Friday, September 27, 2013

San Francisco 49ers 35 at St. Louis Rams 11 - September 26, 2013


Another Thursday night and another stinker. This one was the worst of the lot and I'm beginning to rethink my decision to take the trip, which is heavy on short week games, with 10 in all. The NFL also has to reconsider this idea, perhaps by only using teams with a bye week prior to their appearance on Thursday night as the offenses cannot operate with their normal efficiency and players are more likely to get injured.



As St. Louis is in the Central time zone, the game started at 7:25, which meant the pre-game began around 5, a bit early on a weeknight. There were lots of 49er fans on vacation and a few Ram fans as well, but there was no atmosphere building when compared to the games I've seen elsewhere. This is the tailgate right next to where the NFL Network has set up. Wow!



I took a couple of external shots, but the building is pretty boring.





I entered a bit early as they had one lineup that was being allowed in before gates officially opened. This allowed me to get down to field level and snap a picture of Anquan Boldin as he left the field after warmup.



I was then told to leave as I did not have a ticket for this section, the first time this has happened on this trip. There is no reason for such an unfriendly policy; you already have one of the worst venues in the league, why add to fans' misery?



Anyway, I wandered around for a bit, taking a few pictures as usual. The seats are red because when the dome was built, they were trying to entice the New England Patriots to town. Of course, having the visiting 49ers dress in red while the Rams wore white didn't have the desired effect.







The Rams actually have a decent history with the 1999 World Championship added to those won in 1945 when the franchise was in Cleveland and 1951 when they played in Los Angeles.



The big play in their only Super Bowl win was Mike Jones' tackle on the last play of the game that prevented Tennessee receiver Kevin Dyson from reaching the end zone. This is commemorated in the lower concourse along with some other famous plays in Rams' history.



As I've mentioned, the game was terrible. Sam Bradford has difficulty, getting sacked (below) and making bad throws throughout the game.



The 49ers started slowly, but scored 5 TDs by the end of the game, including Boldin, who scored on the play below, and Anthony Dixon (#24) scoring untouched in the 4th quarter.





The cheerleaders kept smiling while fans left the game in droves.



This is early in the 4th quarter, about 2/3 of fans have already left.



They left Bradford out there right until the end, when I had moved down to the end zone to take pictures from different angle.



The final score with the game stats below. Truly, truly ugly.



Notes



The Rams held a "Celebrating Primetime with Rams Legends" event before the game. Thanks to Dennis Morrell of Stadium Journey, I was able to stop by. There were several former Rams including Tom Mack, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, and Eric Dickerson (below). They spoke about their time with the team, telling a few stories and entertaining the crowd for an hour. At the end, the MC said "Let's go beat those 49ers". The team would have done better with these guys I think.



This was Game 8 on my trip, which means I'm already a quarter done. I'd say half the games have been good, and the other half have been crap, including all 3 Thursday nighters played on the short week. The NFL chooses to air these games on their own network in an effort to increase subscribers, but fans are already wise to their money grab. I've got seven more Thursday games which I am not looking forward to, but if you are a fan, the best you can do is stop watching the games in protest until the league makes a change.

Best,

Sean

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