Friday, September 27, 2013
When Baseball Is Better Than Football
I've never been known to scream. I find it tacky, to be honest. However, upon entering The Dome for a Rams game, time and time again all I want to do is scream. Usually obscenities. Because...it's football. I had the great fortune of living my teenage years going to the Rams game every Sunday during the Fall. So as not to allow anyone to do the math I'll just put it this way-it was when the Rams were winning...a lot. So people yelled and screamed, in a positive way, of course. Ever since I have come to the games that way.
Tonight, my first Rams game since I moved back to St. Louis, I was ready. Thursday night, primetime game the Dome was...pitiful. Attendance was not at capacity, fans were already complaining, and the team was not playing cohesively. All in all, I've never been more embarrassed to be a Rams fan. Yes, the "e" word. A word I've been trying to avoid for some years now, has finally reared its ugly self out of my mouth.
Things are problematic here, and it's not because St. Louis is a baseball town. I'd venture to say more people you talk to here would prefer to watch football than baseball. The Cardinals and their fans have a mutual respect for each other though. Going to the game then becomes holistically enjoyable. At this point there is a complete disconnect of any courtesies between the Rams and their fans. It's true that the fans don't call plays, or negotiate contracts with players-though I'm sure you can find many "experts" on those subjects. Cardinals fans don't either though. Showing up and supporting a team makes a difference. You can surely ask any visiting team such as the Pirates or Marlins who have to make a huge push for their own attendance every year if they agree. By the way, they do.
I don't think the Rams organization is doing a stellar job by any means. That's part of many problems. Again though, I've been going to the games for around 15 years now. Being a Rams fan is a great part of my identity as a St. Louisan. So the sometimes very real thought of losing them to another city is a bitter brew to taste. That's the part though that mainly falls on we, the fans. Brew for thought.