*** Contains serious Oklahoma Sooner homerness ***
Hey Folks, i've lurked around TST for some time now, but I've never really written anything about the team and with all the questions about this being a "make or break" year for Sam, I wanted to write about my favorite player, but first a story.
In the fall of 2008 I was a sophomore in high school and I never really followed sports, but early on in the college football season my dad forced me to sit down and watch his Oklahoma Sooners. It just so happened that this game was against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and a pretty serious rivalry existed between the two teams. Sam threw three touchdown passes and led the team to a 35-0 advantage, in the first quarter. This started a run of scoring that has never been equalled in a five game span with 5 straight 60+ point games. I understand that some of you might be rolling your eyes and saying "well it was just college", and that is a fair point to make, and i'm not suggesting that he will ever put something like that together in the NFL, but I knew right then and there this guy was something special.
Jumping ahead a bit into 2009, the expectations around the sooners team were skyrocketing, and it seemed like Oklahoma would be in a prime position to push for a national title.Then Sam the Man, THE heisman trophy winner, the guy who was pretty much invincible in my eyes, got sacked that fateful day against texas when he was sacked for the last time in college. I remember hearing the draft pundits critiscing his decision to stay for his junior year, everyone around the country was second guessing him, and all I could say was "huh?". Let me elaborate.
When Sam and the Sooner's got to the national title game in 08' and lost, it would have been more than reasonable for sam to leave early for the draft. He had won a Heisman, set offensive records and had one of the best touchdown to interception ratios in the history of college football (seriously, he finished his career with 88 td and 16 int). However, he came back, and this is pure speculation on my part, but I think he is the fiercest competitor on the rams, and maybe in the nfc west. He risked injury and a helluva lot of money to come back to win a title because he failed in that title game (again speculation on my part).
During the 2010 draft process I don't think i've ever seen so many pundits completely reverse what they thought of a prospect after Sam had gotten reconstructive surgery on his shoulder. The guy had his shoulder smashed into bits and came back with a stronger arm. For as long as i've watched this guy play, when he fails he comes back better. I don't need to explain to ram's fans whats happened since he joined the team. I wont make excuses for him, he has been an average quarterback at best in his NFL career. But when I remember how perfect those passes he threw to Jermaine Greshman, Juaqin Iglesias and Demarco Murray were, and how completely in command of an offense that didnt huddle. I can't help but have blind faith that he will someday be one of the greatest quarterbacks to play this game.
I suppose you could call me a bandwagon fan, and yeah, I am. I love Sam Bradford, but I also have come to love the rams quite a bit. I've read about the fearsome foursome, I've watched highlights of the GSOT, and watched the america's game for the 1999 superbowl win so many times I'm pretty sure i could write down every spoken word in that episode. I don't know what the future holds for this team, but I am 100% confident that Sam Bradford is going to come out slinging this year, give his absolute best and shut up every single person who has doubted him. For some reason I keep coming back to that 08' season, but instead of crimson and cream Sam has got two mean ass fucking horns on his helmet and instead of Gresham, Iglesias and Murray, its going to be Austin, Givens and Quick dancing in the endzone. While some defensive back shakes his head, wondering "How do we defend these guys?"
Let me close by saying I don't expect many people to share my fanatical adoration of this guy, I don't expect people to share my views on what his ceiling as a QB is, but if you don't believe that with the right cast this guy could take the NFL by storm, go look at some of those highlight videos of that 08' offense. I started following sports because of what he did that year and with the weapons we have now, the possibilities are pretty damn tantalizing.
Go Rams ands thanks for reading!