Eric Dickerson: Rams' loss 'an embarrassment'

On Sunday the Rams will play their first game in Los Angeles since Dec. 24, 1994. On game day it will have been 7,939 days since the Rams last hosted a regular season NFL contest in L.A.

It was supposed to be a joyous moment for local fans that watched their team from afar for two decades. It was supposed to be a celebration.

After a humiliating shutout loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday, the Rams' return has the chance of becoming a laughing stock in Los Angeles.

On NFL Network's Good Morning Football, Rams great Eric Dickerson called Monday night's debacle "an embarrassment."

"The city is happy. You know, the one thing about Los Angeles is you got to win," the Hall of Fame running back said. "That's the No. 1 thing -- you've got to win in that city. And what they showed Monday night was an embarrassment. As a football team, they got to pick themselves up for the Seattle Seahawks and kind of get it back together."

After watching the Case Keenum-led offense Monday night rack up a total of 185 yards, fans are right to enter Sunday's tilt versus the Seahawks with skepticism.

"I've been saying from Day 1 to the fans, 'Be patient, this is a young football team,'" Dickerson said. "But you can't live by that. They've been saying that for the last four, five years ... but hey, you've got to keep some veterans on the team. You've got to have some leaders on that team, some veterans."

The running joke in the football world is Jeff Fisher teams are perennially 7-9. After watching Week 1 unfold, even that level of mediocrity seems like it could be hard to achieve. The Rams lost major pieces on defense -- Janoris Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Chris Long, etc. -- and did nothing to upgrade the offense. Oh, the Rams mortgaged the future to get a quarterback that would upgrade the offense, but couldn't get him prepared for Week 1. So, No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff sat on the sideline watching the eye-gouging display along with the rest of us Monday.

All teams have fickle fan bases. It's true that fair weather shifts with a team's win-loss record in all cities (even you, blue-collar Midwest town with an inferiority complex). That dynamic is magnified in Los Angeles. Without an NFL team for more than 20 years, many young residents have taken on other allegiances. And because Tinseltown is a melting pot for fans from across the country, a lot of fans were already aligned with teams like the Giants, Patriots or Cowboys.

Those reasons don't even begin to scratch the surface of the "there is more to do in November in Los Angeles than in Boston" arguments that give a different meaning to "fair weather fans."

The only way to earn attention in L.A. is to win. Just ask the Clippers.

"I think that if they're (eventually) 2-8, it's going to be tough," Dickerson said. "I'm just going to be honest because in L.A. there's a lot of things to do -- you can go to the beach, you can go to baseball games, Lakers games, Hollywood."

Rams owner Stan Kroenke's master plan seems to have caught a kink: Winning is the only thing that draws a crowd in Los Angeles. Winning might be tough to come by for the Rams in 2016.

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