Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rams Notes: Offensive Fireworks Limited to Pregame Introductions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rams Notes: Offensive Fireworks Limited to Pregame Introductions

Article excerpt

Unfortunately for the Rams, the day's only offensive fireworks came during pregame introductions.

As is usually the case, the lights were dimmed in the Edward Jones Dome as the Rams' offensive starters were announced and came running out of the tunnel onto the field one by one as their names were called by public address announcer Andy Banker.

As part of this display, fireworks are shot off a few feet in the air in the corner of the end zone where the players come out. Only this time, sparks from the display caused part of the artificial surface to catch fire briefly.

The Rams said in a statement that a pyrotechnic cart malfunction resulted in the fire. It was quickly extinguished. Nonetheless, the start of the game was delayed 28 minutes beyond the scheduled noon kickoff.

"The most important thing that we did was we had our doctor, our team physician, come over and identify the ingredients on the fire extinguisher, and there were toxins in there," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "It was toxic and it was powder, and so we had to get that up because it could create irritations for the eye."

That cleaning process took a while, so both teams went back to their respective locker rooms. They came out later, stretched and warmed up for a few minutes, and then the game finally got underway.

"I thought it was handled properly," said Fisher, who met with Pittsburgh counterpart Mike Tomlin right away to discuss the situation. "That's not in the rulebook for the officials, but we talked about it. I thought the league handled everything very well from an officiating standpoint."

Quarterback Nick Foles said he'd never experienced a delayed start like that one, and he probably wasn't alone in that assessment.

"But our strength coaches and Coach Fisher did a great job of getting us in the locker room, getting us ready," Foles said. "Guys do their thing before we go out and just sort of activate everything again."

CROWD NOISE

There were 52,433 tickets distributed for Sunday's Rams-Steelers contest. Of the maybe 50,000 fans actually in the stands, about 20,000 were loud, energetic Steelers fans waving those familiar Terrible Towels.

Things got so loud that the Rams' offensive unit had to go to a silent count when it got in the red zone. …

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