By the time you read this I hope you’re at least halfway through your Monday morning hangover. Don’t feel bad about getting drunk on a work night; I know it wasn’t your intention. I’m sure you planned on having just a beer or three during the game, but as soon as Les Snead described the Rams’ defense as “collaborative hunters” while the Colts were marching to a 21-3 lead, you starting siphoning Red Label Walker straight from the bottle; by the time Andrew Luck left the game without Siciliano or Faulk having once said “welcome to the NFL rookie” and laughing maniacally as the defense celebrated, well, you were locked in the bathroom, free-basing Walter White’s retirement fund through a toilet paper roll.
How could this have happened? Rams fans haven’t had much over the past five years, but now we’re even being deprived of preseason glory, deprived of irrational confidence going into the regular season. Sure, the preseason is meaningless, the starters barely played, and we were without Brandon Gibson
—our first-ballot preseason hall-of-famer—but we’ve been spoiled as preseason fans; this is not how it’s supposed to happen. We’re supposed to go 4-0 in exhibition play. We’re supposed to be locked into an unlikely tie at halftime of our week-one road trip to Detroit. At that point, I’m prepared for Janoris Jenkins
to be arrested for copping from an undercover cop disguised as a beer vendor tambourine man; I’m prepared for Langford and Brockers to go knee-to-knee on a stunt and end both of their seasons; I’m prepared to lose by three touchdowns—that is the natural order of things.
Here’s the thing, just in case something like this happens during the regular season, we need to be prepared. I’m not judging you, I’m saying this because I love you—you can’t go through a substance induced, foaming mouth coma every time the team tanks. You need to learn some coping skills—learn to face your feelings instead of just masking them with magical mind-altering mixtures. Now, stay with me for a moment; I’m going to make a suggestion that is instinctively repulsive to most beer-guzzling, beef-eating football fans; you need keep a diary.
Don’t leave yet! Look, call it a journal; hell, call it a playbook. I’m not asking you to scribe sonnets; I’m not asking you to pillage thrift stores for all things gingham, plaid, checkered and paisley. Damnit men, I’m just trying to keep you alive long enough to enjoy Jeff Fisher Moustache Day; is that so wrong? I know it doesn’t feel right, but neither does running the 46 defense thirty-years after the West Coast Offense rendered it impotent and we’ve committed to doing that for the foreseeable future, so why not give this chance. Here, I’ll go first.
-I’m jacked! I know it’s a farce of a football game, glorified practice, but the boys are in pads and uniforms (How exactly did the uniforms manage to get uglier? Seriously, who decided that the golden collar was a good idea?) and they get to actually hit someone without worrying about maiming one of their own; let’s go!
-Hmm, so Harvey Dahl is a beast after all.
-Doesn’t Schottenheimer know that Bradford only has deep ball accuracy when he’s scrambling 4-yards outside of the pocket?
-Bryan Burrell is livid that the Rams went for it on 4th down; not because they didn’t convert, but because he was salivating at the idea of writing 1,200 words of pretentious dribble in a game recap centered entirely on Greg Zuerlein’s 54-yard field goal attempt.
-The 46 defense is all fun and games until someone gets to the second level, because…well… there is no second level.
-Good to see Kendricks in his preseason comfort zone
-Barry Richardson paying tribute to Alex Barron, false start style.
-Good lord, Langford practically picked Satele up and carried him into the backfield on his way to stuffing Brown.
-Well, the offensive starters are done; they accomplished very little, but Steven looks much better than I’ve given him credit for lately and nobody got hurt; I’ll take it.
-Pead…calm down; that’s it, ride the stationary bike; join Janoris for a pregame relaxation session if you have to, but calm your ass down. Oh, and don’t fumble without being touched—you’re going about things all wrong; you do it again, I’ll stab you in the face with a soldering iron.
-I’m actually impressed that Janoris even got close to that one—Luck looks like the real deal.
-Mounting frustration with Michael Brockers. When he stays low, he drives two linemen into the backfield with ease, but he rarely stays low.
-Craig Dahl, you better hope Gibson makes this team, because you are my whipping boy in waiting. Instead of dancing in space, how about you run towards the only open receiver in your vicinity.
-That deep ball attempt by Clemens was pathetic. The camera-man actually had to pause and wait for the ball to catch up.
-I don’t care how much he’s making, cut Jason Smith today. Have you ever seen a fat guy lean back a little too far in a chair? You know how all their limbs start waiving frantically as they reach the point of no return? That’s Jason Smith every time he drops into pass protection. I have the same feelings towards player 72 that this guy does towards error 37.
-Get the damn play off in time you pathetic cod-pieces!
-When evaluating running backs, do scouts just omit tape involving the Rams defense, citing it as outlier footage?
-I’ll say this, at least Fisher looks and sounds angry when his team is playing like crap instead of just abusing the word ‘effort’ the way Spagnuolo did.
-So, how depressing is it if you’re the bottom receiver on the depth chart when the season begins, knowing that Austin Pettis is going to bump you off the roster in week three.
-Murphy and McLeod are flying to the ball on every play.
-Another quarter, another full field touchdown drive for the Colts. I don’t even want to know the yardage differential in this game
-Does Chase Reynolds really have a chance to make this team? Let Nick Johnson return some kicks.
-I think both teams should just go back and forth running special teams drills once the fourth quarter rolls around. Those are the roles most of these players are fighting for.
-Snap count was three; Joe Long went on seven.
-Hey! There’s Greg Salas—running a 1-yard route on 4th and 2.
-Gotta like the way Middleton just rolls downhill.
-Look at you, Austin Davis, going all Thad Lewis on the 3rd string defense. Good for you; announce your presence with authority (that pick wasn’t your fault buddy); end Tom Brandstater’s brief career.
See, that wasn’t so bad. The diary saved me from a stomach-pump and it can save you too.