OK, first of all, before this season started, I posted a profanity-laced tirade explaining how I would really prefer to not have a ton of negative stuff posted about the team once the season started. I removed said post because some guy commented that his 8 year old kid reads this site and blah, blah, blah. I drink and cuss because I'm a Rams fan, but I'm not completely unreasonable, so I removed it.
So now, here we are after the most dismal 3 game start since...well,,,the last really dismal 3 game start. And Lord, shouldn't we be used to it by now? During the 4th quarter of the Ravens rout, I sat down and started typing a farewell to TST, the Rams in general and everyone who supported them. I was DONE. I entertained the idea of having a little late-night jersey bonfire in my back yard.
But...I reconsidered. Still not sure why.
I asked myself, " Hey self...what's the difference between this year's early disappointment and every other year's early disappointment?" I mean, come on, this shit happens year after year. As I said, shouldn't we all be used to it? And furthermore, THIS year, NOBODY with half a brain could possibly have looked at the schedule and hoped for more than a 2-4 start. So why the big letdown? Why am I so bummed?
I'll tell you why. OPTIMISM. And way too damn much of it.
We all do the same thing, every year. After a long off-season, we all welcome the possibilities and fresh new hope of a brand new season. And, in the past, that fresh new hope lasted all of about half a quarter for us Rams' fans.
But THIS year was different.
For one thing, Sam the Ram gave us all new hope last year. Finally, we have a true successor to Warner. A true franchise QB. What a season he had as a rook! Imagine what he'll do going forward?
Second, we ALMOST made the playoffs. If not for the horrid performance we unleashed on an unsuspecting national TV audience, we would have.
And third, the national sports media was FINALLY giving us some love. How many of the ESPN 'experts' picked us to win the division, such as it is? Almost ALL of them!
So who could blame us for being so OPTIMISTIC? Finally, after the last 10 years of humiliation, our boys are poised to make a real move...a real step forward toward being a true contender.
Only it ain't happening. Not yet, anyway. Echoes of " Same old Rams."
Now...everyone's looking for someone to blame. And, make no mistake, there's plenty of blame to go around. From the fornt office ( lack of spending ), to Spags ( lack of motivation ), to the defensive backfield ( lack of everything ) to the WRs ( lack of catching balls ), to Sam ( lack of being as great as we need you to be ). Yep...LOTS of blame to go around.
But if you're REALLY pissed off. As a true fan...REALLY pissed off. Maybe, just maybe...blame yourself to some degree. That's what I'm doing. And I've been a true fan longer than almost any of you. I'm blaming myself for just expecting too damn much too damn soon.
Don't get me wrong! I am ENTIRELY fed up with this whole organization. But I decided that MY expectations, MY OPTIMISM are mine and mine alone. I had to make a choice; am I a TRUE fan? Or have I had enough? Or both?
I don't mind the ass-kickings we've taken in these first three games so much as I mind the way we've taken them. Just stupid, horrendous play all over the field. That's what gets me! But then again, why should I have expected anything but?
We're nowhere near as good as we might have thought we were. We have a shitty O-Line, no really talented WR's, a defense that has just a few play-makers ( not nearly enough to be dominant ), a battered secondary and a really good, really YOUNG QB who is still learning. Oh yeah...and a killer punter! Thank God!
So what do we do now? Well, first we get used to the idea that this just really isn't likely to be the year everything turns around. We'll probably get better and win some games in the second half of the season, but likely too late to really compete. Maybe not. Maybe we can catch up and contend for the division. Who knows? Bet let's assume we wont. Let's assume the dreaded 49ers win it. Doesn't matter. Whoever wins this division is likely stepping out of the playoffs Game 1. ( Face it...Seattle winning Game 1 last year was a HUGE fluke! ). So what then?
We stand up and say, " What the Hell? We were wrong. We just aren't as good as we thought we'd be." And we hope for improvement. We hope for signs of better things to come. We act like Cubs fans and say, " Maybe next year." Oh wait...maybe that's acting like Rams fan...that "maybe next year" thing.
But that's what we do. Or, at least, that's what I'll do. 'Cause that's what I've been doing ...well...since 1969.
And TST folks...PLEASE don't hit me with a bunch of negative comments....because I'm being just as positive as I can be. Hang with me.