St. Louis packed up the Rams last April and sent them west wishing them nothing but the worst.
And for the first time since the Greatest Show on Turf, the Rams haven’t disappointed them.
Their 4-8 record notwithstanding, the organization’s ham-handedness in the eight months since they’ve been in Los Angeles has paid off with a steady stream of often unbelievable, but oh-so-satisfying news.
The latest from Camp Kroenke? The Rams have extended the contract of Jeff Fisher, ensuring that when he breaks the record for most losses by an NFL head coach, he does so proudly wearing the blue and gold.
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In 22 seasons, Fisher has coached a team to a winning record six times, and not once since 2008. His next loss will tie him with Dan Reeves for the futility record.
Yet, owner Stan Kroenke is rewarding Fisher with an extra $14 million over the next two seasons — a small price for making history, I suppose. Of course, it helps when your agent, Marvin Demoff, is the father of the team’s VP of football operations, Kevin Demoff.
News of Fisher’s extension broke Sunday as the Rams absorbed a 26-10 beating at the hands of New England Patriots, L.A.’s seventh loss in eight games.
It was a busy day for the team, heralded as such by the Los Angeles Times with more snark than even I can muster: “Jeff Fisher isn’t going anywhere,” its headline reads, “and neither are the Rams.”
The team extended general manager Les Snead’s contract, too.
Snead, of course, is the author of the blockbuster trade that sent the Rams’ top four draft picks in last summer’s draft and the Nos. 1 and 3 picks in 2017 to the Tennessee Titans for the privilege of making quarterback Jared Goff the first overall pick.
Goff couldn’t even make the field for 10 weeks, but then Fisher trotted him out as the starter three weeks ago, without any semblance of an offensive line or capable wide receivers to support him (sound familiar?).
Snead has been rewarded with two more years to figure out how to replenish the stockpile of players at those positions without the benefit of all those draft picks he traded away.
In the periphery of all this was the Eric Dickerson drama.
The Rams’ Hall of Famer and single-season rushing king was banned from the sidelines by Fisher for daring to questions team leadership. Demoff insists it’s all just a misunderstanding, but Dickerson has said he’s not going to attend the games at all as long as Fisher is still there.
There’s more: The “legends game” that was canceled for lack of interest, the blowback the team received for going cheap on renovations to the LA Coliseum, the disappearance of running back and “face of the franchise” Todd Gurley from the offense and the public consciousness.
And this: the Rams still garner a higher television rating in St. Louis — the so-called “baseball-only” city that supposedly didn’t support them — than they do in Los Angeles.
Yeah, I know a 9.4 share of the huge LA market means more viewers than a 10.6 share in St. Louis. But isn’t it telling that, for the third week in a row, two other games televised in Los Angeles had a higher rating than the Rams could muster?
And the indifference is showing up at the ticket gate, too: The Rams have filled the Coliseum to just 89 percent capacity in five games this season, 29th in the NFL.
That’s right. After 21 years lobbying for the return of their beloved Rams, Los Angeles football fans already are tuning out.
And, man, does it feel good.