On Monday night, Kellen Clemens makes his debut at the Rams’ starting quarterback. But most folks in St. Louis will be paying attention to the sport once played by Roger Clemens.
By winning at Fenway Park on Thursday night, the Cardinals have guaranteed that Game Five of the World Series will be played. On Monday night. In St. Louis. Where the Rams will be hosting the Seahawks.
The Rams tell PFT that the football game will be televised locally. Which means that enough tickets have been sold to lift the blackout.
The Rams declined to disclose whether they have taken advantage of the rule that allows the minimum percentage of non-premium ticket sales to be reduced from 100 to 85. Regardless of whether the number has been dropped, chances are that owner Stan Kroenke has written a check for any unsold tickets, at 34 cents on the dollar.
Apart from the unsold seats, the real question is how many will be unused — especially if the Cardinals beat Boston on Saturday and Sunday, setting up Monday night as a potential World Series championship game.
The best the Rams and the NFL can hope for at this point is rain. But there’s none in the forecast until Tuesday.
While the national ratings could nevertheless skew toward a crappy regular-season NFL game over a World Series game, the situation creates a strong potential for a local embarrassment, with few people attending the game and few in the St. Louis metropolitan area watching it.
In the future, the NFL should consider avoiding prime-time games in baseball towns during the World Series. Buffalo, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Green Bay, Carolina, and New Orleans should become the Thursday night/Sunday night/Monday night rotation in late October.
That could be easier said than done, given the already Herculean task of scheduling 256 regular-season games. Still, it makes sense to at least try to avoid what will happen in St. Louis to cap Week Eight of the 2013 season, which could feature fans ditching a close game in the fourth quarter to join in the celebration of a World Series title.