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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bernie: Support For Rams Remains Strong

    Support for Rams remains strong

    Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/25/2009

    The Rams are confronted by serious issues. The team has lost 16 consecutive games and 33 of the last 38, and a massive roster reconstruction is underway.

    As crazy as it might sound, the Edward Jones Dome is among the oldest stadiums in the NFL. In the revenue-rich NFL, the Edward Jones Dome is no match for the Jerry Jones Dome in Dallas. And oh, yeah: The franchise is for sale, and an escape clause in the stadium lease could kick in after the 2014 season.

    Given this toxic environment and the constant Sunday beatdowns, you'd think that the fan base would be completely demoralized by now. You'd think that Rams fans would've found something else to do with their football Sundays.

    Remarkably, it hasn't happened. Sure, there's been an erosion of fan support; season-ticket sales dropped by about 15 percent for 2009 and more fans may bail as painful rebuilding continues.
    But for a city that is so often and unfairly maligned as being a bad football town, St. Louis is hanging tough with the Rams. Even with an understandable dip in season-ticket sales, this fan base is displaying admirable resilience.

    "We're seeing great passion from our fans this year," said Kevin Demoff, the Rams' chief operating officer. "I don't have any questions about our fan support. Our actual in-house attendance is up this season. Our TV ratings are holding steady. We're one of only eight NFL teams to have a double-digit improvement in TV ratings this season. The fans are staying with us during difficult times. Now it's up to us to put a winning team on the field and we're working hard to do that."

    Demoff and staff are trying to limit the attrition with a more fan-friendly touch. They've enhanced the game-day experience at the dome. They've personally called season-ticket holders to check on things. They've initiated a "flex" plan for purchasing tickets. Led by co-owner Lucia Rodriguez, the Rams have stepped up their activity in community-charitable endeavors.

    All of that is appreciated, but it can't overcome the chronic losing. And as long as the team is for sale, facing an uncertain future, some fans will be reluctant to buy in.

    "As an organization the one thing you always want to offer is stability," Demoff said. "Whether it be coaching, the front office, or ownership."

    But we aren't seeing crowds of 40,000 at The Ed.

    Rams fans should be proud.

    Sunday's game against the visiting Indianapolis Colts is a sellout, making it three sellouts in three home games this season. Yes, a few thousand Green Bay fans helped fill the dome. Same with Minnesota Vikings fans. And the Colts will have some followers at The Ed, too. But that's nothing to be ashamed of. It happens in other NFL cities.

    Here's the bottom line: This is the Rams' 15th season in St. Louis, and this will be their 120th regular-season home game. And only six have been blacked on local television due to insufficient ticket sales at the 66,000-seat dome.

    Since the start of the 2005 season, only Detroit (54) and Oakland (53) have lost more games than the Rams (51). But only three of 35 home games during this thankless stretch have drawn crowds smaller than 61,000. The smallest turnout was 52,051 against Atlanta on Dec. 2, 2007.

    "Our fans have put up with bad football the last few years," Demoff said. "You have to be a truly good football town to support the kind of football we've played the last few seasons."

    Demoff is right, and I'm not sure why any reasonable person would conclude that this is a weak football town.

    Sure, the Rams often put a spectacular team on the field during the "Greatest Show" seasons, 1999 through 2004. The Rams went 64-32 in the regular season and won six postseason games (including a Super Bowl) during the era.

    But overall, the Rams have had winning records only four times since moving here from Los Angeles in 1995. Minus the six-year "Greatest Show" run, the Rams are 41-93. But the fans filled the dome before "The Greatest Show" years, and they've mostly packed the dome after the curtain dropped on that dazzling show.

    Combining the St. Louis Cardinals (1960-1987) and the Rams (1995-2009), the two St. Louis NFL teams have 191 wins and 327 losses, with 14 ties.

    St. Louis NFL teams have qualified for the playoffs only eight times in 43 seasons.

    That's a lot of exposure to lousy football.

    And that's why I laugh at the notion of Los Angeles as an NFL mecca.

    In the 1980s, the LA Rams made the playoffs seven times and twice competed in the NFC Championship Game. And for much of that decade, the Rams had a charismatic attraction in Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson.

    I checked the attendance figures for each of the seven LA Rams playoff seasons. Playoff-bound Rams teams of the '80s drew crowds of 60,000 or more to only 24 of 56 regular-season home games. And they drew fewer than 50,000 in 14 of the 56 home games.

    When Dickerson set the new NFL single-season rushing record at home late in the 1984 season, he did so in front of 49,348 fans and approximately 17,000 empty seats at Anaheim Stadium.

    LA didn't support the winning Rams as well as St. Louis has supported the losing Rams. Potential buyers of the Rams should know that the franchise comes equipped with a surprisingly loyal fan base.


  2. #2
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: Support For Rams Remains Strong

    Like I said before - being in the middle of the country, the St. Louis Rams can bring in fans from east and west. In LA, it would only be fans from the east - and mostly those from the west side of the Rockies.

    The Rams are doing well fan-wise where they are. No need to screw it up by moving.

  3. #3
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    Re: Bernie: Support For Rams Remains Strong

    Man, that almost brought a tear to me eye.

    I know that I'm loyal and if I was in St. Louis, I would have season tickets, but i mean, still selling out every home game, high TV ratings.

    You can not tell me st louis is not gonna keep the rams.

    can you say LA Jaguars anybody

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    Re: Bernie: Support For Rams Remains Strong

    This article is all about St. Louis supporting the Rams better then LA ever did even when they were winning in LA. Where are all the LA fans that bash the St. Louis fans all the time? Do they have anything to say about the facts provided?


    When Dickerson set the new NFL single-season rushing record at home late in the 1984 season, he did so in front of 49,348 fans and approximately 17,000 empty seats at Anaheim Stadium. Thats Sad

    LA didn't support the winning Rams as well as St. Louis has supported the losing Rams. Potential buyers of the Rams should know that the franchise comes equipped with a surprisingly loyal fan base.
    Last edited by RamsSB99; -10-25-2009 at 06:52 PM.

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    Re: Bernie: Support For Rams Remains Strong

    Sounds like St. Louis is a much better place for football than LA. I wonder how the league will like the sound of that?

    Really, we all know that the league is not worried about 10s of thousands of seats being filled. They are worried about millions of TV viewers watching. Unfortunately, their own rules negates that as long as the stadium doesn't "sell out".

    If the RAMS were somehow moved to LA after a sale, the owner should have their head examined.


    gap

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    Re: Bernie: Support For Rams Remains Strong

    Quote Originally Posted by gap View Post
    I wonder how the league will like the sound of that?
    Unfortunately, the papers have been signed. A stadium is going to be built in LA and a team WILL be moved. Whether it's us, who knows.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  7. #7
    ScottD413 Guest

    Re: Bernie: Support For Rams Remains Strong

    I call BS on this one. Sure, today's game was a sellout. And the majority of those fans were there to see the Colts.

    It was another typical home game for the visiting team. St. Louis is NOT supporting this team.

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    Re: Bernie: Support For Rams Remains Strong

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD413 View Post
    I call BS on this one. Sure, today's game was a sellout. And the majority of those fans were there to see the Colts.

    It was another typical home game for the visiting team. St. Louis is NOT supporting this team.
    0-7 this year and 17 straight losses. Averaging 8.5 Points per game over their first seven games. Could very well be winless this year and if they do they will be tied for the worst losing streak in NFL history at 26. The only other team was the 1976-77 expansion Tampa Bay team. This could very well go down as one of the worst if not the worst NFL team EVER. Not to mention we are expierencing one of the worst economic times since the great depression. This team has been selling more tickets to their games then when they where in LA. From 1995-2009 we have had only 4 winning seasons out of 14. During the 80's in LA they made the playoffs 7 times and 25% or 1 out of every 4 games was less then 50,000 fans. The Rams in their 14 years here in St. Louis have NEVER drawn less then 50,000 fans NEVER. The least attendace in those 14 years was 52,051 fans. Sounds like St. Louis has had much better attendace then LA........

  9. #9
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    Re: Bernie: Support For Rams Remains Strong

    Los Angeles is getting either Jacksonville or wait for it......the whiners. Yes, the whiners are interested in moving to LA as SF doesn't want to build another stadium.

  10. #10
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    Re: Bernie: Support For Rams Remains Strong

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    Los Angeles is getting either Jacksonville or wait for it......the whiners. Yes, the whiners are interested in moving to LA as SF doesn't want to build another stadium.
    Wow. Not getting the Rams (of course, that was never going to happen anyway), then coupling that with the Whiners moving in? The rest of us will have to sign up for shifts on the suicide watch.

    The Los Angeles Whiners........blech.

    At least the Los Angeles Jaguars sounds better.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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