From The RamCave: 1/30/22

By Joe Torosian

The win over Tampa Bay was a million years ago.

Tom Brady’s retirement, non-retirement, possible retirement will be figured out soon enough—and then we can retire the topic.

I don’t care who the MVP of the league is. Discussion about the NFL MVP is as dull as the next Joe Biden gaffe. They always happen, and they don’t make a sniff of difference.

Finally…I don’t care about how many 49ers fans are in SoFi today. I’d like it to look like May Day in Moscow. I’d like it to be as red as the Electoral College Map in November 1984.

However, I wouldn’t mind a chip the size of the national debt resting on the Rams’ shoulders. I want them to think that all they have is each other and that the whole world is against them. 

Now, that’s no way to live a life or navigate toward a successful season, but it can provide enough juice to win an NFC title game.

Note About Rams Fans:
This won’t make me popular–I know–but here it comes.

Dodgers and Lakers’ fans are incredibly loyal. Though small in number, LA Kings fans are very protective of their team. Angels? No one cares. 

But…Since I first started watching the team in 1972 (full time 1973/age-9), Rams fans are the worst. They were lousy fans before social media and, for the most part, are still pretty awful and inconsistent.

See the Chuck Knox graph below.

Fans and media raged on Knox for being too boring, too predictable. They cried that they needed to be more like the Dallas Cowboys with shotgun formations and receivers in motion.

In 1979, under Ray Malavasi, the Rams struggled to their seventh consecutive NFC West crown. That ’79 team was booed unmercifully at the Coliseum—I was there, and I heard it. They were given no chance in the playoffs.

The players felt so betrayed by their fans that Doug France, an All-Pro left tackle (Alcie Weeks, North Dallas Forty), declared to the LA Times that the Super Bowl was not for the cheap Rams fans.

When you watch the classic NFL Films episode of Super Bowl 14, nothing is better than hearing John Facenda’s voice and seeing the highlights of the first three quarters. They even spliced in Rams radio announcer Al Wisk’s calls into the film. It was great. I still watch it, I still curse Eddie Brown for hanging Rod Perry out to dry, and I still weep.

Shots of “Rams fans” were edited in to show their passion for the team. Fraud! Fraud!! Fraud!!! You’re watching the old lady and the dudes and Gypsy Boots rooting and cheering in desperation. These were the same people who booed this team at the Coliseum.

Note About Rams Fans:
This won’t make me popular–I know–but here it comes.

Dodgers and Lakers’ fans are incredibly loyal. Though small in number, LA Kings fans are very protective of their team. Angels? No one cares. 

But…Since I first started watching the team in 1972 (full time 1973/age-9), Rams fans are the worst. They were lousy fans before social media and, for the most part, are still pretty awful and inconsistent.

Fans and media raged as Knox won five straight division crowns, playing five different starting quarterbacks (John Hadl, James Harris, Ron Jaworski, Pat Haden, & Joe Namath). The Rams were too boring, too predictable. I remember cries that they needed to be more like the Dallas Cowboys with shotgun formations and putting receivers in motion.

In 1979, under Ray Malavasi, the Rams struggled to their seventh consecutive NFC West crown. Haden, Vince Ferragamo, and Jeff Rutledge all started games at quarterback. They were so thin that they signed Bob Lee as a backup, and he got playing time. That ’79 team was booed unmercifully at the Coliseum—I was there, and I heard it. They were given no chance in the playoffs.

The players felt so betrayed by their fans that Doug France, an All-Pro left tackle (Alcie Weeks, North Dallas Forty), declared to the LA Times that the Super Bowl was not for the cheap Rams fans.

When you watch the classic NFL Films episode of Super Bowl 14, nothing is better than hearing John Facenda’s voice and seeing the highlights of the first three quarters. They even spliced in Rams radio announcer Al Wisk’s calls into the film. It was great. I still watch it, I still curse Eddie Brown for hanging Rod Perry out to dry, and I still weep.

Shots of “Rams fans” were edited in to show their passion for the team. Fraud! Fraud!! Fraud!!! You’re watching the old lady and the dudes and Gypsy Boots rooting and cheering in desperation. These were the same people who booed this team at the Coliseum.

Authentic Rams fans did exist, but they were like me, at home, watching because they couldn’t afford tickets to the Super Bowl.

There are Rams’ fans. These are the people who dive deep and contribute a well-considered opinions in crisis. Not the individual who pines for Jared Goff, the moment Stafford delivers an arm-punt on 3rd & 17.

This is what needs to take place to get to the Big W.

Lowering the NoteBoom!
I know Andrew Whitworth is back and expected to play—awesome sauce. But Joseph Noteboom was everything we said he’d be and more last week. He needs more playing time–Jumbo packages and some creative constructs where he enters the game instead of Kendall Blanton as the second tight end. What Frisco HC Kyle Shanahan’s been doing with Trent Williams—sending him in motion—has been a renaissance. Sean McVay should similarly use Noteboom.

This would allow the Rams to get physical with the 49ers instead of the other way around. When the Frisco offense is clicking, it usually creates a 12-15-yard lane down the middle for Jimmy Garoppolo to exploit. 

If the Rams running game is clicking, it opens up the entire field for Matt Stafford to exploit. When put on the spot, the San Fran secondary is awful. An extra lineman used in motion and delivering blasts could make this possible.

Noteboom’s a free agent, and Whitworth is back next season with over 17-stones coming his way in salary and bonuses. Hard to believe the big guy’s going to walk away from that. And if this is it for Noteboom, currently making a little over 1-stone this season, McVay needs to get every ounce of pound and ground he can.

(Note: Stone =’s Million)

Make Jimmy G. Beat You!
After restructuring, Jalen Ramsey is making 22-stones. For 22-stones, I expect him to be all over Deebo Samuel—wherever he goes. Speaking of chips on the shoulder, Ramsey should have one after getting torched by the Best Receiver In The NFL Never To Be Likened to Bob Hayes—Mike Evans.

Travin Howard is finally getting snaps. George Kittle is his.

I know Troy Reeder is wearing the Green Dot on defense, but I also saw Troy Reeder miss a tackle on Leonard Fournette that resulted in a touchdown last Sunday. Pull Reeder, put a fourth down lineman in the game, load the box, and make Jimmy G. beat you.

Nick Scott is capable of playing safety at a high level. He seems to be what many thought Terrell Burgess would be. Burgess losing snaps to Eric Weddle is becoming a fantastic story.

Yes, part of that story is Weddle sitting out for two years and coming back to contribute. The second part is how it plays out going forward.

How many NFL veterans know they still have some football left in them but know it doesn’t amount to 17-games? Soon, could we see a corps of semi-retired players working out and staying in shape for an eventual “call up” the final month of the season?

In December, a couple of late free-agent signings could tilt the field for a team riddled with injuries or looking for depth in January. Why wouldn’t—for example—a player like Larry Fitzgerald, burned out by the grind of camp and a long season, make himself available for a few weeks to chase a ring?

In Praise of McVay

McVay is completing is fifth full season as HC, I thought it would be interesting to compare it with Chuck Knox’s first five seasons.

Chuck Knox (1973-77) 54-15-1 (Reg Season) 3-5 (Playoffs) 5-NFC West Titles 3-NFC Finals
Sean McVay (2017-21) 55-26-0 (Reg Season) 5-3 (Playoffs) 3-NFC West Titles 2-NFC Finals

1-Super Bowl

The chatter you hear about McVay being a bad coach, bad play-caller, bad this, bad that, and bad whatever is amazing when you see what he’s accomplished. I could list what the Rams looked like before he got here, but I’d be accused of perpetuating some 7-9 Bolshoi.

The Call:
Rams win, 29-23, and go to the Super Bowl.

Playoff Picks
(Winners in Bold)
Bengals-Chiefs—You know how men like, sometimes, to wear stretchy pants…just for fun? I’m taking the Bengals just for fun. I can’t go against a quarterback named Joe or go with a secondary featuring Daniel Sorensen.

Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”… “Sin Virus”…all available through Amazon.com.

www.JoeTorosian.com

jtbank1964@yahoo.com

Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b

Instagram: @joet13b

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