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Are expectations around the 2018 Los Angeles Rams setting us up for a jinx?

In a season of heightened expectations, should Rams fans play it cool?

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

As Los Angeles Rams fans, we’ve become accustomed to offseasons where we might generously predict an 8-8 or 9-7 record, health provided. Then with the aid of some Vitamin Fisher or some incomplete efforts on the field, the Rams fall short of expectations again. This sort of sequence had become a bit of an annual tradition for us until last year. Each time, I’d reflect back on our dashed hopes, and remember boldly warning Seattle Seahawks fans about the impending Year Of The Ram.

Though I’m not formally religious, I often wondered if the mysticism of the jinx had been at play. Had the cosmos frowned upon my premature crowing? Had God himself taken a moment from his busy schedule to chop my overzealous expectations back to size? This is all cautious guesswork at best so I still carry an agnostic respect for the jinx.

That brings us to this season. The 2018 season. This Super Bowl or Bust season for which many pundits are going to confidently cast preseason predictions of grandeur for the Rams. Most will have the Rams winning the NFC West. Some will have them winning the conference. And yes, a few might even predict that the Rams will win the...scratch that. I refuse to say it.

What is the proper way for us to handle this 180-degree turn in expectations? In a league where disappointment is an injury away and defensive coordinators are spending hours mulling over last year’s outburst from the Rams’ offense, do we temper expectations or just ride the wave? Should we proudly post insider’s predictions on social media as way of reassuring ourselves that we’re not crazy this time?

I don’t know, but I gotta admit — I was a little too confident before the playoff loss to the Atlanta Falcons last year. In the weeks leading up to the playoffs, we debated the merits of resting players versus getting a chance to plow through Nick Foles and the struggling Philadelphia Eagles. Yup, we mixed a little karma with a few gaffed punt returns and all went home.

Our collective heads were messed up in the post-Spagnuolo aftermath as well. Remember when NFL coaching legend Jeffrey Michael Fisher arrived and the Rams went 7-8-1? According to our invigorated fan base, the Rams were surely back! We cited how the Rams had doubled the Miami Dolphins in yardage in Week 6 and still lost a heartbreaker, so they really should have been 8-7-1. And about that tie; the San Francisco 49ers knew they were lucky to come out even, so the Rams should have really been at least 9-7, and they were just getting started! And how did things go the next season?

Don’t ask.

I’m not saying jinxes are real. I’m not a lunatic, but if I said they don’t worry me, I’d be a liar. Every football magazine predicting the Rams would go 5-11 before last season clearly wasn’t the reason for the team’s rapid rise, but it was nice knowing that we had a potential jinx under control.

Whether you build shrines around your TV, have a ridiculous pregame ritual, or feel the need to pretend to act worried when the Rams have a comfortable lead, this offseason’s expectations are so very different.

I for one am not completely comfortable with that.

For the universal record, let’s just hope to be competitive and have a few breaks go our way.


Do you fear the jinx?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Nope, that’s pure hocus pocus.
    (204 votes)
  • 23%
    Absolutely, I always proceed with caution.
    (111 votes)
  • 33%
    No, but I play it safe just in case
    (156 votes)
471 votes total Vote Now