Forgetting the Lockout, Remembering 2010

My memory is a little fuzzy, who is this guy again?

I am a patient boy, I’ll wait I’ll wait I’ll wait I’ll wait. But this waiting for something substantial to happen, for the business of football to get back to normal, is torturous. The mental pathways that were once devoted to the Rams, to the myriad possibilities of the draft, of free agency, and of the 2011 season, are barely firing now, fogged and occluded by this cloud of depression that hangs over the offseason now.

We are all together in the post-draft void, and I’m sitting at the epicenter of the big nothing, here in St Louis where the 8th district court is busy sleeping on the legal fate of the league. Theories and analyses abound, but the more I read the less informed I feel.

The latest legal salvo from the NFL touches on one of the few chords that resonates with fans: competitive balance. Lifting the lockout now in an uncapped environment, they say, would open the doors for teams like the Cowboys (yes, the same Cowboys crying most about their stadium debt) to play like the Yankees in baseball and sign all the best available free agents. And it would hurt the chances of small-market teams like the Rams of competing for those same players.

It’s a good argument on paper, but falls apart quickly for anyone with a working memory longer than that of Guy Pearce in Memento. (And if you don’t get that reference, go now to the local video store and grab this movie. One of the very best mind-bending movies of the last decade.)

After all, last year’s league was uncapped, and teams spent remarkably less than in previous years. And if the lockout was lifted, the league could institute 2010 rules immediately and create as level a playing field as last year, when the very smallest of the small market teams — the Green Bay Packers — won the Super Bowl.

More worrisome are the rumblings, all from unofficial sources, that the league is considering a nuclear option of their own. If the players are willing to scuttle the rules of collective bargaining by walking away from their union, the owners, so the rumor goes, might consider shuttering their teams entirely.

Aaron Nagler at Cheesehead TV does a nice job of skewering the league’s latest scare tactic. But the bigger problem is that we have to spend any time at all talking about this crap, when we could be talking about football.

Giving ourselves something to talk about

Here at RamsHerd, though, we plan on preserving some kind of sanity by reliving the 2010 season, week by week. Let the legal battle take its own course, but we won’t be mining it for daily non-updates. That’s what PFT is for.

Instead, each weekend we will rewatch and re-recap a game from Sam Bradford’s debut season. While we know how it will all turn out, the exercise of rewatching will refresh our memories and give us a fresh perspective on the Rams’ foundations for the coming season. Starting this Sunday with the season opener versus Arizona, we’ll be wrapping up in late August.

Hopefully by then, we’ll actually have something to talk about.