For Fuck the Rams Week, why not a little playoff machicanery? Yeah, machicanery. ESPN’s annual Playoff Machine isn’t sentient enough to fuck the Rams on its own, but with a little tender, gentle guidance, it can learn the finer points.
Kidding. There are no finer points. Also, the machine is already sentient. Don’t be so naive.
Premise: Just as the Future Rams of Elsewhere (they’ve moved twice! those dirty rat-bastards!) start to get their mojo back on offense, and capture a tantalizing sniff of the postseason, just as they avenge their early-season loss to the Seahawks, just as they pounce right back into wild card position —
— Hey John, this isn’t what FTR Week is usually about, are you sure —
We’re getting there. Lord. PREMISE: Just as the Rams begin to think everything is gonna be all right once more in Goff-Goff Land; no, sorry, no, it is not. In Weeks 14, 15 and 16, they had extended their winning streak to four. At 10-5, they’re here sitting pretty, in prime wild-card position, on the precipice of the playoffs, tied with the free-falling San Francisco 49ers —
— Ok now I gotchu John. What could be more fun than including the 49ers in FTR Week? That’s rhetorical. Nothing is the answer. Don’t answer. Keep writing, don’t listen to me —
Thanks for the permission. In the totally realistic simulation illustrated below, as we were saying, the Rams and Niners enter Week 17 with identical 10-5 records. They’re also both in playoff position, technically, as the 5 and 6 seeds! All the Rams have to do is take care of the tiny-beaked red birds at home; all the Niners have to do to stave off the most embarrassing late-season collapse in NFL history is to steal a win at the CLink.
Both those tasks can be accomplished! But both pretenders, unlike contenders, fail. And instead, they both lose. Thus the playoff machine’s most beautiful, most comely, most fucky scenario is born.
Many thanks to the Saints for losing their final two while the Seahawks won theirs. But that’s beside the Fuck the Rams point! Look at how SF and LA ruined their draft position and got to sit at home in January, probably weeping, probably tweeting. Look all the Bears and Vikings populating this flawless postseason instead! Chicago had to win in Minny on the last play of the last game to seal the deal, and seal it they did, on an 18-yard Hail Mary heave from Mitch Trubisky as time expired. In doing so, they create an NFC logjam so preposterous it takes this paragraph to sort it out:
And that’s how you say Fuck The Rams in 100 beautiful, incomprehensible words, with a side of Fuck The Niners thrown in. Happy week.