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SO, ST. LOUIS, HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR RAMS?



Byline: KEVIN MODESTI

You wondered how long the Rams would take to wear out their welcome in St. Louis, and here's the answer.

Less than 1,000 days. Georgia Frontiere's Camelot was shorter-lived than the Kennedys'.

Four-game winners when they fled Anaheim after 1994, the Rams are 2-5 and on pace for another one of those seasons. Quick turnarounds are not only possible but common in the modern NFL NFL
abbr.
National Football League

NFL (US) n abbr (= National Football League) → Fußball-Nationalliga
, and of the last-place teams in '94, the only one that hasn't already made it to .500 or better is you-know-who.

The offense is about as nimble as the Gateway Arch, the fans who forked See forked version.

forked - (Unix; probably after "fucked") Terminally slow, or dead. Originated when one system was slowed to a snail's pace by an inadvertent fork bomb.
 over $80 million for personal seat licenses are yawning loudly and the St. Louis media's good nature is being sorely tested.

``Thank God for the Blues,'' the St. Louis Post-Dispatch The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the only major city-wide newspaper in St. Louis, Missouri. Although written to serve Greater St. Louis, the Post-Dispatch is one of the largest newspapers in the region, and is available and read as far west as Springfield, Missouri.  quoted a fan saying at the Rams' 17-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks
    The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington, USA. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL).
     at the Trans World Trans World is an economic simulation game for the Commodore 64 published by Starbyte Software in 1990.

    The player takes control of a new trucking company and competes against up to either three other human or computer players to make the most money.
     Dome on Sunday.

    At this rate, the Rams will lose more games in a 16-game football season than the Blues will in an 82-game hockey season.

    What to do?

    Between coach Dick Vermeil and Pro Bowl wide receiver Isaac Bruce, one of them has an idea, and it isn't Vermeil ver·meil  
    n.
    1. Vermilion or a similar bright red color.

    2. Gilded silver, bronze, or copper.

    adj.
    Bright red in color.
    .

    Sunday, Bruce lashed out at the play-calling and the team's effort, apparently venting frustration that started when he injured a hamstring in training camp and Vermeil questioned his offseason conditioning.

    ``It's going kind of backward for us,'' Bruce told reporters. ``I think we made some huge strides last year as far as putting points on the board and playing harder than we are right now.

    ``We're in a backpedal. The offense is not playing hard. The defense is playing hard sometimes.''

    Vermeil responded by referring to Bruce as the Rams' ``so-called superstar'' and asking, essentially, who is he to make such broad criticisms?

    The answer, actually, is Bruce really is a superstar. He's the community-spirited and very popular ``Reverend Ike'' to St. Louis fans and he has done more for the Rams than Vermeil has so far.

    Vermeil, 60 and lured back into coaching 14 years after he walked away from the Philadelphia Eagles, might find his second case of burnout Burnout

    Depletion of a tax shelter's benefits. In the context of mortgage backed securities it refers to the percentage of the pool that has prepaid their mortgage.
     has a shorter incubation period incubation period
    n.
    1. See latent period.

    2. See incubative stage.


    Incubation period 
    .

    The blame for the league's second-worst offense, which hasn't scored a touchdown this month, is falling squarely on Vermeil.

    Among the criticisms:

    Vermeil, known for a quick hook in his Philadelphia heyday, is too slow to make changes with the Rams. Biggest change so far: Rookie punter Will Brice was released.

    Meanwhile, young quarterback Tony Banks takes every snap and completes less than half his passes while one-time Super Bowl MVP (Multimedia Video Processor) A high-speed DSP chip from Texas Instruments, introduced in 1994. Officially introduced as the TMS320C80, it combines RISC technology with the functionality of four DSPs on one chip.  Mark Rypien sits, and running back Lawrence Phillips averages 3.6 yards and enjoys Vermeil's support.

    Vermeil has spread himself too thin and should take over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Jerry Rhome.

    On third down from their 15 in the second quarter Sunday, the Rams tried a reverse and fumbled the handoff.

    ``I don't think St. Louis wants to put the game in Tony's hands that early, and when you go to trick plays in the second quarter, that's an indicator,'' Seattle cornerback Jeremy Lincoln said.

    The Rams don't throw deep to Bruce, their one true threat, often enough.

    As Bruce put it: ``I'm going to be double-teamed probably for the rest of my career. If you're not going to try to maneuver some kind of way out of that, I guess I'm just going to be taken out of the game every week. I'm a guy who can beat the double-team. I've proven that before.''

    Of course, singling out one player or one problem isn't fair to all the others. From horns to heels, the Rams are just a bad football team.

    Occasionally the defense steps up against a struggling team, and that's how they beat the New Orleans Saints
      The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints are currently champions of the Southern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL).
       and the slow-starting New York Giants
        This article is about the current National Football League team. For other uses, see New York Giants (disambiguation).

      The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in the New York City metropolitan area.
       early in the season. Since then, they've lost three straight.

      Anybody in the market for a worn-out welcome?

      Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz, among others, has seen enough.

      After the loss to Seattle he wrote this ``could have been the most inept offensive performance that this football-deprived city has ever observed.''

      ``The football Cardinals . . . were never this bad artistically,'' he wrote, accusing the Rams of ``fielding a vague and unidentifiable Adj. 1. unidentifiable - impossible to identify
      identifiable - capable of being identified
       offense'' in which ``the play-calling borders on sabotage.''

      Sometimes, such attacks from outside the fold will bring a team and its coaches together. So let's see a big hug.

      You first, Ike. No, you first, Dick.

      Right now, the Rams aren't good enough to use locker-room chaos as an excuse.

      What to do?

      The answer from Los Angeles: Hey, it's not our problem anymore!

      BAD DECADE

      The Rams have not had a winning season since losing to the San Francisco 49ers
        The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team. The team plays its home games in San Francisco, California, while the club's headquarters and practice facility are located in Santa Clara, California.
         in the 1989 NFC NFC
        abbr.
        National Football Conference
         Championship game. A closer look:

        Year W-L Pct. Finish

        1997 2-5 .286 ???

        1996 6-10 .375 Fourth

        1995 7-9 .438 Third

        1994 4-12 .250 Fourth

        1993 5-11 .313 Fourth

        1992 6-10 .375 Fourth

        1991 3-13 .188 Fourth

        1990 5-11 .313 Third

        1989 11-5 .688 Second

        CAPTION(S):

        Photo, Chart

        Photo: (color) Star Rams wideout Isaac Bruce and coach Dick Vermeil are openly feuding.

        Daily News file

        Chart: BAD DECADE (see text)
        COPYRIGHT 1997 Daily News
        No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
        Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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        Article Details
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        Title Annotation:SPORTS
        Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
        Date:Oct 22, 1997
        Words:870
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