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Will The Rams Vault Into National Prominence in 2016?

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In a roundtable at NFL.com, former NFL player Shaun O'Hara tabbed the Rams as the franchise that will attract national intrigue in 2016. Could they?

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Over at NFL.com, there's a roundtable today over which team will be "inspiring nationwide wonder with an attractive playing style and highly skilled individuals" or what they're dubbing "America's Team" (I'm 100% sure Dallas Cowboys fans are happy with that headline).

The nominees? The Jacksonville Jaguars, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New England Patriots, the Arizona Cardinals, the Seattle Seahawks...and the Los Angeles Rams.

Yes, former NFL player Shaun O'Hara tabbed the Rams as his pick to captivate the national zeitgeist:

America's team in 2016 is going to be the Los Angeles Rams, without question. It's not just a regular season -- it's an historic season, and a relocation like this may never happen again. The Rams are going to be so visible through "Hard Knocks" while going through their move, and they have a star player in Todd Gurley.

There's going to be a certain energy surrounding this team -- it's going to be fun to follow for every football fan, not just the Rams' faithful.

There's plenty of logic behind it. A move to Los Angeles, a media funnel like Hard Knocks and a face of the franchise like Todd Gurley...you can lean into that pretty hard in the next four months. Lord knows the Rams' marketing department will.

The real question though is one the Rams have faced every year under Head Coach Jeff Fisher - is this the year they get over the hump?

For four years, Jeff Fisher has guided the Rams to a spot just under .500 football. For four years, he's stacked up draft picks and pushed the Rams to the forefront of the list of physical teams on both offense and defense. Every year, various pundits (and a sizable contingent of Rams fans) buy into the promise.

Every year, momentum builds behind O'Hara's suggestion of "a certain energy" and the "fun" that the forthcoming Rams season promises.

And every year...welp.

The question is how many people will buy into it in year five.

Certainly, a move to Los Angeles will populate the bench of hopefuls to a much larger degree than in recent years. But how many hardcore Rams fans will bite come early August? How many TST readers will go into Week 1 believing that this is the year the Rams finally prepared to put together a winning season (something they haven't done since 2003) and make the playoffs (something they haven't done since 2004)?

For a franchise that is angling for more worldwide notoriety, capturing the national eye would be perhaps a transformative step...one that has alluded them for far too long.