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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams move to harness fan power

    By Elizabethe Holland
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    08/14/2008

    ST. LOUIS While teams throughout the NFL are telling fans to ratchet down the rowdiness, the Rams are hoping their fans will ratchet things up.

    This doesn't, of course, mean the Rams want their supporters acting boorish, barbaric or inebriated behaviors discouraged in a new NFL fan code of conduct.

    Rams officials say they actually appreciate that the team's fans lean toward the polite. But as for yelling, dancing, clapping and general, all-around noisemaking?

    Bring it on.

    To that end, the Rams have hired a drumline, are making fan-driven changes in game-day music and plan to have a disc jockey on the field during pregame warm-ups.

    The hope, said Keely Fimbres, the Rams' director of game presentation, is that fans will get to their seats early, remain there to the end and stay fired up for the stretch in between.

    Even fans and players agree that the dome could stand for some livening up.

    "We really don't have much trouble," Fimbres said of Rams fans. "So now we're just trying to get our fans to get a little bit more rambunctious, into the game, get a little more ruckus to help us win and have that home-field advantage."

    At some NFL stadiums, fans cause too much of a ruckus. Reports of bad behavior in the stands drunkenness, foul language and interference with games prompted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to push for a fan code of conduct for the league's 32 clubs.

    The code, announced this month, warns that fans who break the rules may be ejected from games and lose ticket privileges for future games.

    "The in-stadium experience is critically important to the NFL, our clubs and our fans, and it will be a major focus this season," Goodell said in a statement.

    NFL clubs are treating the rules a variety of ways. Many, including the Rams, have let fans know of behavior rules for some time via handbooks, game-day programs, JumboTron announcements, ticket stubs and online postings.

    In Chicago, the Bears hope to tame unruly behavior by requiring that fans tailgating outside Soldier Field without a game ticket leave the stadium parking lots at kickoff.

    At the Miami Dolphins' home games, fans will be able to call or text message stadium security from their seats if they see anyone violating conduct rules.

    The Oakland Raiders, whose fans are notoriously boisterous, have a new video on their website in which fans in game-day costumes sing about the need for good behavior at games.

    "Remember, there are families and children in the house," one young fan sings.

    At the Rams' Edward Jones Dome, though, changes are few at least in terms of curbing bad behavior.

    After all, Rams fans typically don't need to be told to shape up.

    "Over the years, we've had very few incidents," said Bob Wallace, the Rams' executive vice president and general counsel. "We've never had to throw multiple people out of the stadium or hold court underneath the stadium or any of that stuff."

    That said, the St. Louis football games could still use a little more life, fans say.

    "The dome is an atrocious place to try and get people involved in the game," Brian Kuehnl of O'Fallon, Ill., said in an e-mail.

    Kuehnl has been a Rams season-ticket holder since 1995. "Improvements need to be made to make it a more football-fan-friendly stadium, not the 'place you go to be seen' place it is now," he said.

    Rams fan Bob Buehler of Edwardsville wishes the behavior of Rams fans was closer to that shown by Kansas City Chiefs fans.

    At Arrowhead Stadium, he said, the fans are more vocal and in tune with game situations. "On each third-down play, Chiefs' fans will all be standing and making as much noise as possible, where in St. Louis many fans are reluctant to stand and be the 12th man on the field," he said in an e-mail.

    Last season, after a loss to Seattle, running back Steven Jackson said the dome was dull. He suggested adding hip-hop music, and added in a Post-Dispatch interview: "We don't have a band. We don't have a mascot. We don't have anything. We've got to start getting something around to excite our fans."

    This year, in hopes of sparking more enthusiasm at the dome, fans will be encouraged to vote online each week for songs to be played during Rams games, Fimbres said. They'll also be encouraged to get to their seats sooner to listen to music from a disc jockey on the field during pregame warm-ups, she said.

    But the most notable change will be the Rams' own drumline, a group of at least 15 professional drummers who will play outside before games, then inside throughout the stadium, Fimbres said.

    Rams fans voted online for the drumline's name the Battering Rams and will get to see the drummers debut in the team's regular-season home opener Sept. 14.

    "I relate the drumline to being back in college, where they're making the noise and banging the drums and generating the excitement of defense," Fimbres said.

    Paul Richardson, director of the Battering Rams, expects the drumline will do that.

    Percussion instruments five snares, three tenors, four bass and three cymbals can only liven the crowd, Richardson said even if the Rams are struggling on the field.

    He said: "You just can't be sad when you hear a beat and you want to move."


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams move to harness fan power

    It's about time. We need to take advantage of being the home team.

    Being as loud as possible when the opponent is about to run a 3rd down play is a no brainer. Really the DOME should be Rockin' & Rollin' on every offensive play by the opposition.


    GO RAMS!!!!!


  3. #3
    supachump is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams move to harness fan power

    Steven Jackson says:
    We've got to start getting something around to excite our fans.

    How about showing up? That would excite some fans.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams move to harness fan power

    How about putting out a good team with a defense that causes havoc?

  5. #5
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams move to harness fan power

    Quote Originally Posted by moloch41 View Post
    How about putting out a good team with a defense that causes havoc?
    What do you want everything?

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams move to harness fan power

    Quote Originally Posted by supachump View Post
    Steven Jackson says:


    How about showing up? That would excite some fans.
    You beat me to it.

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams move to harness fan power

    I'm trying to go to a St Louis game in St Louis. I don't care if I'm the only guy going crazy, I'm showing my support.

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