, when Horne broke loose for 267 yards - a Rams single-game record. He also set the mark for most yards in a season with 1,379 that same year.
Horne was one of those guys whose Wikipedia page is full of surprises. Did you know he's only 5'9"? Or that he was the QB at Clemson before going undrafted?
And with that, I think we can all agree that this is a list that doesn't need to be done ever again.