February 8, 2013 • 398 views
By Joe Torosian
“That is what “to the pain” means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery, forever.”— Westley
(AKA: The Dread Pirate Roberts)
Above describes best what it was like to be a Los Angeles Rams fan in the 1970’s. Every loss was a cut, every playoff loss was a scar left on the soul. You were laughed at and humiliated by bandwagoning Cowboy fans.
Don’t believe me? Is that overly dramatic? Prior to free agency in the NFL (and in all sports for that matter) you grew up with your team. You met them when they were rookies at 22 and if you were lucky you had them for about six to seven years before change came. Before age cost them their starting spot or injury cost them their career, and occasionally they were traded.
They may have been 22 years old when they put on Rams gear, but you were eight or nine. And if they played those six to seven years then they were with you through the mid-point of your high school career.
Hall of Fame defensive end Jack Youngblood was drafted in 1971. I became a Rams fan in 1972 and he played through 1984. This means from age eight through age 20 Youngblood was part of my life.
You put away your toys, your soldiers, your G.I. Joes’, you may even put away your dreams of playing in the NFL, but once a team of players get hold of you it becomes part of you. You love it. You love them.
On a street without fathers, those guys were our fathers. Our heroes. You can keep the Fonz, I was far more partial to John Hadl going long to Harold Jackson.
So when they hurt, you hurt. When they won, you won. And it was family first. If one of the players of the family left for another team, painful as it was, it was always family first.
But there is pain that never goes away. Wounds that never truly heal.
The victory in Super Bowl 34, 1999, isn’t tainted because the team was in St. Louis. It was a great win, joyous, I shed a tear, but it wasn’t enough to over come the freakish misery many of us suffer with in being a Rams fan.
I tried to divorce them…I like the Redskins, I like the Chiefs…but not happening. The Rams will always be a part of me.
I wish you all peace, love, charity, and joy watching this coming Super Bowl and all coming Super Bowls…
Except the Dallas Cowboys…may they rot and lie stinking in the earth…