- Nick Wagoner, ESPN Staff Writer
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The chance to take center stage is a great opportunity for the Rams but, as so often happens with this organization in the past decade or so, they won't get the chance to truly enjoy a rare moment in the spotlight.
Never mind the fact that the Rams are heavy home underdogs on the heels of the season-ending knee injury to quarterback Sam Bradford or that the defense has been unable to meet lofty preseason expectations so far. No, this has nothing to do with the Rams. It comes down to old-fashioned bad luck.
Eight blocks down the street from the Edward Jones Dome, baseball's St. Louis Cardinals will be hosting the Boston Red Sox in Game 5 of the World Series. The football world may have its eyes on the Rams and Seahawks and the sports world will have its eye on St. Louis as a whole, but there's no denying that the chance at a world championship is going to take precedence over a Week 8 game for a 3-4 Rams team for local sports fans.
“[It's] not really something that I can worry about, but we’ll take everybody we can get," quarterback Kellen Clemens said. "So, hopefully the Cardinals are blowing them out early and everybody wants to leave Busch Stadium and come join our party.”
To the Rams' credit, they aren't pretending that the World Series doesn't exist. In fact, they are embracing it in hopes that fans who can't attend the baseball game will spend the evening with them and take part in what Clemens hopes will be their "party."
Two hours before the 8:30 p.m. ET kickoff, the Rams will open the doors to the Edward Jones Dome and allow fans to enter their Bud Light Party Zone, where they'll get free hot dogs and drink specials from 7-8 ET. The Cardinals-Red Sox game will be shown in that same area throughout the game and the Rams will televise the game on about half of the televisions located in the concourse and concessions stands throughout the stadium.
“We’re going to broadcast what’s going on in the stadium, so whoever’s there, we’re going to keep them updated," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "[We'll] see if we can show some highlights and keep them posted on the score.”
Plenty of the Rams' struggles throughout the past decade have been brought on themselves but there has certainly been some bad luck along the way. In some ways, they're almost conditioned to expect it. When the American League beat the National League in the All-Star game back in July to gain home-field advantage for the World Series, some Rams officials actually had the thought occur to them that this scenario might play out.
Earlier this week, we documented the Rams openly rooting for a four-game sweep by the Cardinals so they could enjoy the Monday night stage to themselves with a crowd much bigger than the one they're now expecting. After a split of the two games in Boston, Game 5 on Monday is now a certainty.
As for the fans who do show up to watch some football, Fisher has little doubt about what to expect.
“They’ll be loud," Fisher said. "If they come, they’re going to be loud, yeah. We expect a great crowd. It’s a great environment. Monday Night Football is a great environment.”
3hEric D. Williams