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Sports spotlight shines brightly on St. Louis

29 October 2013, 21:19

St. Louis - For one night, the American sports spotlight shined on St. Louis. It ended in a double disappointment.

The NFL's Monday Night Football and the World Series came together with the two games played virtually simultaneously eight blocks apart in downtown St. Louis before a combined 103,000 fans.

Neither ended well for the hometown faithful. The 47,436 at Busch Stadium saw the Boston Red Sox take command of the World Series with a 3-1 defeat of the Cardinals. The Sox are up 3 games to 2 with the best-of-seven series moving back to Boston.

Meanwhile, at the Edward Jones Dome, the Rams drove 96 yards in the final minutes to the Seattle 1, but a fourth down pass was incomplete and the Seahawks hung on for a 14-9 win in front of 55,966 fans.

The gala night had some fans mixing and matching outfits_at least at the dome. Some wore Cardinals red at the NFL game, or a gaudy combination of Rams blue and gold with Cardinals red. The ballpark, as usual, was dead red.

The prime-time NFL game has been around since 1970 but, until now, it had never been played in the same city where a World Series was going on.

All on its own, the NFL game should have been a joyous occasion — it marked the first Monday night game in St. Louis since 2006, a drought largely due to the fact that the Rams have been mostly awful since then. But in baseball-mad St. Louis, the Rams clearly took a backseat.

"You want to go crazy for the Rams on national TV," fan William Cain said. Then again, he opted for baseball and was at the World Series.

"I think almost everyone in St. Louis will agree — the World Series is more important."

Apparently so.

Two hours before the first pitch of Game 5, StubHub had World Series tickets going for $244 and more. Rams tickets were selling for as little as $9.75.

Fans at the dome could be excused if their focus wasn't exactly on the NFL. The Rams, in a division with powerhouses Seattle and San Francisco, are a longshot to make the playoffs. To make matters worse, they lost quarterback Sam Bradford to a season-ending knee injury last week.

The World Series was on the minds of many fans at the dome.

Jessica Pollman and Melissa Stevenson ended up at the Rams game in full Cardinals regalia after Pollman won the tickets in a trivia contest.

"These tickets were free, and Cardinals tickets are, like, $400," Pollman said. "So, these were affordable."

Both planned to track the World Series on their phones, as long as their batteries didn't run out.

"I'm a little bit worried about that," Pollman said.

Games have overlapped in St. Louis before. In 1998, players on both NFL teams were perplexed when a huge cheer went up just as the Rams were about to take a snap. Mark McGwire had just hit his 69th homer on the final day of the baseball season. Moments after the NFL game ended, the few fans still in the dome let out another cheer — McGwire hit No. 70.

It could have been worse for the Rams. If St. Louis had won Game 4 on Sunday, the Cardinals would have been playing with a chance to win the World Series on Monday.

- AP

- AP

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