Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Community Service Rams' Marci Moran Works the Players off the Field

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Community Service Rams' Marci Moran Works the Players off the Field

Article excerpt

Marci Moran and new coach Dick Vermeil are not likely to agree on player evaluations.

To her, these Rams already are Super Bowl contenders.

Moran, 26, is the team's community affairs director. "When I talk about great players, I could care less what they do on the field," Moran said. "Obviously, when I watch the games, I want us to win. But a guy scores major brownie points with me if he's a great community guy and an OK player." Forber coach Rich Brooks did not consult her when making player moves. "I was really upset when we got rid of Todd Kinchen and Jerome Bettis and Troy Drayton and Sean Gilbert," she said. "There were all big community guys. They were the Big Four. "After they all got traded, the other players started calling me the Black Widow. Anybody who worked with me was on the first train out of here." She is in her fifth year with the team but her first with the program. It didn't exist in Los Angeles. As Moran put itm, "Nobody ever wanted a Rams player to come out. Ever." When she joined the team out of Notre Dame University five years ago, she was simply part of public relations director Rick Smith's staff. She was operating out of that office when the Rams moved here in 1995 and the deluge of player requests hit. In any given week, she has from two to 30 players mingling in the St. Louis region. "Everyone was so excited to have us here," Moran said. "From an organization standpoint, the Rams are really dedicated to the community. St. Louis did a lot to get us, and we want to give back. "John Shaw is one of the biggest supporters of the community outreach program," Moran said. "That's what I call it. I don't know if it's technical Rams lingo or not." She speaks the players' language, though. An imposing 6-footer, she began playing volleyball as a high school freshman and began hearing from college recruiters before her junior year. The came a series of shoulder injuries that ended her scholarship chances after high school. At Nortre Dame, she majored in English and served as a trainer, taping the ankles of future Rams Bettis and Todd Lyght. …

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