When I wrote “Rams fans” in the blog title, I’m not talking about Rams fans like myself, who follow the team and can write biased AND objective posts with deft, dexterity and intelligence every time they post about the team on a message board forum or sports blog, I’m talking about the fans in St. Louis, the ones who sell their tickets to other teams fans throughout the season.

Steven Jackson hates ’em, too.

If you think this is a fool who pops off on ill-advised, selfish rants like Terrell Owens, you don’t know Jackson. He’s an intelligent man who knows the weight of every one of his potent words. When you hear him ripping on fans, it’s a rant with a purpose. It’s his way of letting them know that they have to play a part
in this Rams revival, too. The Dome has to return to those Sundays when it was one of the most imposing home-field advantages in the NFL.

When the Rams’ all-pro running back talks, the truth tends to come out of his mouth in all of its unfiltered, sometimes uncomfortable glory. I happen to like that about him, for what his unsettling words usually lack in diplomacy, they more than make up for with disturbing spot-on honesty.

Since arriving in town four years ago, the man with the flowing dreadlocks has readily spoken his mind about his playing time, his uneasy coexistence with Marshall Faulk, his public image, his desire for greatness and his underachieving teammates. Much to the mortification of the team’s always anxious public relations staff, Jackson has even dared to tread on the ultra-sensitive subject of the fickle St. Louis fan base.

In a Yahoo! interview with Michael Silver, Jackson brought it hard, chiding Rams fans for selling their tickets to Packers and Steelers fans last season. (“It was like playing road games,” he said. “We ran out of the tunnel and got booed. It was ridiculous. I was livid.”) If you want to characterize that as controversial, feel free. The truth is, what he told Silver is nothing we haven’t already here from Jackson over in St. Louis.

If you think Steven Jackson is a fool who pops off on ill-advised, selfish rants like T.O., you don’t know Jackson. He’s an intelligent man who knows the weight of every one of his potent words. When you hear him ripping on fans, it’s a rant with a purpose. It’s his way of letting them know that they have to play a part
in this Rams revival, too. The Dome has to return to those Sundays when it was one of the most imposing home-field advantages in the NFL.

When he stomped off the field during games last year and screamed at teammates and coaches, that was purposeful, too. Too many dumb play calls and undisciplined penalties. If he’s one of the main cogs on this team, it’s his job to open his mouth and get on underachieving teammates. That’s what team leaders are supposed to do (except for the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant).

If you think it was a careless error for him to criticize his wide receivers for not blocking for him in the Yahoo.com interview, you’re missing the point. I think it was a well-thought-out surgical strike and a loaded message aimed directly at some veterans who had off years last season and are being expected
to be more ferocious downfield blockers in Al Saunders’ new system.

Jackson basically said there are plenty of reasons why the 2008 season should be worth the price of admission. He said because he’s in a contract year, he has to produce. He said because the team is coming off a disastrous 3-13 season, coach Scott Linehan has to produce. He said because the team’s ownership future is unclear, even the franchise’s future in St. Louis is unclear. All of those factors are reasons why the Rams should be plenty motivated to go from worst to first.

Since the ’07 season ended, Linehan has repeatedly said that he expects his veterans to be more vocal and exert more leadership than any of them displayed during the train wreck of last season. By simply telling the truth — no matter how uneasy that truth might be — Jackson is doing just that.

Steven ‘Action’ Jackson spoke the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s