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Consider St. Louis a big fan of the New England
15-05-2019, 08:50 AM
Post: #1
Consider St. Louis a big fan of the New England
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Patriots on Super Bowl Sunday.Seventeen years after the Patriots beat the Rams for the NFL championship Womens Ethan Westbrooks Jersey , fans around here will again be watching when the two go at it in Atlanta. Thing is, allegiances have changed since the Rams moved back to Los Angeles three years ago, leaving behind a legacy and some bruised feelings.Rams haters will have plenty of company in bars this Sunday.At the 11 Hotshots sports bars around St. Louis, fans will get discounted pitchers of beer for every Patriots touchdown. Photo likenesses of Rams owner Stan Kroenke will be placed on dartboards — and in urinals.“It’s just something kind of fun we can add to the mix and hopefully give St. Louisans some solace as they watch the game,” Hotshots marketing director Justin Boyd said.Sports fans Bob Rothschild and Phil Heidemann frowned at the mention of Kroenke’s name as they lunched at a Hotshots in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton. Despite their disdain, both plan to watch the Super Bowl.“I’ll be watching, but I’ll be rooting for the Patriots,” said Heidemann, 60.Rather than a Super Bowl party, the Tick Tock Tavern is hosting a “Superb Owl” party with jazz music and a movie — but no football.Even in baseball-crazy St. Louis, the Rams were the toast of the town in their “Greatest Show on Turf” days. They won the 2000 Super Bowl and were heavy favorites to win again in 2002, until a second-year quarterback named Tom Brady led a last-minute drive culminating in a game-ending field goal and a 20-17 New England win.After that, football in St. Louis was never the same.The Rams got old and the glory days faded into a five-year stretch starting in 2007 when they went a dismal 50 games under .500, 15-65. Attendance dropped. Georgia Frontiere, the St. Louis native who brought the franchise to her hometown in 1995, died in 2008 and Kroenke, a minority owner since the relocation from Los Angeles, bought the team two years later.At first Deacon Jones Jersey , the native Missourian denied any intention of moving. But by 2015, it became clear Kroenke had his eyes on California. In January 2016, despite St. Louis’ proposal to build a $1 billion stadium on the Mississippi River that would have been largely funded with public money, NFL owners OK’d the move back to LA.Turns out St. Louis can hold a grudge. In the shadow of the Gateway Arch, Kroenke and his team are even less popular than the Chicago Cubs, the Cardinals‘ archrival. It didn’t help that Kroenke’s lawyers put together a scathing evaluation of St. Louis as an NFL market on their way out of town.The departure even spurred lawsuits that linger to this day. The St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, St. Louis city and St. Louis County alleged in a 2017 suit that the Rams’ move violated a 1984 league guideline that was established after the Raiders moved from Oakland to Los Angeles. That case is still pending. The Rams also recently agreed to pay $24 million to personal seat license holders in St. Louis who filed a class-action lawsuit.Of course, the fact that the Rams got good so fast has been another blow.Randy Karraker, host of The Fast Lane afternoon radio show on 101 ESPN in St. Louis, figures that about 90 percent of St. Louisans are anti-Ram. He’s among them, so much so he can’t even bear to watch the Super Bowl.“It’s impossible to derive pleasure from that game,” Karraker said. “I hate the Patriots for what they have done to football, and I hate the Rams. So it’s a no-win situation for me.”Many ex-fans took to Twitter after the Rams beat New Orleans in the NFC championship game. One wrote that St. Louisans still rooting for the Rams “are the same people who wanna be best friends with their exes.” Former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill tweeted a meme of the late Bob Ross painting a serene landscape.“This is what I’m watching on Sunday February 3 at around 5:30. For 3 plus hours,” she wrote. “Better than the alternative.” No cold feet for the Los Angeles Rams in the frigid conditions.Just cool running.Todd Gurley heated up the offense with a career afternoon to power the Rams through the bitter cold for a 23-20 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.It was nothing but smooth sledding for the team from the land of sunshine.The 25 degrees at kickoff marked the second-coldest at home for the Broncos during a contest held in September or October. The coldest for this time of year was 22 degrees on Oct. 12, 1969, against Oakland."It's kind of cold," said Gurley, who rushed for a career-best 208 yards and two TDs. "It don't really matter. At the end of the day , just got to go out there."No surprise, the Rams relied on a steady dose of Gurley as they improved to 6-0 in sending the Broncos (2-4) to their fourth straight loss. Gurley carried the ball 28 times and averaged 7.4 yards per carry.On a day when players could see their breath, Gurley and many others didn't bundle up. No long sleeves for him. He did wear a ski mask under his helmet.His job complete, Gurley layered up to greet the conditions by putting on a hooded sweat shirt, heavy jacket and a stocking cap."Weather is weather," receiver Brandin Cooks said. "We knew we had to come and do our job the best that we can."One slight brain freeze: Coach Sean McVay regretted some of his decisions."I thought I put us in some horrible spots throughout the game, really getting impatient, forcing things that weren't there," McVay lamented. "The players bailed me out, finding a way to win."The Rams don't normally take the field in these kinds of conditions. To prepare, quarterback Jared Goff tried out gloves on both hands in pregame and went with them during the contest."It's kind of a give-and-take and I felt more comfortable with them," explained Goff, who was 14 of 28 for 201 yards and one interception. "We are from Los Angeles, where it is hot and it's cold here. Having to go through that, feeling the cold, getting through that with a win is great. Once we got out there and were moving around, it wasn't much of a factor."Just another day at the office."A new experience," Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers said. "I think we kind of showed the world Womens Aaron Donald Jersey , that just because you're from L.A., you can play in any kind of weather as long as you mentally prepare for it."Offensive lineman Rob Havenstein played at Wisconsin, where cold-weather games happen with frequency. But that was a few seasons ago. He's grown accustomed to the California sun since being selected by the Rams in the second round of the 2015 draft."I'm not as hardened as I once was in Wisconsin," cracked Havenstein, whose work up front with his fellow linemen allowed the Rams to finish with 270 yards on the ground. "This wasn't too cold. The wind wasn't breezy or anything like that. It wasn't snow flying down. It was cool getting in a little snow game."About that, tailback Malcolm Brown doesn't consider this a snow game even if there were a few flurries. Being from Texas, he wants his first snow game to be filled with plenty of accumulation."It was fun anyway," said Brown, who finished with 24 yards on five carries. "I'll play in any weather, as long as I'm playing ball."The cooler conditions didn't bother defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Then again, he's from Pittsburgh."Good football weather," Donald said. "It just reminded me of home. That's all it did."After the game, Gurley was asked how it felt to pick up chunks of yardage on virtually every carry."It's cool," Gurley said.A fitting response.
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