Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC West [Print without images]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Just what Rams need, legends ripping them

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

The St. Louis Rams are 0-6. Their franchise quarterback is hurt. Their secondary is in shambles. They're bracing for a New Orleans Saints team coming off a 62-7 victory.

What they need more than anything at this moment is Rams Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood ripping them in public.

"We are their legacy, but they forgot us," Jack Youngblood told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "They don't have anything to do with us, really. I find that unfortunate because you look at other franchises, even those that have moved, and they use their alumni in their marketing and in their organization. They use their Hall of Famers as an example for the players who are there today. They use their alumni, but the Rams have cut us out of the picture."

Youngblood has attacked the Rams before, including last year, amid perceptions general manager Billy Devaney and coach Steve Spagnuolo have unnecessarily cast aside employees with roots to the team's days in Los Angeles.

"It always matters what great players' opinions are as to what we are doing and how we are doing," general manager Billy Devaney said at the time. " 'Spags' and I have a ton of respect for what they have accomplished and what they have meant to the Rams. They are always welcome. I have talked to Marshall [Faulk] in the past. I talked to Jack Youngblood when he was visiting this year."

Faulk has subsequently become a TV announcer for the team during preseason, but those talks between Devaney and Youngblood apparently didn't change much. The ESPNLosAngles.com piece quoted Fred Dryer similarly. The dynamics of the Rams moving from Los Angeles to St. Louis are awkward, as Youngblood acknowledged in another interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com, this one two weeks ago.
Arash Markazi, ESPNLosAngeles.com: "So, you play your entire career in Los Angeles and one of your rivals during that time is the St. Louis Cardinals. What is it like now when you go to St. Louis and are honored by the city along with those former Cardinals players?"

Youngblood: "Yeah, that’s odd. You go there and they’re Rams fans so they know the team’s history, but there’s this bittersweet thing going on with the local people because they used to hate us when we came to town and beat up on Jimmy Hart and Dan Dierdorf and all those guys. It’s irony for sure. That’s a business decision where they try to bring the St. Louis fans into the Los Angeles Rams history."

Youngblood is promoting a new book. I'll appeal to St. Louis Rams fans here. How do you feel about Youngblood's complaints about the St. Louis-era Rams failing to adequately embrace Los Angeles-era stars?