Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Blessed Event: Giving a Berth to the Rams

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Blessed Event: Giving a Berth to the Rams

Article excerpt

It was a memorable Saturday for the St. Louis Rams. In the morning, they crawled out of bed and saw snow on the ground. In the evening, it was time to go indoors and look at their new $280 million crib, known as the Trans World Dome.

Boys, in case you needed a final reminder: This ain't Anaheim.


In Orange County, you wouldn't see snow. You wouldn't see a domed stadium, built in your honor. And you certainly wouldn't be getting blessed by a Catholic archbishop, a rabbi and a Methodist bishop on the night before a home game.

No disrespect intended, but it sounds like the beginning of a joke, don't you think? An archbishop, a rabbi and a bishop walk into a football stadium . . .

I'm not making this up.

It happened at 7 o'clock on Saturday night, after the Rams had completed a brief walk-through at the dome.

Archbishop Justin Rigali, Bishop Dotcy I. Isom and Rabbi Mordecai Miller appeared before a herd of sweatshirt-wearing Rams and prayed for them.

I listened closely, and there was no specific mention of the offensive line.

Odd, but charming. Rams owner Georgia Frontiere said she wanted all of those who enter the TWA Dome to feel blessed. And she was sincere about it. This was a nice gesture by the owner.

Rabbi Miller ended the ceremony by blowing the shofar - a ram's horn sounded at the beginning of the Jewish New Year and on the Day of Atonement.

Obviously, the Rams are willing to go to dramatic lengths to get the running game going.

"Now God is here, in our home," defensive tackle D'Marco Farr said. "I'd hate to be the opposing team."

God may not appear in the TWA Dome today, but Norm Stewart will be a guest in vice chairman Stan Kroenke's luxury suite.

Anyway, on with our story.

And the Rams, having lost their last three, are desperate for a victory. If they lose to visiting Carolina, well, they can just mail in the rest of the results on the schedule.

"This is a big game," Rams owner Georgia Frontiere said. "It's not just a party."

Saturday night was reserved for fun.

The first touchdown pass at the TWA Dome was thrown by . . . center Bern Brostek to tackle Zach Wiegert? Yes. Right after 6 o'clock, when the Rams entered the big house for an inspection. Memo to Panthers coach Dom Capers: This was not one of Rich Brooks' trick plays.

The dome looked handsome, even if you prefer football played in nature.

"It's OK for a dome," growled middle linebacker Shane Conlan, the Rams' grumpy old man. "Let's just paint some lines on the church parking lot and play there."

Excuse Conlan. He's from Buffalo, where they drink antifreeze and like it.

The Rams were disoriented. They entered the field through the visiting team's tunnel. Given their nifty four-game winning streak, the expansionist Panthers should be insulted.

"This is nice, real nice," Rams cornerback Todd Lyght said. "I'd rather play in this than the cold, any day. …

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