An 'arch' open letter to former Titans Coach Jeff Fisher's new hometown 

Beat Me in St. Louis

Beat Me in St. Louis

Dear St. Louis,

Remember us? It's been awhile since we played a meaningful game, but surely there's a photo or 70 of Mike Jones on his back, Kevin Dyson's arm outstretched, hoping for Lamarckian evolution to kick in and scoot that ball over the goal line.

Enough time has passed that we can appreciate Super Bowl XXXIV as an objectively good game. No hard feelings. We don't talk about the loss that much anyway; we're far more focused on Dyson's miraculous heroics a few weeks before.

We hear you've got a new coach up there. Your ownership evidently decided Steve Spagnuolo had worn out his welcome — or at least that they were tired of misspelling his name — and they hired a guy we in Nashville know well.

Jeff Fisher is bringing his mustache upriver to Missouri.

There are a few things you should know about him. First, that mustache. Maybe we should have seen this hire coming all along, as your hometown Rams competed with the Dolphins for Fisher's services. Sure, that 'stache makes the coach look like a bad guy from Miami Vice. But it sits atop his upper lip like the Gateway Arch, and as he journeys ever deeper into middle age, it's shifting from woolly-worm brown into dignified slate-gray — a note-perfect match for the color scheme of your city's most photographed tourist trap.

We know it's been tough up in St. Louis for a few years. The Rams haven't had a winning record since 2003 and only two 8-8 seasons. Playing .500 football probably sounds pretty good to you, doesn't it? Throw up the hustings and order an extra helping of toasted ravioli! Jeff Fisher has an almost Calvinist proclivity to win exactly as many as he loses. He's a career 147-126 and he went 8-8 five times in 16 years and 7-9 two other times. It wore a little thin here in Music City, but 8-8 probably wins the NFC West, right?

Oh, and remember when you were good, back in those Super Bowl days? You had an offense that piled up yards like Grandma at Hancock Fabrics. "The Greatest Show on Turf," they called it.

This won't be that. Fisher prefers his offenses a little more, hmmm ... "vanilla" would be overselling it a little bit. You know how babies gum their food before they have teeth? To find Jeff Fisher's offense at Sherwin-Williams, you would need to check between beige and taupe. "Eggshell white? A little flashy, don't you think?"

His offense is a lot like that.

Sure hope the excitement of an endless string of field goals isn't going to have a negative effect on your city's heart health. Watch some rugby this summer to get yourself acclimated.

It's not all bad with Fisher, of course. He's a player's coach. Especially — exclusively, even — if that player is a veteran. Jeff Fisher borrowed his personnel policy from the autoworkers' union: Sure, that young equipment operator — or wide receiver, in this case — works cheaper and better than that old guy who's been here for 30 years. No matter: The old guy's earned it. If Jeff Fisher were in charge of Exxon, the captain of the Valdez would have gotten a, "We'll get 'em next time" and a vote of confidence. You have the second pick in April's draft. Take a good long look at the pick when he shakes the commissioner's hand, because you're not going to see that guy on the field anytime soon.

And Fisher has an underappreciated sense of humor. How we all laughed and laughed when he wore a Peyton Manning jersey to a charity event. Boy, that was a good one. Just to be safe, hide the jerseys of the star player of your big rival (whoever that may be ... really, we have no idea).

Seriously, though, take care of Fisher for us. He was a part of our lives for a long time down here. And our new coach, Mike Munchak, somehow manages to show even less emotion on the sideline than Fisher, who sometimes looked like he was auditioning for a remake of Weekend at Bernie's. We miss him and his awkward fist pumps every now and then.

But you can have the 8-8 seasons. You'll appreciate them more than we will.

See ya this fall,


P.S. Take down those One Yard Short photos before training camp. We don't want to see the 'stache get all droopy.


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