Rams boss is fishing for trouble with Dickerson

Steve Brenner 07:15 06/12/2016
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Courting controversy: Jeff Fisher.

When Snoop Dogg begins piling on the pressure, it’s probably best to call it a day. Yet the hip-hop legend hasn’t been alone in publicly slaughtering LA Rams coach Jeff Fisher who is one of the most unpopular people in the City of Angels right now.

Eric Dickerson, the greatest ever Ram and one of the finest running backs in NFL history, was the man who started a thoroughly messy spat which has left the rest of the League open mouthed.

Everything blew up at the start of last week, just hours after the Rams were trounced by the New Orleans Saints to leave them a hopeless 4-7 for the season. The move from St Louis was supposed to be the grand homecoming. But Hollywood’s scriptwriters have been sleeping on the job.

While Stan Kroenke’s $2 billion stadium is under construction, a return to the old Coliseum hasn’t got the magic flowing back. Indeed, LA are one of four teams who cannot fill up their stadium to 90 per cent capacity on game day.

Dickerson, however, has been, up until now, a welcome cheerleader for the franchise. He was the public face behind garnering support back in LA. He was, and still is, loved for his achievements in the 80’s.

Fisher isn’t a fan though. The coach, according to Dickerson, called him directly to explain because of the heavy criticism dished out on a local radio show, there will be no more freebie tickets for his mates or a regular space on the touchline for the Hall of Famer.

“As long as I’m here as coach, we feel uncomfortable with you coming on the sideline. The players are uncomfortable with that,” Dickerson recalled to the LA Times exactly what Fisher told him.

“He has every right to be critical because we’re all frustrated with the respect to the season and he has every right to comment and to be critical,” added Fisher himself. “But there’s a line that has to be respected, when you on one side criticise the organisation and come back and ask the organisation for something.”

That is totally fair enough. Yet surely any under-fire coach knows the worst thing to do is to start publicly fighting with a club legend. Tit-for-tat nonsense soon followed. Fisher tried to backtrack, insisting the 45-year-old has “always been welcome” and can attend team meetings whenever he wants before revealing “positive” talks had taken place.

Dickerson, though, is utterly unrepentant and now with Snoop in his corner, the time in nigh.

“I’m listening to this **** about the Rams, how they came at Eric Dickerson,” said the rapper. “You sorry ********. That’s why y’all not winning. How y’all gonna do one of your greats like that?

“Coach need to go. He’s sorry as ****. He don’t know how to coach. He ain’t won **** He ain’t gonna win ****. He need to go. Period. Eric Dickerson is a Ram great. He should be given all access.”

Yet, despite this Fisher – who has told Dickerson while he remains in charge, he will never return to the stadium – is reportedly set to be handed a two-year contract extension. And then there are the performances on the field.

After last night’s 26-10 defeat to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, Fisher is just one loss shy of tying Dan Reeves for the most all-time. Every post-season has been missed since 2008 and you have to go back 13 years since his last victory in a playoff match. In four years with the Rams his record stands at a woeful 31-44.

While all this is gut wrenching for the fans – many remain stranded in St Louis – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and friends will be fuming. LA and its four million inhabitants is one of the biggest media markets in the US. A veritable sporting entertainment goldmine. Losing, and arguing, however, doesn’t fit the glitzy storyline.

There were always going to be teething problems but a well-placed Rams source told Sport360: “I still think the move will prove to be a success. LA is an extremely lucrative market that is ripe with many multifaceted revenue generation opportunities.”

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