At the Risk of Being a Cheerleader ... Peter King
SI.com's Peter King will keep a daily blog as he travels across the country visiting NFL training camps.
At the Risk of Being a Cheerleader ...
Earth City, Mo. -- 10 a.m.
It's happening again. An NFL team is doing the right thing with the customers. On the beginning of a broiler of a day here on the outskirts of St. Louis, coach Mike Martz has ended practice early. He's happy with how his team is working, and he's giving them the afternoon off. But first, he gathers his team at midfield and says: "I want everyone to go over and sign autographs for the next 10 minutes.''
There are maybe 1,000 fans here. The Rams open the morning practice every day, then close it during the afternoon when, presumably, more strategic things occur. Martz knows these players have spent four months preparing for the season already. The best thing he can do for them now is occasionally give them a break they didn't expect.
"The drudgery of camp isn't what it used to be,'' Martz says later. "We've got a great group of guys, and they've worked to prepare for the season pretty hard already. I gave Marc Bulger the day off today, and the rest of the team will get the afternoon and evening off. They deserve it.''
The autographs? "These fans are our customers,'' Martz says. "They come out here expecting to see a longer practice and more stuff, and the last thing we want to do is disappoint them. Our players know it's a good idea to make sure the fans go home happy.''
What a novel idea in sports -- treating the customer right.
Re: At the Risk of Being a Cheerleader ... Peter King
While this is all good, sure be nice if we could hear something about the ability, or, hell, I dunno, something about the team. None of the daily bulletins that I get have any Ram info. I always come here to get caught up. Not saying that is a bad thing, but another sign of the lack of respect this team gets.
Good. We'll show'em...