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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Not much buzz locally for Rams or Mizzou

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    08/23/2007
    Jeff Gordon


    The football in these parts should be memorable this season.

    The Rams have added some blue-chip youngsters to their defense and proven playmakers to their already-potent offense. Some experts see them as a breakthrough team in the wide-open NFC West, where the ***** are still maturing and the Gridbirds have already suffered some major injury hits.

    The University of Missouri seems poised for a record-setting offensive year, with quarterback Chase Daniel throwing the ball to a huge assortment of skilled receivers, tight ends and running backs. Sportswriters actually picked the Tigers to win the Big 12 North over Nebraska.

    The University of Illinois has won just four games in Ron Zookís two seasons, but two remarkable recruiting classes rebuilt the programís talent base. If the kids can grow quickly, the Illini could move back into the bowl picture this autumn.

    Optimism abounds around these teams. But for a variety of reasons, St. Louis football fans are taking a wait-and-see approach to all three teams.

    Skepticism remains. Fans are NOT rushing out to buy the remaining tickets to see these teams play downtown at the Edward Jones Dome.
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    What do fans expect this season? They are voting with their wallets, and right now that vote is ďundecided.Ē Their lack of faith is almost alarming.

    The Rams saw their sellout streak end last season, when the team stumbled to an injury-marred 8-8 finish. In Year Two of the Scott Linehan Era, the team still has unsold tickets for its first six home games this season.

    The December games against the Steelers and Packers are sold out, due to the fervent support those storied franchises receive. But as many as 4,500 tickets remain for the other games.

    The dome was about half-full for the Ramsí first preseason game (thanks to a massive number of no-shows) and the CBS telecast was blacked out. More blackouts could follow unless fans buy into the teamís offseason improvement and purchase the remaining ducats.

    When folks size up the preseason debacle against the Chargers -Ė a game featuring porous run defense, special teams breakdowns and costly turnovers -Ė they saw more of the bad stuff that doomed the Rams to mediocrity last season.

    Here at STLtoday.com, we get lots of excited e-mail from overly optimistic Rams fans from around the world. But locally, the buzz isnít there yet.

    The team still has some convincing to do. The Rams must make their case on the field, not with stepped-up advertising and marketing. They need to score a couple of touchdowns Friday night in Oakland before St. Louis hits the sack.

    As for the Tigers and Illini, the dismal advance gate for their Sept. 1 showdown is shocking. The schools moved their ticket allotment, but fans in this region arenít buying into this rivalry game.

    We can understand Illini fans holding back until they see Zook actually coach as well as he recruits, but whatís the story with MU fans?

    Your cyber-correspondent canít grasp the apathy. This market has gone without really good major college football for a long, long time.

    Gary Pinkel has done what Larry Smith failed to do. After building a bowl team with one great quarterback, he managed to recruit the next quarterback, too -Ė allowing the Tigers to build on their initial breakthrough.

    Personally, I still regard Nebraska as the team to beat in the Big 12 North. The Cornhuskers are still the Cornhuskers and the Tigers are still the Tigers, until proven otherwise.

    Pinkel is still striving to take the Next Step. He is still working to win some really big games while avoiding really bad losses in the same season.

    Many experts believe his program will make that move this season, but weíll have to see. One thing we canít dispute, however, is the entertainment potential of this spread offense.

    The Tigers have all sorts of explosive skill players. Daniel canít make breathtaking plays with his feet, as Brad Smith did, but he can strike at any time with his arm.

    In this part of the country, anyway, the Tigers could become the Greatest Show on Field Turf. And fewer than 50,000 tickets have been sold for their appearance at The Ed?

    Wow. I suppose we should applaud local sports fans for being careful not to jump on every bandwagon that comes though town, but sheesh.

    Fans in these parts have seen some bad college football through the years. But wouldnít this fall be a great time to believe again?


  2. #2
    blood85 Guest

    Re: Not much buzz locally for Rams or Mizzou

    Great, nice to see that the STL supports the Rams...Even more nice, the fact that the dome will be swarming with steeler fans and packer fans when we play them...

  3. #3
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    Re: Not much buzz locally for Rams or Mizzou

    This is truly pathetic. I can't believe how ungrateful the Missouri fans are when being graced with such a great team. Jackson, Bulger, Holt, they all made the pro bowl. Still you can't sell the tickets? Are you asking for this team to move away? Get off your lazy butt's and support your team while you still have one!

  4. #4
    Flaw Guest

    Re: Not much buzz locally for Rams or Mizzou

    ^^^For real.

    I am embarrassed! I am extremely tight on money right now but I went out and got a ticket to the Chargers game anyway. I was amazed at the number of empty seats. But I also must say it's ridiculous to sell preseason games at the same price as regular season. Still, there should have been a lot more people there, it was sooo quiet.

    I don't hear much buzz at all from people I work with or at local bars, it's crazy. Me and my close friend seem to be alone in our excitement for the Rams this season. All people talk about is, "Did the Cards win today?"

    Ugh.

    This stuff really gets to me because this city was voted best sports city a few years back. But people jumped right off the Rams and Blues bandwagon when they started struggling. Now there is a reason to be excited for both of those teams and it's just not there.
    Last edited by Flaw; -08-24-2007 at 02:26 PM.

  5. #5
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
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    Re: Not much buzz locally for Rams or Mizzou

    Up until a few seasons ago, the Chargers home games, (except the Faider game) were normally backed out unless the local TV station and the Charges bought up the rest of the tix and gave them to local charities. I looks as though the Rams may have to do the same thing, but after their 4-0 start, people will flock to the dome.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  6. #6
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Not much buzz locally for Rams or Mizzou

    So, the major media source that creates buzz for the Rams is reporting that the latest buzz about the Rams is that there's not much buzz about the Rams.

    Where's the damn aspirin?

  7. #7
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER's Avatar
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER is online now Registered User
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    Re: Not much buzz locally for Rams or Mizzou

    Every time I hear about a St Louisian asking "how'd the Cards do?", or, it's a baseball town, I cringe. WTF?????

    I'm a huge Angel fan, but I have no problem whatsoever pulling for both teams when both are in action. What's with the "I can only devote my time and energy to one team at a time", crap?

    Sickening. Oh well, wherever they move to next, I'll still follow.... :\
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

  8. #8
    ImJohnWayne is offline Awaiting Email Conformation
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    Re: Not much buzz locally for Rams or Mizzou

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    What's with the "I can only devote my time and energy to one team at a time", crap?
    its more along the lines of "I can only devote my time and MONEY to one team at a time."

  9. #9
    Flaw Guest

    Re: Not much buzz locally for Rams or Mizzou

    Quote Originally Posted by ImJohnWayne View Post
    its more along the lines of "I can only devote my time and MONEY to one team at a time."
    We never had a problem with it when the Rams were winning championships. Is that what it takes to drag us to the games? It's not like the Rams have been in the tank, simply mediocre the last few years. And this is a year to be excited, but I'm not getting that feeling from others around the area.

  10. #10
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
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    Re: Not much buzz locally for Rams or Mizzou

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    Every time I hear about a St Louisian asking "how'd the Cards do?", or, it's a baseball town, I cringe. WTF?????

    I'm a huge Angel fan, but I have no problem whatsoever pulling for both teams when both are in action. What's with the "I can only devote my time and energy to one team at a time", crap?

    Sickening. Oh well, wherever they move to next, I'll still follow.... :\
    GO HALOS!

    I have no problem watching the Rams and Halos at the same time, like I will be doing tonight.

    Of course, the RAMS always trump the Angels when it comes down to it.

    Man, it's exhausting being a devoted fan.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

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