Wednesday, January 13, 2016
YAY! The LOS ANGELES Rams are coming home!
Finally, after 21 years I can give a shit about the NFL again. The LOS ANGELES Rams were my boyhood team. And once they left -- meh.
I tried still rooting for them and I was thrilled that they won a Super Bowl (something they never did in Los Angeles). But that’s like still wishing your ex-girlfriend well after she married someone else when you know you'd rather run them both over with your car. My son is a big Patriots fan so I sort of rooted for them. But that’s a little like watching STAR WARS and rooting for the storm troopers. My buddy Dan Hoard is the radio voice of the Bengals so I kind of followed them. But after that last playoff game with Pittsburgh it’s like deciding whether to root for the Crips or the Bloods. Another announcing buddy is Josh Lewin of the Chargers but to say they’re an “LA team” is like saying Lady Gaga is an award-winning actress. I’m a part owner of the Green Bay Packers. Well… me about 10,000 other people who paid a couple hundred bucks for the share. And after my time in Seattle, I still wish the Seahawks well and make sure I catch every one of their games when they’re in the Super Bowl.
So in short, I kinda sorta root for every team in the NFL other than the Dallas Cowboys. But by rooting for all, I really root for none.
And now finally, I have MY team back.
They were the team I grew up with. And most of the time they were bad. But I didn’t care. I’d go with my father to the Coliseum, sit on those hard benches, pray I wouldn’t have to use one of those disgusting bathrooms or get a splinter, and see my heroes -- Jon Arnett, Les Richter, Ollie Matson, Roman Gabriel, and other unforgettable players I can’t recall at the moment.
And just as cool was seeing the opposition -- Johnny Unitas, Y.A. Tittle (Or, as Ed Sullivan once called him on national TV, “Ya Tittle.”), Jim Brown, Fran Tarkenton, Sonny Jurgenson, etc.
Having the Rams come back is like having a little of my youth return. Just the fact that I’m excited again about pro football is an emotion I haven’t had since, well… since I did have my youth. So many memories. Like the time Don Drysdale was the analyst with Dick Enberg (yes, THAT Don Drysdale) and quarterback Pat Haden got crushed. He lay on the ground motionless for several minutes as Enberg described the scene. Finally Don chimed in, “Dick, I gotta believe it’s nothing worse than a serious head injury.”
God, it’ll be good to have my Los Angeles Rams back. Now, if only we can talk Dick Enberg out of retirement... Or Fred Dryer...
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM