There have been strange situations arise in St. Louis sports before, but the Mike Martz soap opera takes the proverbial cake...and eats it too.
Let's see...our little Midwestern super-drama includes:
--Office politics of a pro sports team (Shaw, Zygmunt, Martz, Armey, Frontiere, and staffs of all of the above)
--Strong personalities butting heads (see above)
--Physical ailments of the lead characters (Martz' heart, Vitt's heart, players injuries)
--Rich people (All of the lead characters are rich by most common-man standards)
--Clashing media personalities (pro-Martz vs.anti-Martz, Slaten vs. Savard, Hadley vs. about everybody)
Add in a little sex and gunplay and we'd really have one for Hollywood. Who knows, those things may happen too before this little tale is finished being told. If this melodrama were playing out in New York or Los Angeles (where the Rams came from) I'm sure somebody would be writing a screenplay already...at least for a TV movie.
What's really strange here is that Martz, because of his heart ailment, is not even around the office intrigue anymore. He's practically incapable of doing, or saying, anything else that will lessen his image, or give management more of a reason to send him packing. He can't be a lousy coach for the rest of the season either. Not that he's been a lousy coach...just one of questionable judgment from time to time.
Everybody's writing him off as the Rams coach, but he can't go out an make a bonehead move on the field to open the door to his firing, at least not for the rest of this season.
Personally, I never bought into Martz being a head coach. I liked his play calling when he was in the press box as a coordinator. But, he never quite seemed to grasp the idea that he was in charge of the whole shlameel. The rest of the team was left to the other coaches...he was going to focus on his pride-and-joy offense. That, to me, seemed like an Army general saying he was going to command the artillery...and telling his colonels to worry about everything else. The troops always know where the big guy's heart is. And if they know he doesn't care about them, then they won't care about him, or his success. Consequently, the Rams have been a slip-shod defensive and special teams operation ever since Vermiel did his retirement/un-retirement thing after the Super Bowl championship.
But, back to "As the Rams Squirm". I hope Joe Vitt continues to do well and forces the front office to hand him the job without the "interim" tag. He seems like a good coach, and down-to-earth person. I could get excited about the scenario where the underdog coach with, the heretofore unrecognized, head coaching ability takes over and takes charge and leads them to the playoffs. That would be the coaching version of "The Kurt Warner Story". Then Martz could be handed his hat after the season and allowed to take his career to a market where his "I'm smarter than you" personality will have more of a chance at success. We don't cotton to those left coast, smarty-pants guys here in Archville.