Isaac Bruce, who has been a wide receiver with the Rams for 14 seasons, just got cut.
I mean, ok, Ike is like 35 years old or something, but he is freak-of-nature 35 (i.e healthy, body of Greek god, still fast etc etc) not Chov-35 (still waiting for phone to ring re: Hot Men of A.C.T. Sport calendar-shoot). Not that I'm 35 yet, so there's still time for me to change.....
He is way up there with the best to play the game in terms of his stats - career receptions, career receiving yards, touchdowns. And this past season he was maybe 2 or 3 big games away from 1,000 yards on the season (he actually got 733 on 55 receptions - a not unimpressive 13.3 yard avg) - and this while playing in a CRAP 3-13 TEAM!
AND he was the final link between the St Louis Rams and their former city, Los Angeles. And I'm not going to get used to talking about him past-tense for a while.
I mean, this guy's contribution to the team was not measured only in numbers.
He was the sort of player you happily apply the cliche "heart and soul of the team" to. He was everything to the Rams that receivers like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens are not - professional, dedicated, never a headline - always a player.
Oh, yeah, Ike also has a Superbowl ring. *ouch!* I'm so catty.
You don't cut guys like that without paying for it. If not immediately, eventually.
Now, sure, he got 'cut' last season, but it was a bit of salary-cap strategising going on, and he was re-signed to the team almost immediately.
What's different this time is what really pi$$es me off.
I mean, all that stuff I just ranted about, well I can actually let that go under the right circumstances. Hey, all players got to get old and retire some time. And yeah, Ike himself refused to renegotiate his 2008 salary downward in order to stay, so he could be portrayed as guilty of forcing the Rams' hand. And yeah, yeah, he *is* in the twilight of his career, I can admit that.
But the essential element that is bashing away at my frontal lobe with a rage that would make steroid-abusers shy away is that HE'S GOING TO BE A SAN FRANCISCO 49ER.
See last year he got released to save money against the cap and got re-signed because no other team seriously made a run for him.
But THIS time, it seems that Al Saunders, the new Offensive Coordinator and Bill Devaney (currently masquerading as personnel guy) don't really want Ike back. This isn't a salary-cap move and a salary-cap move alone. There's no plan here to release today, re-sign tomorrow.
He's not going to be back.
And guess who, about a month ago, signed on as new Offensive Coordinator for the hated scumbags in San Fran? Ex-Rams Head Coach Mike Martz.
And you just KNOW he is on the phone RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE THIS getting through to Ike.
So a big F*CK YOU to the football gods who were not content to merely bring about some mild and minor misfortune on my team - oh no, they had to climb a ladder and PI$$ ON IT FROM A HEIGHT.
I always thought I could look back at Ike and remember THAT breakaway catch in the Superbowl win over the Titans....the one where the f*cking game TURNED after the Rams went for it downfield (thereby swelling the size of their testicles 10000%) and of course there was ike BRUUUUUUUUUUCE to reel it in under coverage and then meander his way to the endzone....and there was Chov going mental and leaping around his house like a f*cking crazy-man and trying to swear and cheer at the same time....brilliant....
INSTEAD, what I'm going to have to remember is the FIRST TIME I SAW IKE WEARING A F*CKING 49ER JERSEY.
SO F*CK YOU WORLD.