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Rams, Chiefs in Cup Battle

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  • Rams, Chiefs in Cup Battle

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    It’s unlike any other preseason game, but like most at the same time. When St. Louis and Kansas City meet in the annual Governor’s Cup game, there are bragging rights, a trophy and jobs on the line. There is not much else at stake, though, when the cross-state rivals get together. Kickoff is at 7:08 p.m. Monday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

    The Governor’s Cup goes to the winner of the game each year. In 2003, the Chiefs claimed a 22-6 win, one of the few preseason matchups that Kansas City has taken. Both teams enter the game with an 0-1 record in the preseason.

    Dick Vermeil, who coached the Rams to a win in the 1999 Super Bowl, leads the Chiefs into his fourth season as head coach. A year ago, Kansas City had one of the league’s best teams, finishing the regular season 13-3 before an AFC Divisional Playoff loss to Indianapolis.

    Vermeil’s success in St. Louis makes him a favorite on both sides of the state. He retired after the Super Bowl win, but his passion for the game brought him back two years later, this time on the western side of Missouri.

    Since taking over the team, he has transformed the Chiefs into a Super Bowl contender within three years, much as he did in St. Louis. His first year resulted in a 6-10 finish, followed by an 8-8 before last season’s magnificent turnaround.

    The affection his former players have for Vermeil is a mutual feeling. Known for wearing his emotions on his sleeve, Vermeil said he will always have a place for the players that took him to football’s highest peak and is excited about seeing the 10 remaining Rams from his time in St. Louis. “I always look forward to seeing them,” Vermeil said. “They were part of a great experience, and will always remain a part of a great experience, you can’t change that, you can’t lose it, and you’ll never forget it. I’m looking forward to seeing those guys and I’m proud of how well they’ve done.”

    When Vermeil retired, his offensive coordinator, Mike Martz, took the reins. Martz continued building on what Vermeil started and has made the Rams into one of the league’s premiere franchises.

    The game against Vermeil’s Chiefs marks the second reunion with a former Rams coach. The first preseason game had former Rams’ defensive coordinator Lovie Smith back in St. Louis as head coach of the Bears. This time, it is Martz going against one of his former mentors.

    Martz said he isn’t worried about any of the commotion surrounding the game. The trophy means little and, while he is always happy to see Vermeil, whenever the game starts, he has on thing on his mind, winning. “I don’t care where it is, or what cup it is,” Martz said. “The tea cup, the Governor’s cup, the coffee cup, I could care less. We want to play as good as we can. I’m not trying to diminish anybody’s thoughts about anything, but if you’re a competitor and you are playing this game, when you walk on the field and the lights go on, you better be prepared to bring your best. That’s all I care about.”

    It probably doesn’t hurt Martz’s competitive side that the Chiefs have gotten the better of the Rams since Vermeil took over. Including preseason and regular season games since Vermeil took over, Kansas City is 3-1 against St. Louis.
    The Chiefs are about the only team that has had that kind of success against the Rams under Martz. St. Louis has been a consistent contender and won an NFC Championship, and two NFC West Division title since Martz replaced Vermeil.

    Vermeil said he isn’t surprised by Martz’s success in the leading role. “I can only see it through visiting with him,” Vermeil said. “I think he’s learning to keep things in proper perspective, and to prioritize what to get upset about, what not to get upset about, all these kind of things, because he’s a very intense guy, and a great football coach. “But you can wear yourself out, like I’ve done in the past. I get the feeling from talking with him, the experience has been good, there has been some problems like for all head coaches, but he’s handling them better and keeping them in better perspective, and going on and keep doing a great job.”

    One problem for Vermeil last season was the performance of the defense. The sting of the loss to the Colts led to a coaching change at defensive coordinator. Greg Robinson resigned and former Chiefs’ head coach Gunther Cunningham returned to Kansas City to rectify the problems of the porous defense.

    The defensive personnel remains the same in Kansas City, but Cunningham’s influence has been noticeable for Vermeil. “It’s intense,” Vermeil said. “I think they are responding, but we have a long ways to go I think we will see an improvement. I’d like to believe so.”

    Any improvement wasn’t exactly evident in the Chiefs’ 34-24 loss to the Giants on Aug. 13. New York racked up 331 yards on the way to the win. The Rams, however, had success on both sides of the ball before losing the lead late. Most of the starters played only one series, though. It is likely that many of the first-team offense will play more against Kansas City, but probably not much more than in the game against Chicago. In that game, quarterback Marc Bulger and receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce played one series before calling it a night.

    Although Martz’s competitive side always comes out regardless if the game is preseason or not, he said the team still has to watch itself in the preseason in terms of who plays, how much they play and the gameplan. “We have to be real careful, because we are still trying to evaluate and trying to get guys ready,” Martz said. “You have to keep it somewhat simple, offensively, defensively and special teams. We want guys to have a clear idea of what to do, and go do it. With a full football team like this, with all these players, it’s a little rough.”

  • #2
    Re: Rams, Chiefs in Cup Battle

    OOOOOHHH THE Governor's Cup!!! WOW!!!

    It's not college football, we can dump the trophies for preseason games.

    Comment

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    • RamWraith
      Rams on short rest, Chiefs minus Green for Governor's Cup
      by RamWraith
      By R.B. FALLSTROM
      Updated: 5:46 p.m. ET Sept. 1, 2005
      ST. LOUIS - The Governor's Cup series between the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs is never much more than an average preseason game.

      This year it may be even more of a yawner given that the Chiefs will be without Trent Green, who's been experiencing numbness in his lower left leg and foot, and that the Rams will be playing their second game in five days. Coach Mike Martz noted it could be worse, given that the NFL had originally wanted this game to be held on Thursday, precious little time in either case coming off a 37-13 victory at Detroit on Monday night.

      "You don't want it to be that way," defensive tackle Tyoka Jackson said. "That's not how you would draw it up. I've never played a game this quickly, so this is something new for me."

      Like most final exhibition games, it's primarily a test for players trying to make the 53-man roster.

      "This is a great opportunity for some of these guys to make this team, and some that may not, to expose themselves to the whole NFL," Martz said. "It's very important for these guys, that's really what we're kind of banking on."

      With only two days of practice to prepare for the game, the Rams will be going with a skeletal game plan.

      "We did nothing for Kansas City, nothing," Martz said. "So whatever happens, happens out there."

      The frontliners won't play much, either.

      "We're going to protect our starters in this last game," Martz said. "You have to. Only a fool wouldn't do it."

      Jonathan Quinn will start at quarterback for the Chiefs in place of Green, recovering surgery on his lower left leg. He remains on track to start in the opener Sept. 11 at home against the Jets.

      Quinn, who was with the Bears last year but was unemployed before the Chiefs signed him two weeks ago, likely will play the first half. The regular backup, Todd Collins, is out with a hand injury.

      One of the more intriguing story lines for the Chiefs could be the debut of former Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell, who has one game to audition for a job. The Chiefs picked him up at the start of training camp but he's been sidelined by a knee injury and for a time considered arthroscopic surgery.

      "I've got four years of game tape," Mitchell said. "Hey, I was breast-fed on big games. I'm ready to go out there."

      Cornerback Eric Warfield also figures to get his only extensive action in the preseason. He's suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

      This will be the third trip back to St. Louis for Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil, who coached the 1999 Rams to their only Super Bowl championship. The Rams have 12 players that played for him,...
      -09-01-2005, 06:05 PM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Don't Loook For A Rivalry When Chiefs Meet Rams
      by r8rh8rmike
      Don't look for a rivalry when Chiefs meet Rams

      October, 23, 2014
      By Adam Teicher | ESPN.com


      KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Placed next to the Super Bowl XXXIV trophy at team headquarters in suburban St. Louis sits an award presented by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon after the Rams beat the Kansas City Chiefs in a 2012 preseason game, the last meeting between the teams.

      "I’m actually more fond of the Governor’s Cup trophy than I am of the Super Bowl trophy," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said.

      Fisher’s sentiment is understandable. He coached the losing team in Super Bowl XXXIV, the Tennessee Titans. But nobody else shares that thought.

      Former Missouri QB Chase Daniel, now a backup with the Chiefs, says not playing every season lessens the impact of the Chiefs-Rams rivalry.

      To most everyone else involved, players and fans from both sides, the Governor’s Cup, presented whenever the NFL football teams from Kansas City and St. Louis face one another, is just a meaningless piece of hardware.

      Though the Rams and their backers get worked up about games with Seattle, San Francisco and Arizona, and the Chiefs look forward to their AFC West rivalries, this Missouri battle is just another game.

      "When I was in college, there was never a rivalry," said Chase Daniel, a former Missouri quarterback who now backs up Alex Smith with the Chiefs. "We don’t play each other every year. We play every third or fourth year. We’re both just trying to win.

      "It would have been pretty cool actually if (the Royals and Cardinals) were playing in the World Series. But it didn’t work out like that."

      The teams have tried to kindle a rivalry by playing most years during the preseason. For various reasons the teams haven’t met during the summer for the past two years, and nobody seemed to care.

      The 3-3 Chiefs and 2-4 Rams will play for real on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, but there is little buzz about the game other than each team needing a victory to stay relevant in its respective playoff race.

      "Anytime you have two teams in the same state, you’d think you’d have a little bit of intensity in that," Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "You’d think there would be a lot of bragging rights for everybody in between, especially with both cities on the border (of Missouri). There’s a whole lot of space in between there. You’d think it would be more heated.

      "As players, we’re plenty motivated. But I really don’t get the sense from the fans ... not as many people try to hit you up on Twitter about this one as they do the Niners and Seahawks rivalries."

      When the teams have played during the regular season, the series hasn’t been competitive. The Chiefs are 5-0 against the Rams since they moved from Los Angeles in 1995....
      -10-23-2014, 09:33 AM
    • dgr828
      Governors cup
      by dgr828
      THE GOVERNOR'S CUP (MISSOURI)

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



      The Missouri Governor's Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner between the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams' annual meetings in the preseason and occasional contests in the regular season.

      The contest has been a staple of Missourian's football teams from 1968 to 1987 (between the Chiefs and St. Louis' first football team, the Cardinals) and 1996 to the present (feature the Chiefs and newly-relocated Rams). The local press occasionally refer to the game as The Battle of Missouri, The Show-Me State showdown (a play on Missouri's state nickname), or the I-70 Series. The Chiefs and Rams meet every year in the pre-season but have only met four times in the regular season.

      HISTORY

      1968-1988

      The contest began in 1968 when St. Louis had the football Cardinals, until the Cardinals relocated in 1988. The Governor's Cup game was resumed in the 1996 season between the Chiefs and the Rams.

      The Chiefs posted a 16-7-2 mark in its Governor's Cup series against the Cardinals from 1968 to 1987, going 2-1-1 in the regular season and 14-6-1 in preseason play.

      1996-present

      When the Los Angeles Rams relocated to St. Louis, the rivalry among Missourians re-emerged.
      Both the Rams and the Chiefs possessed the two most productive offenses in the NFL in the early 2000's, and the meetings often resulted in shootouts. Former Ram's coach Dick Vermeil was hired by the Chiefs in 2001 after he had won Super Bowl XXXIV with the Rams with one of the NFL's most powerful offensive squads in history.

      Once the Chiefs created their own high-powered offense with the arrival of Vermeil, the rivalry became even more exciting. In often meaningless preseason games, the Chief and Rams gave all their energy to secure the Governor's Cup, their spot as the best offense in the league, and bragging rights for their respective city in Missouri.

      Dick Vermeil faced off against his old coaching buddies with the Rams-- including his offensive coordinator of "The Greatest Show on Turf," Mike Martz--whom succeeded vermeil for the Rams head coaching job.

      St. Louis Football Cardinals vs. Kansas City Chiefs

      All-Time Pre-Season Results

      The Chiefs and Cardinals met every pre-season to determine the best NFL team in Missouri. The Chiefs lead the pre-season series 14-6-1.

      All-Time Regular Season Results

      Note: The Governor's Cup was awarded between the Chiefs and the St. Louis Football Cardinals from 1968 through 1987, the Cardinals' final season in St. Louis.


      St. Louis Rams vs. Kansas City Chiefs

      All-Time Pre-Season Results

      The Chiefs and Rams meet every pre-season to determine the NFL team in Missouri. The Rams lead the pre-season...
      -08-30-2009, 02:03 AM
    • RamWraith
      Martz taking no chances with starters
      by RamWraith
      Martz taking no chances with starters
      BY STEVE KORTE
      News-Democrat

      ST. LOUIS - Even with the Governor's Cup trophy at stake, the St. Louis Rams' preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at 7 p.m. today at the Edward Jones Dome will be the NFL equivalent of a junior varsity game.

      Don't expect either team to play its starters much more than a series or two.

      "We're going to protect our starters in this last preseason game," Rams coach Mike Martz said. "You have to. Only a fool wouldn't do that."

      The Rams' starting offensive line might see a little more action than the rest of the starters because Martz wants to give the unit, which was missing right guard Adam Timmerman and left guard Tom Nutten for the first two preseason games, some more time to jell.

      "To some extent, they still need to play a little bit," Martz said. "Our offensive lineman still haven't played long enough together to start the season. Adam still needs to play a good quarter probably."

      Rams right tackle Ryan Tucker, who played left guard throughout his previous six seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, was planning to play as much as the coaching staff allows.

      "I expect to play as long as possible," Tucker said. "If it's less, that's great. I'm preparing myself to play the whole game."

      Martz said the Rams will use the game to take a long look at some of the players trying to make the team's final 53-man roster.

      All NFL teams must trim their rosters from 65 players to 53 players by 3 p.m. Sunday.

      "This is a great opportunity for some of these guys who will make this team, and some that will not, to expose themselves to the whole National Football League, to have an opportunity to play, and fill out a resume, if you will," Martz said. "It's very important for these guys to play and play well."

      Some of the players in the spotlight will be tight end Jerome Collins, quarterback Jeff Smoker, running backs Arlen Harris and Aveion Cason, fullback Morgan Hedgecock, wide receiver Jeremy Carter and safeties Michael Stone and Oshiomogho Atogwe.

      The Rams (2-1) had their dress rehearsal for their Sept. 11 season opener against the San Francisco ***** on Monday night as they beat the Lions 37-13.

      The Rams had only two days of practice to get ready for their game against the Chiefs.

      "It is tough," Martz said. "They originally had this (game) as a Thursday game, can you imagine that? I think playing a Monday night game in the third preseason game is very difficult to do. You're at risk in that last game. You have fatigued guys, so you have to protect your starters."

      Martz said the Rams studied no game film of the Chiefs to get ready for the game.
      ...
      -09-02-2005, 10:31 AM
    • RamWraith
      Rams' goal vs. Chiefs: Stay healthy, claim Cup
      by RamWraith
      By Jim Thomas
      Of the Post-Dispatch
      09/01/2005


      Nothing is so meaningless for many, but so meaningful for the few, as the final game of the preseason.

      Coaches always pull back on playing their starters, not wanting to risk injury so close to the regular season. This is particularly true for the Rams because they will be playing their second game in 96 hours tonight, when they close out the preseason against Kansas City at the Edward Jones Dome.

      "It's tough, coming off a game like that this soon," Martz said.

      According to Martz, it could have been worse.

      "Originally, they had this as a Thursday game," he said. "Can you imagine that? I think playing a Monday night game in the third preseason game is very difficult to do."

      The Rams had only two practices this week, neither of which was in full pads. Thursday's workout lasted only about 70 minutes.

      "You have to take care of them in that respect," Martz said.

      Martz will take the prudent approach into tonight's game with the Chiefs as well. If the starters didn't look so sharp in Monday's 37-13 victory in Detroit, he might be tempted to play them longer.

      But after the Rams' impressive performance at Ford Field, their goal is to play hard tonight, but leave healthy. And then get ready for San Francisco, the Rams' opponent in the regular-season opener Sept. 11.

      "If we had to play our starters, this would be brutal," Martz said. "Fortunately, we don't have to do that. I think we're far enough along as a team right now that we can take a look at all these other guys here.

      "I wouldn't expect that we'd play (the starters) much at all. They'll have to play some, obviously, but not much. We're going to be very selective in terms of who plays."

      The Rams did a fair amount of game-planning for Detroit last week, at least by preseason standards. But that wasn't the case for Kansas City in this extra-short work week.

      "We did nothing for Kansas City," Martz said. "Nothing. So whatever happens, happens. We just hope that (Rams players) can sort things out well enough, and so be it.

      "The Chiefs are enough like us on offense. Their running game's a little different. And defensively, they're a 4-3 defense. So coverages are relatively similar to us."

      With final cuts looming Sunday, the almost-annual Governor's Cup game does have importance to bubble players. Twelve more Rams must be cut to reach the 53-man roster limit, so for some, tonight might be their last crack at NFL football.

      "It's an important game for a lot of guys," Martz said. "They need to kind of define themselves in their role on this team this year. Or whether they'll be on this team."
      ...
      -09-02-2005, 04:26 AM
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