It’s interesting how local sports teams are tied into the fabric of a community.
Once a local team starts winning it seems the entire area wants to jump on-board.
The team becomes the lead item on local newscasts and TV ratings soar. Bars and restaurants begin to fill-up on game day and dozens flock to gather decorations and food for their own parties.
Suddenly “our team” is beging highlighted on Sports Center and the national pundits are writing about it. The association with the home town city provides lots of positive publicity for the area.
A winning team helps us forget our problems and provides a temporary unifying force for both fans and non-fans alike.
Unfortunately a team on the precipice of the sports stratosphere can also provide a major letdown when it loses.
Case in point, the St. Louis Rams.
Following several tumultous and losing seasons the Rams appeared to be on the brink of success in 2010.
Moving into the NFL’s final week last Sunday the Rams needed only to beat a downtrodden Seattle Seahawks team to move into the league’s “hallowed ground” of the NFL Playoffs. Win and you’re in, lose and the Hawks advance.
The winner of the game would be crowned the division champ and would host a playoff game.
The excitement began to build about a week prior when NBC announced the Rams-Seahawks game would be its prime time Sunday night contest. This would be the only game played that night.
Suddenly everyone was talking about this “play-in” game and the Rams chances, though highly unlikely, to make a serious playoff run.
Cautiously optimistic, St. Louis fans began to get tuned-up and turned on. According to Nielsen research nearly 40 per cent of all homes in the area tuned-in to watch the game.
Everyone wanted to see if this would be the return of playoff football back in St. Louis.
Unforuntately the answer was a resounding “no”. The Rams played poorly and lost to Seattle.
The result was no playoff game in St. Louis, no sports-induced emotional high, no crowds at sports bars, no extra hotel rooms for a game with New Orleans, and no more positive press.
The end of the holiday season meant the end of the football season for St. Louis and a large unfilling night in the city.Solomon/Turner PR