Still, I ask myself, "What the hell is wrong with the Rams offense?" Is it a cursed? Did Jeff Fisher piss off a witch coven or a herd of referees? Maybe it's the offensive line? No... once we added three tight ends, the blocking greatly improved. Oh stop Ewe! You can't go through this circular reasoning loop again. Take a break, a shot of tequila, relax, go to a museum. Check out the new Mike Tanier exhibit!
Welcome to my first gallery exhibit!
Some artists work in oils or acrylics. I work in Brian Schottenheimer play diagrams. Just as Andy Warhol made art from soup cans and Roy Lichtenstein made art from pulp comics, I take ridiculous Rams play concepts and turn them into museum-worthy showpieces.
Schottenheimer became my muse during this week’s Mandatory Monday, which forced me to watch seven consecutive games of Rams offensive film. After the dismay, nausea, and revulsion came an appreciation for the rich aesthetic of the over-engineered three-yard pass. My only hope is to give others the gift of seeing these plays the way I do.
All of the works of art in Scottenheimer: Through the Screen Darkly are slight exaggerations of Schottenheimer plays, true art being about finding the truth beyond our human perceptions of three-and-outs and whatnot. Mankind can make a clock, Salvador Dali a melting clock. Similarly, mankind can make a short pass, Schottenheimer a dripping burnt panini of a short pass, and me a picture of the dripping burnt panini.
The first piece in the exhibit is titled Everybody Run a Smash. Note the daring decision to let Chris Givens (13) extend his route all the way beyond the five-yard barrier. The great thing about the Everyone Run a Hitch play is that it is devastatingly effective against every coverage ever devised, except man and zone.
My second masterpiece is titled Surprise Austin Bubble Screen. I feel the action lines create an almost sensual flow of defenders in Austin’s direction, which is juxtaposed neatly with Austin’s near-stationary teammates.
Bootleg, Reimagined takes a more complex approach to one of Schottenheimer’s most complex plays. As is always the case when interpreting Schottenheimer, most of the canvas is simply chiaroscuro, an inky nothingness which no light nor eligible receiver can ever penetrate. Yet within the shallow confines of action, there is a flurry of activity: blockers pulling this way and that, Lance Kendricks (88) running a doomed flat route. Themes of hopelessness are explored as Givens tries three times to beat a jam, then runs out of bounds in futility. The only sane reaction is complete confusion and abandonment of all we have chosen to believe, which is what Brian Quick (83) does.
Finally, there is Rams Training Camp, a look at what must happen when the Rams offense faces its own defense. All of the squiggly-lines represent presnap motion. What does Schottenheimer have planned? A smash? A screen? A handoff? It does not matter, but at least Bradford is wearing his red DON’T HURT ME jersey.
Schottenheimer: Through the Screen Darkly will run here at the Tailgater until May 27th, when it will be replaced by Mornhinweg: Wildcats at the Worst Possible Times.
If you want to read the article accompanying Mike Tanier's Art Exhibit, click on one the following links. Enjoy!