Orlando Pace was an absolute rock for the St. Louis Rams. The former Ohio State Buckeye and number one overall pick in 1997 protected blindsides for the St. Louis Rams for 12 seasons and an additional one season with the Chicago Bears before hanging up the cleats. Pace made seven consecutive Pro Bowl’s from 1999-2005 while being named NFL First Team All-Pro three times with an additional Second Team All-Pro selection. Pace was of course a marquee member from the Rams Greatest Show on Turf era which saw the team win Super Bowl XXXIV, appear in one more Super Bowl, and accumulate a 37-11 record over three seasons from 1999-2001 in which they made the playoffs in each season. Pace was the backbone of the greatest offense the NFL has ever seen and was rewarded with a gold jacket as he was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 6, 2016. Pace was one of four members of the GSOT to be inducted into the Hall of Fame including Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, and Isaac Bruce with another potentially on the way in the coming years with Torry Holt.
Pace is undoubtedly the best offensive lineman the Rams franchise has ever seen. But his dominant career that was spent almost entirely with the Rams was not enough for them to ever retire his number, apparently. If you can recall, former Rams lineman Rodger Saffold, drafted 33rd overall in 2010 wore number 76 while spending nine seasons with the Rams. But Saffold had good reason to wear number 76: Saffold had modeled his game after Pace and truly looked up to him as a player. Saffold’s father had also worn number 76 during his football career and Saffold wanted to honor him. But Saffold did as anyone should have to do when wanting to wear a sacred number: he called Pace to ask for his blessing.
This past weekend was the 2020 NFL Draft. In the 7th and final round of the draft, the Los Angeles Rams selected offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum with the 250th overall pick. Yesterday on Twitter, Anchrum posted a photo edit of him in a Rams jersey wearing number 76; the number he is now listed under on the Rams roster. Anchrum never reached out to the Hall of Famer and Pace then saw the photo today and had some choice words for the Rams allowing him to wear number 76:
@realFredTrovato @PointSpreadMax @TheAlexisKraft @tla_73 @RamsNFL Nothing against Tremayne. I wish him nothing but the best . This speaks to the disconnect between the organization & Rams tradition
This is a direct and outright slap in the face of Orlando Pace and the ST. LOUIS Rams. Enos Kroenke and the Rams organization want to do anything they can to erase the 21 seasons they spent in St. Louis. How easily they forget they cannot erase a Super Bowl victory and four Hall of Famers, three of which never played a single down in Los Angeles. But allowing a 7th round pick, a player whose chances of making the team are slim to none, to wear number 76? The ultimate disrespect right there. This right here shows the incompetence of the Rams from the top down with Enos, general manager Les Snead, and so on down the ladder. Maybe the Rams ought to look at their nearby teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers or Los Angeles Dodgers and learn how to honor and respect tradition and those that have come before and brought great pride to the organization through their blood, sweat, and tears. What an absolute disgrace by the Rams but at this point, incompetency is expected by this abysmal franchise.