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Thoughts from St Louis ..
Some of you may recall that my wife and I flew from Maui to St. Louis recently, to watch the Rams/Jets game – the start of a three week vacation. Given the subsequent loss to the Jets at home was not an auspicious start, but there was a silver lining – that "lining" prompting this post.
As many of you know there is a cordoned off “gauntlet” (on home game days) between the Drury Inn parking lot, and the Dome which provides autograph opportunities for fans depending on the players’ inclinations, both pre-game and postgame.
On this particular day, as the players arrived, as usual, some were willing to sign/ pose for photos etc., and some were not. Of note out of the group, Sam Bradford, and Steven Jackson had their game faces on as did Robert Quinn, Finnegan, Givens, Laurinaitis, Kendricks and most others. Rodger Saffold, Wayne Hunter, and a few others signed and posed for photos. Saffold is a big man, but Wayne Hunter is HUGE!! Both Saffold and Hunter were very obliging, signing for just about everyone prior to the game. Chris Long when asked, clearly mouthed the words: “After the game.”
Sam Bradford stood out from the group in that he didn’t even acknowledge the fans at all. He looked straight ahead, and seemed preoccupied – even uptight. My wife remarked that he appeared stuck-up, to which I replied he was probably thinking about the game plan which was a good thing, or maybe he had a fight with his girlfriend. Whatever it was, we’ll never know, but he didn’t have his best game as a Ram on that day against the Jets.
After the game, we went back out to the “gauntlet” area in the hope of acquiring more autographs, and I’ll admit I didn’t have much hope of many players being in the mood to sign, and in particular Sam Bradford. I said as much to another hopeful fan standing next to me. He disagreed and quickly pointed out he thought Sam along with other players would sign precisely because we were still there after a disappointing loss. As it turned out, he was absolutely correct, and many of the players took the time to sign.
Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson, Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Michael Brockers, and others signed for just about everyone - even posing for photos. Sam didn’t look any happier than when he first entered the Dome, but to his credit, he made sure that everyone who waited got an autograph – particularly the kids. It would have been easy for him to duck out, but he didn’t. I even got a couple of photos of my wife with Chris Long after he signed her #72 jersey (Long’s rookie number).
All in all, we had a great time, and on the final leg of our trip visiting a friend in Colorado, we had the immense pleasure of watching the Rams beat the Whiners at a cozy little sports bar in Colorado Springs. Last but not least, I caught four trout at Clear Creek Reservoir – I hadn’t caught trout in over 45 years .. The water there was super cold, as perhaps 90% of the reservoir had a layer of ice extending out from the shore 10 to 20 feet. Those trout were mighty tasty !!
Re: Thoughts from St Louis ..
Great story, glad you and your wife had a good time. This isn't the first time I've heard Sam seeming uptight before a game, that's probably just how he is. So is Saffold just small for an o-lineman or is Hunter just a bigger guy?
And I haven't been trout fishing in years...but I need to. Trout is delicious.
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