Many Rams fans went to bed on Super Bowl Sunday with their heads still spinning. How could their team have wasted a defensive gem by only mustering a single field goal against an admittedly great game plan by Bill Belichick and Brian Flores?
Many woke up still feeling empty only to receive a second gut punch courtesy of the Los Angeles Times’ front page headline which read:
In the most disgusting way possible the @latimes @latimessports shows how it treats its hometown team! You are literally kicking our @RamsNFL when they are down. What a horrible & disgraceful way to welcome our team home.I urge everyone that follows me to boycott the LA Times! pic.twitter.com/lvsXiPiJE8— Pink Survivor (@pinksurvivor70) February 4, 2019
Now to be real, nobody expected any joy to be found in the headlines the day after a Super Bowl loss, and fluff is for teddy bears, but wow.
All rivalries are loaded with unflattering nicknames for foes, and in the Rams case, rivals have routinely gone to “Lambs”. It rhymes with Rams, it’s a little sheep, why not?
Anyone who has been a Rams fan for any period of time is certainly familiar with the taunt.
Nevermind that the Rams had been tied in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl and had virtually shut down Tom Brady’s offense; they lost, so they weren’t Rams, they were Lambs.
On social media the outrage was obvious from the jump, and even some fans of other teams (while loving it) admitted the headline was rather harsh.
But were Rams fans just being over-sensitive following a Super Bowl loss? Well, let’s provide some context.
Serious question.— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) February 4, 2019
If the Lakers lost in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, would the cover of the LA Times the next day run a headline saying "Fakers, not Lakers"? https://t.co/I2sd8WR7qm
Would the Denver Post write, “Donks, Not Broncos”?
Would the San Jose Mercury write, “Whiners, not 49ers”?
Or what about, “Kitten, not Tiger Woods”?
Watch out, Gabby Douglas, you got the silver in 2015, kind of a “Shabby” showing.
Anyway, you get the picture, it was unprofessional.
Rams special teamer Jake McQuaide was even fuming.
Thanks for the support parasites! https://t.co/cbufyG8zvJ— Jake McQuaide (@JakeMcQuaide) February 5, 2019
Sports editor Angel Rodriguez attempted to lower the heat with this explanation:
our headline writers are the best in the business. This was a play on the young McVay and Goff vs. the older Brady and Belichick hence Lambs and Rams— Angel Rodriguez (@ajrod) February 4, 2019
That may very well be the reasoning, but nevertheless, at best it made the Times editorial staff appear to be somewhat out of touch with any of the nuance of the Rams fan base. But amid the complaints and threats to cancel subscriptions, the Times is now admitting the mistake and apologizing.
To @Rams fans who disliked our Section A, Page 1 headline off the Super Bowl: In retrospect, not the best of choices because it could -- and, in some cases, definitely was -- be taken as a cheap shot. Team had a great season.https://t.co/7382CuMNhf— mike hiserman (@MikeHiserman) February 6, 2019
Who knows if the Rams themselves complained, or if it was the surge of angry fans alone, but the Times appears to be realizing that the Rams are now a serious presence in the LA sports landscape, with a growing following that likely only trails the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Dodgers. Being critical of the teams’ shortcomings is a must, but pot shots won’t likely go unnoticed.
How do you feel about the headline?
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The LA Times was out of line
Fans were overreacting
Do you accept the the Times explanation and apology?
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