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STL at #13 in all-time NFL franchise rankings

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  • STL at #13 in all-time NFL franchise rankings

    All-time franchise rankings

    Try as the NFL might to provide the proverbial level playing field, no two franchises are created equal. Certainly, no two franchises perform equally.

    In fact, for some organizations, it's a triumph simply to have a winning record and reach the playoffs. For other organizations, the season's a failure if they don't add another Lombardi to the trophy case.

    Naturally, inquiring little pigskin minds want to know: what is the best franchise in football? Which is the worst?

    We don't mean which are the best and worst today. We mean, the best and worst for all time.

    Even for the Cold, Hard Football Facts, there's no truly empirical answer. Sure, overall winning percentage, winning seasons and championship seasons all factor into the equation. But they're not the only criteria. What about the great players who have donned the uniform of your favorite team? How do you quantify their contributions. How do you value the impact a Papa Bear Halas or a Dan Marino had on a team's greatness?

    It's simply not possible to do so empirically.

    So here's what we did: we tackled the challenge of ranking the franchises from the point of view of the fans, using our Misery-to-Joy Theory of Fan Relativity. Essentially, we measured the amount of misery a franchise has forced upon its fans against the amount of celebratory games, moments and titles a franchise has gifted upon its fans.

    The fans who have endured the most misery will find their teams at the bottom of the list. The fans who have enjoyed the most celebratory moments will find their teams at the top of the list.

    This Misery-to-Joy system also allows us to compare franchises of various ages. Some teams have beenn around since 1920. Other teams are barely a decade old. But, by measuring each team by the relative misery-to-joy it has provided its fans, the age is almost irrelevant. A 10-year-old team that won two titles (purely as an example, as no such team exists) would rate incredibly high on the list. An 88-year-old team that won two titles would probably have a lot of 'splaining to do for those other 86 seasons.
    13. ST. LOUIS RAMS

    First Rams season: 1937

    Names: Cleveland Rams (1937-45); Los Angeles Rams (1946-94); St. Louis Rams (1995-present)

    Rams franchise record: 501-454-20 (.524) – 13th

    Rams franchise playoff record: 19-24 (.442)

    Rams championships: 1945, 1951, 1999

    Greatest Rams players: Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk, Tom Fears, Crazy Legs Hirsch, Deacon Jones, Tom Mack, Ollie Matson, Merlin Olsen, Jackie Slater, Norm Van Brocklin, Bob Waterfield, Jack Youngblood

    Greatest Rams playa: Waterfield

    Greatest Rams coach: George Allen (1966-70), 49-17-4 (.729) – Allen did not win a championship with the Rams (or later with the Redskins). But his teams were consistently great during his five-years at the helm and he still boasts the best record on a team blessed with a bevy of great (but short-lived) coaches.

    Rams claim to fame: Only team to win championships while playing in three different cities.

    It never got any better for Rams fans than it did on: Jan. 30, 2000
    With all due respect to the great star-studded Rams teams of old in Cleveland and L.A., few, if any, football teams in history enjoyed such a remarkable rise from oblivion more so than the Super Bowl XXXIV champion Rams of St. Louis.

    Their 23-16 victory over the Titans was, in and of itself, perhaps the most exciting Super Bowl in history, with the Rams stopping the Titans inches from a game-tying TD as time expired. You beg for Super Bowls like that, no matter who is involved.

    But the thriller also punctuated a remarkable rise from oblivion for a once-great NFL power, a teary-eyed old coach and a former supermarket stock boy turned NFL MVP. In 1998, the Rams were just 4-12, Vermeil was an aging coach with a Super Bowl loss back in 1980 the highlight of his career, and Warner was known only by fans of the Arena League's Iowa Barnstormers. On Jan. 30, 2000, all were Super Bowl champions.

    Rams overview:

    The Rams organization should be a Top 5 team in our franchise rankings. They’ve been literally littered with Hall of Fame stars since their earliest days, they’ve fielded some of the greatest offensive teams in history (the 1950 Rams still hold the record 38.8 PPG), they’ve fielded some of the greatest defensive teams in history (especially in the 1970s), and they’ve fielded some of the single most dominant teams in league history (4 of the top 21). No team can claim so many teams that have won so often so many different ways.

    It’s a feat made more remarkable by the general lack of stability – normally a prerequisite for success – within the organization. The team has played in three different cities and has absolutely no consistency within its coaching ranks. In fact, even the great coaches who have walked through the doors – Clark Shaughnessy, Joe Stydahar, Sid Gillman, George Allen, Chuck Knox, Dick Vermeil, a pretty impressive list – have never lasted more than five years. (John Robinson, who led the team from 1983 to 1991, is the only coach in franchise history to last more than five years at the helm, though Knox did return for a wildly unsuccessful three-year stint in 1992 years after his original five-year run in L.A.).

    However, more often than not, the Rams failed to truly capitalize on their potential and regular-season greatness. Though they boast three NFL championships, they’ve lost 11 times in NFL championships, Super Bowls, or conference title games, often to inferior teams. The 2001 Rams, who lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI, were just the most recent in a sad franchise history. In addition:

    * The 1967 Rams went 11-1-2 and were the best team in football. They couldn’t win a single playoff game, getting bounced by the 9-4-1 Packers (at home!) a week before the Ice Bowl.
    * The 1973 Rams were dominant, too, with a league-best 12-2 record, +210 scoring differential, and a suffocating defense. They couldn’t win a single playoff game, either, getting bounced by the Cowboys in the divisional round.

    Even during the 1950s, when the Rams fielded the greatest offenses in history, thanks largely to the Hall of Fame QB-ing tandem of Norm Van Brocklin and Bob Waterfield, the Rams squeaked out just a single championship.

    All in all, the Rams have been a very, very exciting franchise to follow through the years, and routinely competitive (and sometimes dominant) year after year. But it’s a franchise that leaves you wondering what might have been ... which leaves us placing them just outside the Top 12.

  • #2
    RAMS #13 all-time
    Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.