Dumpster Diving

The few worthy names in the free agent pile have quickly disappeared off the boards, snapped up like fat tourists in a shark tank. Nate Burleson, top FA wide receiver? Signed to Drew Bennett money. Julius Peppers? The Bears offered a Scrooge McDuck-esque swimming pool full of cash. Personal favorite Aaron Kampman? After a whirlwind tour of cities (some visited and others just rumored), he lands in Jacksonville teal.

Meanwhile, Billy Devaney and Kevin Demoff are puttering around the back alleys of the NFL in a rust-orange pickup with plywood sides, looking for treasure among other teams’ trash.

Sad Chair. Photo by Bill Keaggy

“Look here! Can you believe somebody would let AJ Feeley just sit out here in the elements like this? Hell, we could put him right in our living room.”

Asked about Feeley’s role, Rams general manager Billy Devaney said, “It’s kind of fluid right now. It could be any number of things, any number of options. In addition to being familiar with the system, knowing the West Coast offense inside out, knowing Steve and Pat (offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur), he also has the ability to slide into any role.”

St Louis Globe Democrat

“Don’t look now, pard, but I see a couple of big dudes struggling to get Fred Robbins to the curb. Whattya say we go over and help ’em out, maybe they cut us a deal?”

“We ain’t got room in the truck to pick up no Fred Robbins!”

“Well, just toss out that Derek Fine we picked up two weeks ago. He ain’t in such good shape.”

“He’s a great kid, but there was some stuff … let’s just say it was a football decision and leave it at that. It was strictly based on football. We have a couple other guys that we’re talking to, so it ‘s best at this point before the offseason workouts start up (March 15) to make that move.”

Sad Chair photo by Bill Keaggy

Meanwhile, Rams fans take up the part of the long-frustrated wife, looking at the ever-growing accumulation of fixer-uppers and could-bes and just shaking her head. “Please tell me at least you’re going to make room for some of this junk, right? When are you going to dump this beat up old Bulger already? It’s just sitting here looking pathetic, and it totally clashes with my Kurt Warner art on the walls.”

“We told him as soon as there’s clarity and we have a feel for how this will play out, he’ll be the first person to know. It could be anything, and he understands that. Our position right now is that he’s still a member of the Rams and if that ever changes we’ll be up front with Marc.”

Sad chair by Bill Keaggy.

I guess if there’s one consolation here, it’s that they apparently aren’t interested in buying the same junk twice.

“He was here to pick up some clothes or equipment. He was here about a month ago. We told him the door is always open any time he wants to stop by and say hello. But trust me, that’s all it is; just dropping by to say hello. Richie feels the same way. He knows with everything that’s gone on here, it’s best for him to be someplace else.”

The fine photos in this piece are from a funny little book called “50 Sad Chairs” by Bill Keaggy, a collection of photos taken in and around the back alleys of St Louis.