|Packers fans help Rams fill stadium|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 16 December 2007 13:19|
Much of the capacity crowd at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday clearly rooted for the visiting team. Cheeseheads were everywhere and perhaps half of the stadium was clad in Packers' green and yellow, helping the visitors feel right at home in a 33-14 victory.
``It's a joke,'' running back Steven Jackson said. ``The whole first level is Green Bay Packers' fans. It's a joke. We were at Lambeau Field.''
It likely felt that way to the Rams, who have had four games blacked out on local television because they did not sell out. St. Louis is 1-6 at home and 3-11 overall with two games to go, challenging a 4-12 record in 1998 for the worst season since the franchise moved to the Midwest in 1995.
The Rams play their home finale on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They anticipate another divided house.
``We know how loyal the Green Bay fans are and I'm sure on Thursday there are going to be a ton of Pittsburgh fans,'' quarterback Marc Bulger said. ``You know, this year we just haven't been playing well at home.''
Bulger also recognizes the Packers are having a banner season.
``Their fans are excited,'' Bulger said. ``You can hear them in the pre-game, all the chatter. It looks like an exciting environment to play for that team, it reminds you of college a lot.''
The Rams lost their first five home games before defeating Atlanta on Dec. 2 and have one more chance to avoid their worst home record since the move. They were 2-6 at home in 1997 and 1998.
The last one-win season at home came in Los Angeles in 1982.
``You're a little surprised to see more people in your house for the opposing team than for your team but you know it doesn't make you real happy or real excited,'' linebacker Will Witherspoon said. ``But you've just got to say, 'Hey, I'm in a game.' It just makes it a road game for us.''
The only time the entire crowd cheered together came after Packers quarterback Brett Favre set the NFL record for career yards passing in the fourth quarter on a 7-yard slant to Donald Driver. The game was stopped briefly and the crowd applauded Favre's latest record.
Favre's proximity to the record, needing 184 yards, and the Packers' storied history easily trumped the home-field advantage.
``Our fans are the best in the world,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. ``It gives our players a great lift.
``To see the defensive line raising their arms in the air on a big third down, it speaks volumes about the kind of fans we have.''
The situation left some Rams players muttering.
``I mean, you kind of get to the point where some teams are going to travel well,'' Witherspoon said. ``You just have to say they brought more people to the house than we did.''