The Super Bowl: A St. Louis Natives Perspective

Despite the controversy of calls and rules and insanity of the NFC and AFC Championship games, the fact is that we are two weeks away from one of the biggest events in sports.  The Super Bowl is upon us! That would usually excite me, but this year I have a tough decision to make.  As native St. Louisan I have to deal with two teams that have plagued my football life.  Which way should I go? 

First of all, I love football. I grew up watching the greatest show on turf, Faulk, Warner, Holt, Proehl, Hakim and of course the great Isaac Bruce were a show that could capture the attention of the young fans as well as the older fans.  They were a look into the future of the industry, icons to any kid from St. Louis that owned a football. They were stolen from me by a corrupt system that saw my city dragged through the mud so that an owner could move a team to a place that already features about 100 professional teams.  A lot of today’s Rams roster doesn’t understand my heartache over a lost franchise.  They are LA Rams, they have taken on the persona of their young coach and ran with it.  Cocky, arrogant, flashy and talented.  They really do remind of the team that caught my attention so many years ago. But I am bitter, and I am sad that as much as I want to hold on to that memory and tell myself this is my team, they are not.  They are the Los Angeles Rams.  While I can support the success of the players I feel that by supporting this team I would be supporting the corruption that is the NFL.

Now the Patriots.  Most of St. Louis’s hatred before the Rams moved was squarely on the shoulders of the New England Patriots.  The infamous taping of the run through in Super Bowl 36 has tainted a resume that should be historically great.  Even worse it was against my beloved (at the time) St. Louis Rams.  They were blatantly cheating, and no one seemed to really care.  The NFL seemed more worried about deflated footballs then they did the image of a team clearly doing something illegal.  The Patriots have established themselves as the Yankees of football, a cult following that is loved by primarily just their fanbase. Mutually hated by everyone. 

My hate for both of these teams is equally mutual. When Super Bowl Sunday does come, I will be forced to pick a team because what is the point of watching a game if there is no really rooting interest.  After much debate internally, I have decided that the greatness of Tom Brady will overshadow my view of the organization.  I will cheer for him and him alone to succeed over a team that on paper should have the advantage at almost every position other than Quarterback.  The Rams have become an organization that makes me sick to my stomach.  Rooting for them is rooting for Stan Kroenke, no matter what your allegiance is. 

What I learned from Week 3

The Broncos QB situation is still a problem.

Case Keenum has had a solid NFL career.  Highlighted by a pro bowl season for the Vikings in 2017 he was a prize on the free agent market that many teams were interested in.  While he was the the grand prize he still garnered a lot of interest from multiple teams.  Eventually he landed with the Denver Broncos.  A team with a solid defense and good core of receivers, it made sense for him and the organization.

The Broncos jumped out to a 2-0 start before falling to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday 27-14.  Keenum did not play like a prize QB going 22 for 34 for 192 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.  What was the most staggering was Denver’s inefficiencies in the red zone. An inability of Keenum to score in the red zone along with an inability

Cleveland has their QB.

The Cleveland Browns have moved into the new era of a QB savior.  Baker Mayfield made his debut with the Browns on Thursday Night Football leading them to their first victory in over 600 days.  The new savior of Cleveland sports was crowned.  The question is whether he will be the new King of Cleveland sports or will he follow in the line of Cleveland QB’s that paved the way.  Is he Lebron or Manziel?

No matter what Baker turns out to be the people of Cleveland have fallen in love again.  Hue Jackson could be the only one standing in the way of this new affair.  Jackson refuses to name Baker the starter despite him leading the Browns to victory.  Hue still believes in Tyrod Taylor but the fans are ready for their #1 draft pick to play and play now.

The Patriots have real issues.

The Patriots fell to the Detroit Lions Sunday night 26-10 in a game that they were never truly in.  While the loss is bad, it pales in comparison to the issues in the locker room.  Reports of turmoil between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick continue to make national attention.  Now talks of the Patriots potentially looking to move on from Rob Gronkowski continues to fuel the fire of dissention in the locker room.

We have seen the Patriots get off to slow starts in the past but with the continued in house disruptions you have to question whether this team is on the same page. Eventually losing coordinator after coordinator has to cause a problem for the on-field preparation.  There is a lack of talent as well.  Is this the year where Brady and Belichick can’t get past their differences?