1500 Miles From Home
I was going to go into this long dissertation to substantiate the fact that I am a long time, Die-Hard Rams fan. Let me just say that I've been a die-hard fan since 1965. Check out the Members' Gallery and you'll see what I mean.
Being the type of fan that I am magnifies the many hurdles and expenses endured while maintaining the loyalty of my favorite NFL team.
I'm going to attempt to relate a few of my personal experiences, frustrations and challenges. I'm sure many of you have experiences that would blow us away.
Traveling- Air and /or Auto and Game Tickets:
First of all the time and money in coordinating the trips can be a grind. The expenses involved, airline tickets, hotel rooms and game tickets are the priorities on the list.
I've had only one situation traveling to and from St. Louis via air. My very first trip to St. Louis (Game 1 of the 1999 Season) was coordinated by a close friend of mine that was making the trip with me. We were set up on a connecting flight, Boston to Philly then catch our connection to St. Louis. Here's where the frustration begins. (This is my 1st live Rams game in my life; I'm like a kid in a candy store) Shortly after arriving in Philly we were informed that our connecting flight had been cancelled. (Are you BLEEPING kidding me !)
The next flight would be leaving in 4 hours. Thank God we were travelling the day before the " BIG " game. The trip ended up being a complete success with the icing on the cake being the final score RAMS 27 - Ravens 10. There was some humor that went along with our stay in St. Louis. While checking into the hotel, My friend used a free upgrade coupon he somehow got his hands on. So we went from 1 room 2 double beds to the " SUITE ". Houston we have a problem, 1 king size bed + 2 men = ??. Needless to say we drew some interesting looks from the hotel staff that weekend. ( sofa time for this guy )
The tickets for that game put us 3 rows from the top of the Dome, corner end zone seats.
Purchasing tickets has become a huge expense because I go through a broker. I just feel that if I'm going to travel 1500 miles to see my team, I want to see them up close. So rather than pay the $40 some odd dollars to sit up in the heavens, I go all out for great seats. I've made 5 trips (plus 1 in the works for this season) since that 1st game in 1999. The tickets usually cost somewhere between $185-$275 per seat. My wife Diane has been converted (DOUBLE THE EXPENSES) and we have been doing the games together.
We have basically given up on traveling to Rams away games. For example we have driven to the Meadowlands twice and (flown and rented a car) to see the Rams play at Buffalo once. Forget about the traffic and expenses, unruly fans took away the pleasure. Giants fans were mild but the Bills fans were nuts ! Diane was very nervous at the Bills game, so much so that I had to verbally confront a few of the animals. Also was asked to escort her to and from the concession stands and restroom. (BODYGUARD) Of course it doesn't help that we are dressed from head to toe including jewelry and my tatoos with Rams garb.
Television, Radio and the Internet:
Direct T.V., Satellite Radio, NFL Network and National T.V. Stations have helped tremendously with the ability to views games live. However there are extra expenses attached to most of those areas also.
The Internet has opened new doors for us die-hards. Now we can open our wallets to souvenirs, apparel, you name it from the comfort of our homes. My issues with buying on-line are that the visuals aren't the same as trying something on or getting the feel/smell if you will. Example would be the piece of apparel received runs bigger/smaller than the normal XXL I'm used to. On top of the purchases there are shipping charges. ( Yet another Expense )
So basically being a long distance fan is sometimes challenging and downright expensive. I must say though; no matter the challenge, frustration or expense (within reason) I'll always be a die-hard Rams fan.
To close I would like to say that back in July of 2005 the Internets value rose to epic proportions.
I found the "CLANRAM".