As a newcomer to St. Louis, I feel I have the perspective to say this to St. Louis Rams’ fans: quit your whining! After the Rams lost on Sunday in Arizona, officially ending any hopes of reaching the playoffs for the ninth straight year, the local airwaves and my Twitter timeline have been filled with fans and commentators ready to jump off the Poplar Street Bridge. Not to mention the sure-hectic fantasy team
Listening to folks like Randy Karraker and Bryan Burwell, you’d think Rams fans have been exposed to a level of football incompetence unheard of in the NFL. In the spirit of the holiday season, I’ll respond to that with the immortal words of Cousin Eddie: “You serious, Clark?”
Yes, the Rams have been stuck in a losing funk for almost a decade, and no, that’s no fun for fans, but if you think the Rams’ losing skid is setting some sort of new low bar for failure, you’re nuts!
I grew up in Cincinnati as a Bengals fan. Fans in the Queen City went 14 years without rooting for a team with a winning record. They still haven’t seen a winning playoff game since the Bengals beat Jerry Glanville’s Houston Oilers in the 1990 Wild Card round. That means there are college graduates in Cincinnati who have never seen the Bengals win a playoff game!
Then there are the Detroit Lions. Barring a collapse, 2013 will mark the team’s second winning season in 13 years. The Lions have never won a playoff game in the Super Bowl era (meaning they’ve never even played in the Super Bowl), and their last NFL Championship team was quarterbacked by Bobby Layne in 1957.
You want frustration as a fan? Try being a Cleveland Browns’ fan. The Browns are on their way to their 11th losing season in the last 12 years. They’ve been in exactly one playoff game since returning to the NFL in 1999(after having their hearts ripped out by Art Modell). Like Detroit, they’ve never been to a Super Bowl. Their last NFL title came in 1964. Some fans in Cleveland will celebrate their 50th birthdays next year and have never seen the Browns even play for a title!
And it’s not like they have a baseball team like the Cardinals either. No Cleveland team (Browns, Indians or Cavs) has won a title since the Browns NFL crown in 1964.
To put that in perspective, Rams Nation has fourth graders who haven’t seen the Rams in the playoffs. That’s sad, but hardly a tragedy. In fact, the Rams have only matched their own franchise record for futility. The LA/St. Louis Rams went nine seasons without a winning record.
We all know what happened the next season.
So lighten, up St. Louis. The Rams are still scuffling, but signs are pointing up. You can still bask in the afterglow of a Cards’ World Series appearance and the echoes are just now fading from their last crown. Even the Blues are contending for a Stanley Cup.
To paraphrase former Cincinnati Bengals head coach, Sam Wyche, who once chastised fans throwing snowballs during a game: “Don’t act like that. You don’t live in Cleveland.”
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