(KMOV)-- I stepped into a dream job in 2000 when I became the radio play by play voice of the Rams. I never took those days for granted. Jack Snow and I would talk frequently about the ridiculous pace at which the Rams scored. That season and 2001 were like fantasy football seasons, the Super Bowl loss aside. Isaac Bruce was a big reason for our fun in the booth.
Isaac was the complete package--hands, explosiveness, intelligence, guts, toughness and incredible route running. The last quality was what Jack believed made Isaac an elite player. Jack marveled at Isaac's ability to run full speed into and out of his routes. He told me that there weren't a handful of receivers who ever played in the NFL that could run routes at that speed and with Isaac's precision. No one appreciated Isaac more than Jack. They were close. And Jack was never resentful in those days when Isaac moved past him on the Rams all-time receptions and yardage lists. He was proud of Isaac and his association with him.
Most will remember Isaac's touchdown catch in the final two minutes of Super Bowl 34. That obviously is universally recognized as his finest moment. His best game? Most would say his performance versus the 49ers in 1999. He caught four touchdown passes that day and his efforts helped end that 17 game losing streak to San Fran. But I think the greatest game he ever played was in New Orleans in 2001. It was a Monday Night Football match up between two bitter rivals--the Rams and Saints. The Superdome was louder than ever. The winner would take the NFC West. And although the Saints played well that night, the Rams prevailed, 34-21. And Kurt Warner and Isaac Bruce carved up the Saints defense. Ask Rick Venturi. He lived the nightmare as the Saints secondary coach. Isaac caught five passes for 86 yards and three touchdowns. He and Kurt helped secure the NFC West title that night and as Venturi will tell you, the Saints never fully recovered from that loss. It was an incredible performance by #80 given what was on the line and the hostile environment.
Isaac caught 1,024 passes and amassed 91 touchdown receptions in his NFL career. It was my privilege to describe 553 of those receptions and to say "touchdown Isaac Bruce" 43 times. I never took one moment for granted. The Greatest Show on Turf doesn't come around very often. A player like Isaac Bruce doesn't either.