Those of you that read my column even semi-regularly know that I’m a bit of a movie buff. Instead of trying to put my brain to any kind of constructive, positive use that potentially could better society, I instead tend to fill it with arcane movie trivia and quotable lines. Hey, to each his own, right?
One of my favorite movies of all time is Back to the Future, partially because it’s so well-written, directed, and acted, and partially because I’m a nerd at heart and think that the idea of time traveling and changing the past is pretty cool. Also, I’ve always enjoyed the “steal the sports almanac from the future to bet on games in the past” storyline of Back to the Future II, and somewhat fittingly I’ve always wondered if people had that idea before the movie came out, or if it was the movie that cemented the idea in our minds. Think about that one for a minute…
At any rate, I think you know what’s coming here; I’m going to use lines from the Back to the Future movies (at least the first two; three could’ve been awesome, but for some reason they decided to make it a weird Western period piece without much in the way of time travel, despite the fact that THE REASON THAT THE WHOLE SERIES IS COOL IS BECAUSE OF THE TIME TRAVEL! But hey, what do I know?) to try to explain the Rams’ lost season.
“Great [Head Athletic Trainer Reggie] Scott!”
To the Rams’ injury plague, which has kept Reggie Scott and his staff busier than a minor league concession stand on nickel beer night. It’s true that the Rams probably can’t do anything about the “trauma” injuries; things like dislocations, broken bones, and torn ligaments. The sprains, strains, and other soft-tissue injuries on the other hand, are a function of equal parts preparation, treatment, bad luck, and the ability of the player’s immune system to heal. The Rams can only control two of these things, and the coaches and players maintain that Scott and his staff do a fine job, but man, I hope they have a vacation lined up once this season is over.
With regard to the movie, this is, of course, one of Doc Brown’s favorite lines. I always found it odd that a high school senior was hanging around with a random, middle-aged scientist. Others must have thought the same thing; how else can you explain this hilarious parody? It’s genius! I mean, I SUPPOSE it could be that Doc Brown sought Marty out after the whole “he traveled through time and found Doc in the 50s” ordeal, but that creates one hell of a time loop; Marty and Doc became friends because Marty went back in time, which only happened because they were friends—see where I’m going here? It’s enough to make your head hurt; much like watching this Rams team (the comparisons continue to pop up!).
“Hello? Hello McFly…”
To Josh McDaniels, who continues to make some odd play calls, especially on third down. Giving Brandon Lloyd the ball on a toss-sweep on third and one is just downright perplexing to me. Opposing teams appear to quickly sniff out screens and dump-offs since the Rams still don’t have a consistent deep option other than Brandon Lloyd, and he even struggles with getting separation at times when double-teamed. Spagnuolo continues to have confidence in McDaniels’ play-calling, but it does appear at times that the young offensive coordinator overthinks things a bit too much.
In the movies, Biff Tannen is an interesting character. He’s a total Neanderthal idiot, who basically uses brute force in every aspect of life to get ahead, yet he’s smart enough to build a business empire when given the unlimited money that the Sports Almanac provides in the second film. First of all, don’t you think Vegas would get a little bit suspicious when the same guy hit on every single bet he ever made? You don’t think the boys from the Trop (short for “Tropicana,” for those of you unfamiliar with the Vegas hotel scene) wouldn’t send Moose and Rocco after Biff after a while? Not to mention that in the second movie, Biff lets the town of Hill Valley turn into an absolute hellhole. I know he’s a bully and an ass, but I would think that after getting some cash, Biff would want to clear out the “riff-raff” from in front of his place, if for no other reason than to increase property values. Instead, he basically has a never-ending biker gang rally outside of his place. Ridiculous…
“If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits eighty-eight miles per hour... you're gonna see some serious shit.”
This one’s for none other than number 88, Lance Kendricks, who showed amazing ability in the preseason, but for whatever reason hasn’t been able to translate that promise into similar levels of production thus far in his rookie campaign. I think Kendricks is going to be a good player in the league; after all, as of late, he’s started contributing more and more, and showing some of the open-field skills that so tantalized Rams fans in the preseason. If he can become the elite option in the passing game that he has teased thus far, it will go a long way toward getting this offense going—THEN you’ll see some “serious shit” instead of…well…
One of the great things about the movies is that the writers settled on (at first glance) an apparently arbitrary number as the threshold for time travel. If you dig a little deeper, though, writers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale allegedly used 88 MPH because it’s two infinity symbols arranged vertically. Kind of cool, isn’t it? This is the kind of stuff that I have floating around in my brain instead of “physics” or “calculus”; isn’t the world a better place for it?
Another thing; there’s some pretty salty language in the movie for being rated “PG.” Now, PG movies tend to be Pixar gems, or otherwise safe, animated fare that tends to avoid any kind of swearing at all. It’s odd how societal conventions have changed in just a few…wait, it’s been almost 30 years since Back to the Future came out? Jesus! I’m getting old. I mean, we’re almost in the year that they travel to in “the future” in Back to the Future II (2015)! I’ve always wondered if a studio would try to remake the trilogy when they got to 2015, and could send Marty back to 1985. I don’t know if it would be genius or utter crap. Probably utter crap, since it would be easy to get bogged down in 80s kitch (think Wedding Singer) instead of taking a more realistic look at what life was like “back then.” When I was two.
Some studio should at least remake the second movie so that they don’t have that ridiculous, never-going-to-happen discrepancy between the movies and real life; of course I’m talking about the Cubs winning the World Series against the Miami Gators in 2015. Come on, guys; I know movies can take SOME liberties with the truth, but something like that is downright absurd.
“It means your future hasn't been written yet. No one's has. Your future is whatever you make it!”
Okay, I cheated a bit; this is a line from the third movie. But I do think it encapsulates why Rams fans have some hope going forward; each football season is a fresh start. I know the situation can seem hopeless at times for Rams fans because that doesn’t seem to be the case; we’ve come to expect bad football season after bad football season in this town. But you have to trust that Stan Kroenke will make things right in the offseason, and set this franchise down the proper path by bringing in folks to clean up this mess. There’s a chance he won’t; we don’t know what Stan’s thinking, and if he doesn’t make some fairly significant changes, and as good of a job as Kevin Demoff has done, it would be difficult for anyone to justify why you should give this franchise your hard-earned dollars next year.
But as the Rams play out the string against a couple of hard nosed, good football teams (the Steelers and Niners), you have to hold out hope that Kroenke will do the right thing and get this operation back on track come January 2nd. Otherwise, maybe you can find yourself a crazy, wide-eyed crackpot scientist to invent the flux capacitor so that you can go back and enjoy the Greatest Show on Turf era all over again. I mean, at this point, what would be easier?
I guess you're right.
I'll try to dig up a DeLorean.
-There wasn't a Monday afternoon press conference today; Spagnuolo and the coaching staff moved everything up a day this week due to the Saturday game, so today is (in their parlance) “A Monday that’s a Tuesday,” if that makes sense. I’ll still try to get the Power Rankings done tomorrow by putting in a good amount of work on the front end today, but in the meantime, I thought I’d give you some quotes from players and whatnot from after yesterday’s game.
-RB Steven Jackson on whether or not the injuries on the offensive line have made short-yardage situations more difficult for the Rams to convert: “It’s been that way for quite some time. You can’t use that as an excuse,” Jackson said. “The situation has been that we’ve been playing with some reserves for quite some time. It’s a tough situation, but that’s who we have to play with. That’s the situation we have to deal with, and we had a game that we were 6-6 despite who we were out there with and we could have won this game.”
-QB Kellen Clemens seemed bright, funny, and self-effacing in his post-game presser. “For those of you who I haven’t met, which is pretty much everybody, I’m Kellen. Nice to meet you,” he started off the press conference. Though he played about as well as could’ve been hoped for, he still took responsibility for things that he could have done better, “When you don’t score as many points as the other team, then that falls on the quarterback,” Clemens said. “Explosive plays would have been nice. We had the one opportunity to Brandon Lloyd on the deep throw there. The ball was real short, kind of hung up on me. That really could change the tide of the game, get six points there. Third-down obviously was an issue. I think we’re 15 or 17 percent there or something, very unacceptable. So I’ll start there, and stop. I won’t give you as long of a list as it could be. We’ll look at the film tomorrow and if you ask me again, I’ll probably have more for you.”
-S Quintin Mikell addressed the concerns that the defense wears down in the fourth quarter after playing valiantly for so much of the game, “We’re in good shape. The thing is, sometimes we need to get a turnover to get off the field,” Mikell said. “Sometimes we need to get a three-and-out, and obviously the offense has had some injuries and stuff, and they’re fighting through that stuff. They’re getting better, and we have to keep getting better. But a lot of that is on us and we’ve got to take it as a whole team approach. We’ve got to look at ourselves just as much.”
-Like I said, I’m going to try to get the Power Rankings done for tomorrow, then Know Your Enemy on the Steelers on Wednesday, and the Game Preview on Thursday on this short week. Thanks for reading.
D.J. Gelner covers the Rams beat for insideSTL. Follow him on twitter for the latest Rams updates (@djgelner). Be sure to follow his live blogs and tweets on game days.