With those nine words in late September in 2006, Ryan Van Bibber launched TST as SB Nation's community for fans of the St. Louis Rams. Yesterday, the era of the St. Louis Rams symbolically ended as the banners marking the peak of the franchise's success came down from the rafter of the Edward Jones Dome.
The St. Louis Rams are over. But that doesn't mean we will forget them.
The last 20 years saw the buildup of one of the great rosters ever assembled and a valley that offered the dearth of quality football unlike anything in NFL history. That won't be forgotten.
That shouldn't be forgotten.
It's part of Rams history as much as the nearly 50 years in LA preceding the St. Louis are as much as those early days in Cleveland are. They're part of the history of one of the best teams (and what I'd hope we'd all argue is THE best) in NFL history.
So with the 2016 season in Los Angeles coming in just eight months, we're going to be here. And we're going to remain Turf Show Times.
The name isn't just a nod to the Greatest Show on Turf. It's a nod to the Rams' identity. Acknowledging that and reveling in that isn't something that anyone, or any city, owns. It's reflective of the moments we shared as Rams fans.
It's Steven Jackson rocking the goggles and letting out his dreads to honor Eric Dickerson in October 2010 after Jackson took over as the Rams' all-time leading franchise rusher. It's Rosey Grier meeting with the team as the St. Louis Rams prepared to honor one of the Los Angeles Rams all-time greats, DE Deacon Jones. It's Jack Youngblood and Orlando Pace. It's Marshall Faulk and Dick "Night Train" Lane. It's Kurt Warner and Roman Gabriel and Marc Bulger and Jim Everett.
The memories of Rams moments isn't something we need to ignore. The opposite is true. The memories, good and bad, are what we should celebrate and share with each other.
I ran through my dorm as a freshman in college when The Tackle to help the Rams defeat Jeff Fisher's Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. I was one of two Rams fans on campus. I didn't have anyone to celebrate with so I took off sprinting like a maniac.stopped Kevin Dyson with
I ripped a hole in my sofa when I jumped on it in celebration when Marc Bulger hit Cam Cleeland with two minutes left in the wild card game over the Seattle Seahawks in January 2005.
I swore at a TV louder than I should have at a bar in Annapolis, Maryland, as the Rams used their second round pick on TE Joe Klopfenstein, stuck between basic training in South Carolina and my first duty station for the Army in Maryland.
I worried about the idea of collecting a bunch of random Rams news links as a morning read and calling it Random Ramsdom when I dropped the first one July 21, 2008, and it didn't get a single comment and only picked up a couple dozen reads, writing that piece in an outpost in Iraq. We now get thousands of comments a month. 2015 was our best calendar year ever. We're on pace for January 2016 to be the biggest month in TST history.
I know this week has been tough for St. Louis fans to adjust to the cold reality that the Rams are leaving. Nobody, me least of all, should tell anyone how to deal with this. It's personal, and it should be. I also know there's a contingency of Los Angeles fans who are celebrating the return of the team they once knew as their hometown team. I'm not telling LA fans they shouldn't celebrate. I'm telling you that those memories can't be undone no matter what emotions we're all dealing with this week, no matter what the current owner or front office does. They can not ever take them away from is.
That's why Turf Show Times isn't going anywhere.
This is the beginning of a new era for the Rams and for TST. I'm humbled by the size of the community we've built over the last decade. I'm honored to lead it. And I'm thankful for everything St. Louis did to steward the franchise over the last 20 years. As a city and as a group of people, it was memorable.
That's why we'll always be TST. Thanks for sticking with us this far. Thanks for sticking with us while we press forward.
Thanks for making us Turf Show Times.