The St.Louis Rams did something unprecedented in their 18 year tenure in St.Louis. Not even during the Greatest Show On Turf era did the Rams hold a such an inviting, fan-friendly event at the Edwards Jones Dome such as Fan Fest. And it was a success for not only the Rams, but for the St.Louis Rams fan base who is skittish about fully embracing its football team, for fear it may move like the football Cardinals in 1987.
I spoke with Rams general manager Les Snead after he addressed the happy crowd of 13,000 plus inside the dome Saturday. He was very pleased with the turnout and he wants to improve the atmosphere in the Dome. Especially, when visiting teams like Dallas, Indianapolis, Chicago, Green Bay come to town and fill up the empty seats with their own traveling fans and make the Rams feel like a road team.
Snead asked that fans to help raise this young pack of players, and help turn the Dome into one of the most uncomfortable places to play for opponents. I pointed Snead the spot on the sideline where I stood in January 2004 when Carolina Panthers wideout Steve Smith caught an overtime touchdown pass from Jake Delhomme. I recalled that before Delhomme snapped the ball, I looked at the top of the dome and it looked like the roof was vibrating. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen at a sporting event as far as atmosphere.
That’s exactly what Snead and Jeff Fisher want downtown. However, the one and only way for that to happen is to get wins on Sunday. Right now the Rams are doing the right things. They are reaching out to the fans more sincerely than ever. The Rams are employing a grass roots campaign to win back the fans; almost like the St. Louis Blues team did a few years back.
Again, the easiest and most obvious way to win the fans back is for this team to win. The biggest key for the Rams is health. Barring injuries to any of the key players like Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson, Chris Long, or John Laurinitas (coupled with certain role players stepping up) the sky is the limit. Fisher has already put his mark on this team already, and all his previous teams were tough and played with confidence.
The real road of redemption for the Rams start with a matchup versus the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday coming up at 12:30 p.m. Oh and let me get this out the way: 4-0 in the preseason means nothing. I learned my lesson.
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