We here at The Riot! are so blown away by what is going on in St Louis, fandom wise, that we’ve decided to extend our coverage a few more days. A good capper would be with the 2nd most successful franchise in St Lou over the past 10 or 15 years or so, The Rams. I know what you’re thinking, success, with a 2-14 record last season? Yes, pessimist. Look at the forest for the trees “Joe Rams Fan,” you have a franchise QB, a stud running back (albeit possibly on the downside of his career, but still a Top 10 back) and a decent defense. Add in an experienced new head coach like Jeff Fisher who seems to have a nose for winning, and you’re possibly looking at a Rams rebirth. Now I know, you’re staring down the barrel of a possible juggernaut rising in San Fran, but one step at a time right? Let’s take care of the Rams first.
So with all this being said, the Rams as a franchise, has a very strong history. Both in LA and St Louis, the Rams have always been relevant, and have always had great players. We are going to focus on the 3 best to ever don the Rams helmet (one of the best in the history of football) in the fine city of St Louis.
3- Orlando Pace – Hands down a Hall of Famer at the O-Line position. He blocked for 3 straight NFL MVP’s (Kurt Warner ’99, ’01 and Marshall Faulk ’00) played in 2 Super Bowls, and made 7 consecutive Pro-Bowls, making him 4th on the All-Time Rams list. A model citizen and a guy who played almost every offensive snap for 8 years, he was the lynch pin in the Rams championship offense.
2- The Marshall Plan – Originally instituted in Indy for the first four years of his career, Marshall Faulk was already a Top 5 back when he arrived in St Louis in ’99. For the next 7 seasons, the Marshall Plan was the law of the land, winning an MVP, a Super Bowl and being named Offensive Player of the year for 3 consecutive seasons (99-01). Marshall Faulk also broke the single season total TD record with 26 in only 14 games in 2000. Marshall was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2011.
1- Kurt Warner – Well, I think this is a slam dunk but let’s put his effect on the Rams and his numbers to the test. We all know the story, from bagging groceries to NFL MVP, it’s pretty remarkable and unprecedented. Warner spent only 5 seasons in St Louis, and in those 5 seasons he led the “Greatest Show on Turf” to 2 Super Bowls (1 win), he won 2 NFL MVP awards and led arguably the most prolific offense this Rioter! has ever seen; and to think it took a cataclysmic injury to then starter Trent Green for the Rams to put Warner in. That might be the luckiest break a franchise has gotten since Mo Lewis broke Drew Bledsoe; indefinitely.
Dan Dierdorf - You know there was a football team in St Louis before the Rams escaped LA back in ’94. They may be hard to remember because they never won anything….EVER! Except for a 4 or 5 season run in the mid-70′s. One of the key pieces to that puzzle was an Offensive Lineman named Dan Dierdorf. Dierdorf is widely considered one of the best O-Lineman to ever play the game. He went 2 seasons without giving up a sack and was part of an O-Line that gave up a total of 8 sacks in a full season back in ’76 (then an NFL record). Dan went on to be one of the best color guys in NFL TV history.
I’m sure I missed somebody…..tell me about it. email@example.com. Throw me an email, you know you want to.
On the road again and sticking to the mid-west. We decided to hit all the championship cities first and it seems that the mid-west had a great year in 2011. So we thought our next stop should be St.Louis since they have won the most recent championship (Cardinals won the World Series), they have made news recently with the Rams hiring a new head coach (Jeff Fisher) and they have absolutely nothing at stake right now (we here at The Riot! feel partially responsible for the Packers demise on Sunday. Sorry Green Bay, we do love your fandom). So St.Louie felt like a safe place for The Sports Riot! to visit.
St Louis the home of the Arch, Budweiser and some of the greatest sports fans in the world. It’s definitely in the top 5 in all the “greatest sports cities” conversations. They’ve won 1 Super Bowl and 11 World Series championships in the city’s history not to mention a pro hockey team that made the playoffs every year for 20+ seasons. There is a host of sports legends and heroes who call St. Louis home, and St. Louis fans are widely known as loyal and knowledgable (hell I think I might move to St Louis).
So this week, the great fandoms of St Louis will be put under the very bright spotlight of The Sports Riot! So if there is something that you fans of the “Independent City” would like us Rioters! to know or blow the lid off of, please drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get it out there. We supports great fandom, and St Louis seems to possess that. Here’s to St Louis (Bud in hand), our next tour stop.
The older I get the less I’m a fan of national media, especially when it comes to sports. When I turn on ESPN all I see is a bunch of blowhards and gasbags who like to state the obvious. I tend to find most of my information from Canadian websites and personal websites or blogs. As someone who is part of an independent website, I’d rather give similar sites some play especially if the content is fresh, informative, and funny (something I marginally achieve myself).
Green Bay has no shortage of these sites. They range from straight news to humor, but all of them have one thing in common; they live and die by their team and the passion comes out in their words. On the final day of featuring the city of Green Bay, I think it’s fitting that I give the stamp of approval to some websites that Packers fans should be following on a daily basis (you’d be surprised how many sheep just get their information from ESPN, CBS Sports, or NFL.com).
Acme Packing Company – This is a one stop shop for Packers fans. The site is updated multiple times a day, and the content is a combination of stats, news, and opinions. The website also features a “Fanpost” section, where fans can state their own opinion, and other fans can comment on it. Unlike a lot of website’s I’ve visited the people making comments, whether they agree or disagree, are actually making logical points. Too often you find that comment threads result in people playing internet tough guy and threatening to kick someone’s ass or bang their wife (which is also entertaining). You won’t find that garbage here.
Packers Gab – This website is also updated daily giving Packers fans news, video, and daily injury reports. They also feature a section that recaps each game, which is helpful if you missed part of the game or looking for a different recap than you’ll find on ESPN. Something a bit different they have is a “Police Blotter” tag, so you can look up which Packers are currently in legal trouble. Considering athletes somehow have no problem getting in trouble, I find this addition entertaining (even though it’s not written in a funny way).
Cheesehead TV – I really dig this site. Like the aforementioned sites, the content is updated daily (see a pattern here?), and the content ranges from news to breakdowns to betting odds to opinions. They feature a link to get tickets (the current price of a ticket is $139), as well as a “Packer World” tab, which essentially is a links tab, but instead of just linking websites, the articles from the links are directly on the page making it much easier to navigate. They also have a regular podcast as well as a picture gallery (which does have some fine looking bunnies). If you like it, buy them a beer.
Lombardi Ave – This site serves one purpose and that’s to get Packers news out to Packers fans. The articles are well written and give the reader all the information they will need regardless of the topic. They also feature writers from other teams giving their point of view, in a non-antagonist way (something I’m not used to). This gives the reader a different opinion you normally wouldn’t hear. There are numerous links for fans to find other sites, and the site isn’t visually busy like so many others. I get the idea that Lombardi Ave doesn’t care about frills, they just want to get to the point.
Total Packers – This is the closest Packers website I found that is like The Sports Riot! It’s not the standard journalistic bulls**t you find on a lot of sites. The articles at Total Packers are their own opinions mixed with sarcasm and humor and nothing is sugar coated. They have a message board which allows the fans to mix it up with each other in their own words, and you cannot overlook the “Wallpaper” section. After giving it a view, it might have converted me to a Packers fan. It’s a can’t miss.
Green Bay! What’s your favorite Packers blog? Email me at email@example.com and I’ll check it out. Do the right thing and follow us on Twitter @TheSportsRiot and like us on Facebook. Okay, I’m done whoring us out.
Jack Buck’s MNF Memories