Rams fans showed up at the Edward Jones Dome last night. Excited to be there, feeling positive about the game. Everyone pulled on their giveaway #55 shirts when told to support the “white out” at the dome. It was louder in there than it was on opening day. Fans thought the Rams were going to win this game, that they could win this game. And then after awhile they didn’t feel that way anymore.
Before the third quarter was even over Rams fans were fleeing the dome. By the end of the game it was mostly 49er fans left. They were kind to us and didn’t try to rub it in. They felt bad for us. And we felt bad for ourselves. Something was different with this loss though, something different from the four years I have witnessed first hand the Rams losing miserably.
People in the stands, at the concessions, leaving the game had one thing in common: trashing Sam Bradford. Of course during the past year or so people have expressed frustration with Bradford but even the two guys who sit behind me in Section 433 who are not let’s say, reserved with their feelings, had always managed to mix in the tiniest sliver of patience for Bradford. Understanding. Not any more. Not them and not anyone else.
Of course yesterday’s talk of extending Bradford’s contract didn’t help matters any. It just brought into sharp focus exactly how much this team was paying for this guy. This quarterback who is far from the elite status prematurely hinted at and quickly sliding away from even being average.
It perplexes me why anyone thought that during the offseason he would somehow magically transform into the team leader. Sam Bradford has never shown leadership abilities. He’s just not that kind of guy. He may, at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later, become solid and reliable but he will never have the charisma and spark that leaders possess. Allegedly he finally has the “weapons” around him everyone clamored for but he certainly isn’t elevating them, if anything he’s deflating them.
This brings me to my seminal question: How, when absolutely everything Billy Devaney/Steve Spagnuolo touched from their draft choices to the way they stood on the sidelines was ripped to shreds, how was it that no one ever questioned the acquisition of Sam Bradford?
The very expensive acquisition of Sam Bradford. That has always been a mystery to me. How did that one, critical, decision escape scrutiny? If those two couldn’t get the posters that hung in the offices right, why did everyone think they were able to choose a quarterback worth 78 million dollars? That answer is becoming clear now. They weren’t.