The Giants and Vikings came through for us this week and the Rams are now officially in first place. We took the week off and hopefully some of our injured stars can get healthy and be ready for next week's HUGE game in San Francisco. This next game looms large in so many ways and I will say, VT, you stole a little bit of my thunder with your "Welcome To 49er Week" post. Winning this game in Frisco will help to validate the St Louis Rams as legitimate contenders not only for the NFC West but the NFC Conference. If we can win the game, it will be our first road win which has evaded us so far this season. I also believe that if we can knock off the Niners it will be like the city of St. Louis doing one big collective stomp on the city of Frisco and grinding them into the basement of the NFC West and pretty much saying "You're in last place Whiners! STAY THERE!!"
I've never used "THE JUMP" before but here goes...
NOW, we all need to take a breath and understand the hoopla is over, it's Niner week. We need to get to work and concentrate on the game at hand. This game reminds me of the '99 season when we were 3-0 and the Niners were coming to town. The Rams and their fanbase were holding their breath not sure if we were really for real and feared the Niners would bring us back to earth. What happened you ask? We killed the Niners 42-20 and Kurt Warner graced the cover of Sports Illustrated for the first time the following week.
I have been a Rams fan since I was 7 years old and fully understand what the Niner-Rams rivalry means. Some of you TST'ers are a little young and may not be familiar with what has happened between these two teams over the years. This post is a little reminder to bring everyone up to speed. I actually hope some of the players on the team get on TST and see this so it will give them a little extra umph going into the game.
The Rams-Niners rivalry ranks as the 8th best rivalry in the NFL with the two teams tied at 60-60 and two tie games in all-time meetings. This includes the Niners 17 game win streak during the 90's, a current Niner 4 game winning streak and the Niners winning 7 of the past 9. During the 70's and 80's the Rams and Niners were the usual winners of the NFC West but the rivalry got white hot when Joe Montana and Jerry Rice came into the picture. Even though it seemed like the Niners were dominating the rivalry at the time, I recall the majority of the time, the Niners would come down to Anaheim and kick our ass and we would go up to Candlestick and kick their ass. Their were some episodes during the rivalry that really get my blood boiling and I would like to share some of them with you.
I recall on a Monday Night game, the Rams were taking it to the Niners and the Niners started a drive inside their ten yard line. Montana dropped back into the end zone and hit John Taylor and he zig-zagged through our defense and took it downfield all the way for a touchdown. TWICE (check out the video) in the same game. The Niners came back as a result of those two plays and won the game. I was pissed.
That same year, the Rams met the Niners in the NFC Championship game (which I believe is the only time the two have met in postseason). The Niners defense shellacked Jim Everett all day and killed us 30-3. But Jim Everett put his stamp on that game with his infamous "Phantom Sack" (more video). I think he will forever be known for that.
Remember Merton Hanks and his stupid ass Funky Chicken Dance? (even more video) I hated him. Every time he intercepted a pass or returned a fumble he would go into that dance. I wished his head would fall off.
Remember Todd Kinchen? He was a receiver for the Rams who caught a TD against the Niners and went to the field goal post and started a lame punching bag exercise. I think he missed on one of those swings and even tried kicking the post. It was so bad, he might as well have slapped it. In 1995, the Rams inauguraul year in St. Louis, we started 5-1 when the Niners came into town. Ken Norton Jr. (yes the boxer's son) was a linebacker with the Niners at the time. Early in the game, Norton intercepted a Rams pass and returned it for a touchdown he did the same thing to rub it in the Rams face and I think he knocked the field goal post out. (see for yourself)
Later in that same game, as the Rams were on their way to a 44-10 drubbing, Niners DT Dana Stubblefield was caught on tape celebrating with a teammate and yelled to the camera "Same old sorry ass Rams!!" I tried to find video on that but couldn't for the life of me but it is forever ingrained in my mind.
Remember the 17 game win streak during the 90's. That was the Dark Ages of Rams history. It started in L.A. and continued into St. Louis until that magical 1999 season. I still wore my Rams gear and pulled for the team but I think even my wife was embarrased to be seen near me wearing it.
Then their was the issue with the Niners backup quarterbacks. A lot of times the Niners starter was hurt and we would go into a game facing the backup thinking we had a good chance of winning the game. Steve Young (yes, he was a backup), Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac, Jim Druckenmiller and Tim Rattay all seemed to have field days against us. Don't look now but Niners backup Troy Smith is probably gonna be on the field this Sunday.
I gotta stop typing. I feel my blood pressure rising, gotta take my meds. I hope you are pissed just as I am and I hope the Rams kill the Niners this weekend.