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Rams Week 8 Preview: St. Louis Rams Fans Hate the Patriots

            Before it became stylish for the rest of the fans of teams in the NFL to hate the Patriots, the St. Louis Rams fans hated the Patriots.  These feelings have bubbled to the surface in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today as the Rams face off with the Patriots for the second time since Super Bowl XXXVI.  As we like to do, let’s take a trip in the way back machine.

            The Rams came into Super Bowl XXXVI as huge favorites.  They were favored by the highest margin in Super Bowl history.  They were facing off with the New England Patriots, who needed the support of the “Tuck Rule” and a long field goal in the snow to beat the Raiders in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs.  The Patriots were playing with their backup quarterback, some guy named Tom Brady who did not even start in college at Michigan.  So, the Patriots were the huge underdogs and the Rams came into the game with the “Greatest Show on Earth”.  (As an aside, I will contend to this day that the Rams offense circa 1999-2001 was known as the “Greatest Show on Earth” until an opposing player named them the “Greatest Show on Turf” to indicate that they couldn’t run their offense on grass.  But I digress.)  The game was in the Louisiana Superdome where the Rams played once a year against the New Orleans Saints and you guessed it, it had turf.  So, the Rams had a lot going for them coming into the game.

Much more after the jump!

            The underdog Patriots started off the game in a very unorthodox fashion, they asked their starting lineup to not be announced as usual and instead they would be announced as a team and so the whole team ran out of the tunnel at the same time.  It was a gesture that football is a team game and no one are stars on their team, etc, etc.  But, the unintended (or intended) consequence of this is since the Patriots were announced first, the when the Rams had their starting offensive unit announced and run onto the field one by one, they just looked foolish compared to the unselfish Patriots.

            Whether or not you believe that the Patriots taped the Rams walkthrough or they taped the Rams signals from their regular season matchup that year, (The latter being more possible than the former.) the Patriots had a game plan to slow and frustrate the high-powered Rams offense.  Another strategy of the Patriots was to challenge and hold the Rams receivers as they came off the line and downfield, challenging the referees to call penalties.  The Patriots were basing their strategy on the fact that the referees call fewer penalties in the Super Bowl than any other game.  And the Patriots were right.  Their defense clutched, grabbed and held the Rams offense that was based on precise timing.  (As another aside, the NFL changed the rules in regard to contact with wide receivers after that year.  It was almost as if they were acknowledging that what the Patriots did was against the spirit of the rules.  But, I digress again)  It did not help that the Rams stubborn head coach, Mike Martz refused to deviate from his game plan and run Marshall Faulk at the Patriots.  Consequently, the Rams offense was held down throughout most of the game, but was able to break out at the end of the game to tie the game at 17.

            Everyone knows what happened next as Tom Brady did what he did a thousand times after that night and drove the Patriots down the field against Lovie Smith’s tired prevent defense.  Adam Vinatieri hit the game-winning field goal as time expired and the NFL’s newest “dynasty” was born.

            Rams fans were frustrated, disgruntled and most of all began the hate the new darling franchise, the New England Patriots.  Rams fans became even angrier as the two squads went in different directions – the Rams went downhill from there and the Patriots only went up.  You do not have to go far on the internet to find websites devoted the Patriots potential wrong-doings in the game.  The first and foremost of these sites was http://stlouisrams.net (now since defunct), which had extensive videos detailing each late hit on quarterback Kurt Warner – including a vicious head slap on Warner’s interception returned for a touchdown by Ty Law, each instance of holding – including an egregious one on Willy McGinest right in front of an official that was not called.  There were many more instances that

            Look to the comment section of the Post-Dispatch article, or even this blog post before the Patriots most recent Super Bowl as evidence that Rams fans are still upset by the loss. 

            Should Rams fans move on from one game almost 8 years ago?  Absolutely.  Is it all just sour grapes by Rams fans?  Probably, as nothing is going to change the outcome of the game at this point.  But, does this history make it even more important to Rams fans for the up and coming St. Louis Rams to beat the up and down New England Patriots at Foxborough on Sunday?  Absolutely, totally and completely.


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4 Responses to “Rams Week 8 Preview: St. Louis Rams Fans Hate the Patriots”

  1. Christopher says:

    Get over it. You could go through every single game and find uncalled penalties. Just look at last year’s superbowl and what the Giants were doing to the patriots, especially the holding by the giant’s offensive linemen. The fact is, the Rams lost. Plain and simple. Cry me a river, build a bridge and get over it.

  2. anonymous says:

    Maroney has wifed up Jackson’s dumped leftovers

  3. Greg Ramsey says:

    Be a Christian and Pray For a Top Knotch Good Polished Quarter Back (Tom Brady) Who Has Taken Control Of Some Troubled Players and turned them into Professional Pro FootBall Men and turned a Full Team into Thee Best NFL Professional Team I have ever seen in my 50 years of watching the Game. That Have learned how to play as one unit one team together .
    You Never Hear Tom Brady Doing EgoManiac commercials Like Peyton Manning.Quote from Peyton Manning In his commercial “If You want to be Kool Like ME!!! ME ME ME Paint a Number 12 ON Your MiniVan and Some Flames And You’ll be Kool
    I remember not so long ago , Say The 80’s when the New England Patriots stunk, But I kept on being a Faithful Fan Living Right Behind The Stadium, Even Had Box Tickets During The Steve Grogan Era and Doug Flutie
    Here’s the thing we all love our teams .But Come on !! We The Fans Waited Decades And Decades For The Miricale To Happen. Mr Robert Kraft and Bill Bellichick Has Took a not so great team and Made being a NFL Football Fan Very Kool and very Professional. Greg Ramsey

  4. Jon Fletcher says:

    Jeff, That super bowl comes down to 2 things.
    1. The Patriots defense LEGALLY covered the Rams receivers and Ty Law certainly took it right up to what was a fair play. What gets over looked though is the number of play finishing hits the Patriots defense delivered. If a Ram receiver missed a pass he still got clocked, if the receiver caught the ball he was hit very hard. I remember getting the impression the Rams receivers were afraid in the 2nd half of getting hit.
    1b. Defense played a completely legal game. Nothing stopped the Rams defense from doing the same thing. Hell we had Antwain Smith in the backfield. srsly.

    2. Mike Martz is a brutal head coach and cannot put his own ego aside to realize when change needs to be made.

    I think Rams fans are completely mis-guided to focus their energy on the Pats. Every game has its share of holding and late hits. The league actually hands out fines when they find instances of it – even if the ref doesnt call a penalty. No Patriot player was fined after the game.

    Finally, Greatest show on earth was already taken by P.T Barnum in the 19th century. That was why (to me) the turf part was funny. Too bad it came to symbolize the one-dimensional aspect of their offense.

    Tough game Sunday…Did you see what Kurt Warner did for the Cards? 35/49 for 381 and 2 touchdowns. P.T Barnum is also credited with saying “there is a sucker born every minute”. Perhaps the Rams fans were mislead when Warner was run out of town?

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