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Monday, October 28, 2013
Seahawks-Rams No. 2 show in St. Louis

By Terry Blount

ST LOUIS -- It’s Monday night madness in Gateway City, a downtown sports double that’s a rare treat.

But who would have thought the 6-1 Seattle Seahawks would play their first Monday night game of the season and be the No. 2 show in town?

While the Seahawks and the St. Louis Rams play at the Edward Jones Dome, the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals take center ring a few blocks away in Game 5 of the World Series at Busch Stadium.

Take a wild guess which game is getting most of the attention in St. Louis? Signs at the airport cordially welcomed the Red Sox fans, but I didn’t see any posters welcoming Seahawks fans to town.

This has always been a baseball town, maybe more so than any city in the country. The Rams, and before them the football Cardinals, always have taken a back seat to the baseball Cardinals here.

At 3-4, this Rams team just lost quarterback <a href="http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/13197/sam-bradford">Sam Bradford</a> for the season and is an 11-point underdog to the Seahawks, so the football game gets a big of a ho-hum reaction. Tickets to the game were selling for as little as $8 on internet sites.

It’s a virtual certainty this game will be the smallest crowd to see the Seahawks play all season, maybe half full at best. Even Seattle coach Pete Carroll joked about it a few days ago.

“I would think that there might be some availability in case some [Seahawks fans] are interested in coming,” Carroll said smiling. “We’d love to see them show.”

This is a game the Seahawks should win under any circumstances, whether it’s a full house or empty.

“It doesn’t matter to us,’’ Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said. “We have fun at practice every day and there’s nobody watching us.”

But it will be unusual to play a Monday night game with a limited number of spectators and second-fiddle status to what’s going on downtown.

"It doesn’t matter how many people are there,” Carroll said. “We’re not going to change anything that we’re doing. It’s not going to affect how we approach anything. The point is we can’t allow the environment to be the factor. We want to play the same every chance we go out there.”

The Seahawks have done a good job of that this season. Seattle is 3-1 on the road, with the only loss coming in a fourth-quarter comeback at Indianapolis by the Colts (34-28).

And the Seahawks are the masters of Monday night. They have an NFL best .692 winning percentage on Monday night at 18-8. Seattle has won six consecutive Monday night games.

Since Carroll became the head coach in 2010, the Seahawks are 7-1 in night games. And they’re facing a Rams team that has Kellen Clemens making his first start at quarterback since 2011 and only his fifth start in the last six years.

So everything favors a Seahawks victory, and it really doesn’t matter if most of the people in St. Louis won’t be watching.