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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

What's the story with you Rams fans?

Monday, December 24, 2001

Sunday has arrived!

You know what that means. Time to throw on the Issac Bruce jersey, crack open a cold one, grab that extra large bag of chips, kick back in your favorite rocking chair and watch the St. Louis Rams set scoring records against another defenseless, unsuspecting NFL team.

What's that foul odor you ask?

Don't worry, it's just this week's opponent. George Seifert and the Carolina Panthers have really stunk it up this year.

With a 29-year-old rookie quarterback leading the charge, "The Roar" has mustered just one victory in 13 attempts. Chalk up win No. 13 for "Your St. Louis Rams!"

No doubt about it, you fans have really got yourselves a team.

But before we name St. Louis the greatest sports city in the world again, I have just one question.

How does one become a Rams fan?

I moved to Southeast Missouri 12 years ago, and none of you were here then. Cowboys and 49ers fans were all over the place, but I don't recall seeing any Willie "Flipper" Anderson jerseys.

Did you guys come from Los Angeles when the Rams made the move to St. Louis?

If not, what team did you root for prior to 1995?

If you say the Los Angeles Rams, I'm impressed. If you say you didn't have a favorite team, or you didn't watch NFL football before, then you're OK.

It's the rest of you I have a problem with. How can you just drop a team you've been following all your life, just because an NFL team set up shop two hours away?

If you live in St. Louis, I can fathom the possibility.

But these aren't the Missouri Rams folks.

Where's the loyalty?

If you were doing the Ickey Shuffle back in 1988, then I certainly hope Corey Dillon is your favorite running back now.

If not, you're a professional football traitor. There's no way around it.

Either that, or you're an even lower form of a football fan: the notorious band-wagon fan.

You know who I'm talking about.

It's the guy that enlisted in Franco's Italian Army back in 1972, then did the Super Bowl shuffle with the Bears in '85.

The same guy that voted for Bill Walsh as a write-in over Reagan in the '84 presidential election, only to be spotted practicing the Lambeau Leap in '96.

He was doing Terrell Davis' Mile-High Salute just three years ago, but now he's moved on to the Bob 'N Weave. Enjoy this fan while you can Rams because next year you just might lose him to Pittsburgh or Oakland.

Do you have an old Christian Okoye jersey hanging in your closet next to your new Torry Holt one?

If so, you're the guy I'm talking about.

Find a good team and jump on board. Somebody please do the world a favor feed these guys to the Cleveland Dog Pound. Almost as bad is the uneducated Rams fan. The guy that knows three players: Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner...make that just two players.

Recently I ran into three of these types at a sporting goods store here in Sikeston.

Coming from a Bears family, I looked into buying a St. Louis jersey for a relative as a joke. Since the three high school-aged employees were talking Rams football as I shopped, I figured I could save time by asking if they had any Grant Wistroms for sale.

All three gave me a puzzled look before one of them asked: "Who does he play for?"

Die-hard fans obviously.

You say you're not like those idiots, but I say prove it by passing my Rams version of the "Am I a Real Fan or Just a Wagon-Jumper" test:

1. Who tackled Kevin Dyson on the final play of Super Bowl XXXIV, and what is that play known as?

2. Who is your defensive coordinator?

3. Behind Warner, who is No. 2 and No. 3 on the depth chart at quarterback?

4. Who do the Rams play two weeks from now?

Looking for the answers? If you don't know them already, you just proved my point. I'll get off my soapbox now and let all you real fans get to your game.

Merry Christmas.