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St. Louis Rams’ MLB James Laurinaitis Might Make History This Sunday at FedEx Field

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I’ve never met St. Louis Rams’ middle linebacker James Laurinaitis.  He sure seems like a heck of a guy though.  Chris Long idolizes him.  And I don’t need to mention he’s got a winning smile, because you’re already thinking it.  Heck of a guy, it seems.

In the small amount of closet space my wife allows me to have, amongst five or six others, hangs a millennium blue "55" St. Louis Rams jersey.  It’ not one of the newer Nike jerseys, so it doesn’t get worn as often as it probably should.  I think, subconsciously, I’ve just been waiting for the right time/game to wear it.

In my basement, directly below the TV mounted on the wall, sits an authentic game ball that he once signed for me.  It was a gift from my wife, who had a friend of hers get him to autograph it for me while he was at Rams Park during the offseason.  I wish I could’ve thanked him in person for that. Heck of guy that James Laurinaitis.

He’s also a heck of a football player.  Drafted in 2009, JL55 is the second longest tenured Rams player currently on the roster.  And if you know only one thing about the Rams' Mike linebacker it’s that he’s a tackling machine.  He lead the team in tackles between 2009 to 2012 and has eclipsed 100 tackles in all six seasons with the Rams.  As durable - and reliable - as they come, he’s yet to miss a game in his career.

Aaron Donald lead the Rams in tackles last week, racking up nine on the day.  Laurinaitis, and a few others, ended the game with seven.  But it’s the next seven I’m more interested in, and not because it’ll be against the Washington Redskins, at a game I’ll be attending.

It’s because when JL55 tallies that 7th tackle, he’ll be tied with Merlen Olsen as the Rams’ all-time leader in that statistic.  Olsen, a Hall-of-Famer and 14-time pro bowler, played for the Los Angeles Rams for 15 consecutive years, tallying 915 tackles during that span.  Laurinaitis passed Jim "Hacksaw" Reynolds [897] and Deacon Jones [896] on the Rams’ all-time list at the conclusion of the 2014 season. 

This Sunday, at FedEx Field, James Laurinaitis might make history.  And if/when he does, I’ll be sitting in a box suite, amongst a group of a fans donning burgundy and gold, proudly wearing a Reebok jersey I bought about six years ago.

So here’s to hoping you get to take a ball home with you this Sunday, James.  You’re a heck of a football player, you're a heck of a guy, and that’s why they call you "Cap’n."  Cheers to you.