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Overrated, Underrated, or Rated: The LA Rams

Let's put them in the hot seat and find out.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

When the Sonics left Seattle, it created an uproar in two cities for two entirely opposite reasons. Seattleites were devastated that something like this could even happen, while Oklahoma City residents felt like they just lost their professional sports V-card to the head cheerleader as the "Thunder" were arriving with two of the brightest young stars in the NBA. The loss of the Sonics created a doom-and-gloom ripple effect in Seattle that's still creating waves today every time another rumor of an NBA return crops up or the Thunder win another playoff game. Meanwhile, as much as you may rightfully hate Clay Bennett and Howard Schultz, the Oklahoma City fans may be among the best in the league. That was the first time for many of us that we really felt and witnessed the weight of what moving a professional sports franchise really feels like.

That shit is not happening in St. Louis or Los Angeles right now.

I don't want to over-generalize, especially since I've never been to St. Louis, but as an LA resident I can tell you that there is zero buzz about the Rams. On the flipside, I just never hear or read about anything in regards to St. Louis residents who are ready to start protesting NFL games and harassing Roger Goodell (at least not for this specific reason), so I can only assume that the experiences of losing a team for Seattle and St. Louis are simply much different. Neither experience is the "right" or "wrong" way to react though -- if anything, you could make the argument that Sonics fans overreacted -- they're just different.

But the reaction in Los Angeles might be a little bit wrong.

The Rams just drafted a quarterback with the number one overall pick. They are on Hard Knocks. They are an NFL team in Los Angeles. But it still almost feels like weeks will pass before it registers with me again that there's a team in the city where I live now. It's like waking up every morning to Sonny and Cher on the alarm clock radio, where everything resets for another day in LA, as if nothing has changed. And yet below the surface are rumblings that this is finally the year that the Rams will break through and get back to the playoffs because they have an upgrade at quarterback and the best defensive line in the NFL.

No. That isn't going to happen.

First of all, the franchise is still hot garbage. The Rams get to have their Hard Knocks season during the same year in which they move to LA and draft Jared Goff so that you will be paying attention to those items and not the fact that this disorganized haberdashery of "football" hasn't posted a winning season since 2003. When I start making my preseason picks for division winners and losers and the like, I start with ownership and management. Paul Allen doesn't know dick about football, and that's why he simply pays the bills and let's Pete Carroll do what Pete Carroll needs to do. Allen is much more invested in the Portland Trailblazers, and well, I don't know enough about that situation to really comment on their success other than letting the results speak for themselves. Allen gave Mike Holmgren full control and that worked for a little while. Now it's Carroll's time and without meddling ownership, things have been pretty okay. You don't get that with Jerry Jones, you never got that with Al Davis, and you clearly can't put any faith into the track record of Stan Kroenke.

You don't usually have "good teams" and "bad teams." What you normally get is "good franchises" and "bad franchises." The Patriots, the Steelers, the Broncos, the Seahawks, the Ravens. The Browns, the Bengals, the Lions, the Redskins. Look at the Oakland Raiders, for example. Davis died in 2011 and his son Mark immediately took over, hiring Reggie McKenzie in 2012. Four seasons later, it seems like the Raiders could finally get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

That's why I think it's more likely that the LA Rams going 3-13 than it is that they will go 11-5. But I have other reasons.

Goff is only a rookie and can't be expected to do dick this year, not that we even really thought that high of him all year on the 3000 NFL Mock Draft podcast to begin with. They lost Janoris Jenkins, which nobody ever seems to talk about. They're top two receivers are still Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin, which has always been a better idea in theory than in practice. (Or in games.) The offensive line could either be average or terrible, but probably couldn't be great. The success of the entire defense probably hinges on Aaron Donald, which is just a lot of eggs in that single basket.

Jeff Fisher.

For those reasons, I'm gonna have to say that Los Angeles is overrated. Not the city. The city is pretty cool. Sorry, it's just taking a lot of getting used to in terms of stating "Los Angeles" as an NFL team now because it's something I've never had to do as a sports writer until now. It's probably because I keep forgetting that the Rams are supposed to be playing here in a few months.