More than one racist sports fan is more than happy to label black athletes with the thug, hoodlum or hooligan label. It's unfortunate, but it's a reality.

Thus, what could Jeremiah Trotter of the Philadelphia Eagles and Terrence Mathis of the Atlanta Falcons thinking before Monday Night Football?

A fight before the game took a starting linebacker and nickel defensive back out of the game before most of America could even tune in the game.

This kind of nonsense is out of control in the NFL, NBA and MLB.

If anything could be worse, what was up with the teams squaring off at midfield, woofing and jumping up and down?

That was straight out of "West Side Story."

If you don't think this out-of-control machismo hasn't reached Rams Park you are sadly mistaken.

Running back Steven Jackson has something to say to somebody after most plays - many of which he is tackled for little or no gain. That's not being tough that's being a punk. Wait, it gets scarier. The front office is into the game now too.

John Hadley, Rams some-kind-of-assistant-to-the-head-coach, is part of the Rams' effort to bully KFNS 590AM. It seems somebody at Rams Park is very upset with that station's Kevin Slaten, who is newly departed from Mike Claiborne on "The Bottom Line," by the way. Mike will be on noon to 3 p.m.

In a letter to that station's sometimes over-the-top, but this time very correct Slaten, he hides a thinly veiled threat to make sure Jackson and Leonard Little are at Monday's press conference. Slaten said he will be there and dares Hadley to produce either of them.

The Rams are parading two black players - one with a very dubious past - out to a press conference like Hessians or gang members.

This was a bad week for the Rams on the field, but it was much worse off of it.

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