Thursday, June 09, 2005

Again with Jersey Numbers?

Mike Martz knows what is really important in the NFL. The part-time NFL coach and full-time comedian decided that Jeff Smoker's number 9 jersey was bad karma. Obviously NFL coaches are not subjected to the same drug testing policies as players because it's clear that Martz might have spent some time with Ricky Williams in the offseason.

Martz felt so strongly about the issue that he turned to Redskins running Clinton Portis to draft a contract that changed Smoker's jersey number and help erase the dark cloud that hangs over St. Louis. Because we all know that it was the bad karma of Smoker's jersey number and not the shoddy playing call by Martz. Or the inability to motivate his players. Heck, just trying to keep players from trying to kill the coach.

Quibbling over petty distractions such as jersey numbers is the kind of micromanaging that has become the hallmark of Martz's head coaching career. Along with the inability to win the big game. Or the fact that his team would routinely try to kick the ball even if Lucy Van Pelt was holding it.

Dick Vermeil must sit in his Kansas City office and say, "They pushed me out the door for this guy," whenever a story like this comes across the wire.

Martz did win out in the "war of wills" and handed the backup quarterback jersey number 15 when he reported to mini-camp. St. Louis has done a lot to try to steal the history of the defunct LA Rams franchise, but to hand out Vince Ferragamo's jersey number is just mean.

Smoker, however, is taking the number switch like a man.

"I think it makes me look fat, the two digits," the 6-foot-3 223 pound Smoker said. "I like just the one digit. It kept me looking more slender and athletic."

St. Louis is in good shape if Marc Bulger goes down. (Pun Intended).

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