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How the Greatest Show on Turf fell apart as quickly as it was assembled

The St. Louis Rams were atop the NFL after winning the 2000 Super Bowl. But the team was unable to keep the gears running after that. This is the story of their collapse.

In 1999, the St. Louis Rams had a Cinderella run beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. An undrafted quarterback named Kurt Warner, a few years removed from working the graveyard shift in a grocery store, all of a sudden becoming an NFL starting quarterback for a 4-12 team, immediately putting together one of the best seasons of all time, and winning league MVP en route to a Super Bowl title? You would’ve been laughed out of Hollywood if you pitched that as a movie script.

But it somehow became reality, and for that year and the two that followed, the Rams had constructed a juggernaut that ran laps around the rest of the league. But then everything went sideways — they couldn’t stay healthy at the most important position in sports, dirty laundry was aired in a very public manner on the radio, their coach and front office grew to resent one another, and so much more caused an unstoppable force to all of a sudden become the NFL’s piñata.