Sandwich boards in the St. Louis airport support the notion St. Louis Cardinals fans are among the friendliest in the game.
“Welcome, Red Sox fans” they read in red letters on a white board just outside baggage claim.
There’s no such greeting for Seahawks fans.
That’s because any interest around Monday night’s game between the Seahawks (6-1) and St. Louis Rams (3-4) has been swallowed by the baseball-first city’s mania surrounding the World Series.
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The Seahawks will play the Rams in what is expected to be a sparsely filled Edward Jones Dome while Game 5 of the World Series between the Cardinals and Boston Red Sox is going on about a mile south. It doesn’t help that the Rams are mediocre and will be starting backup quarterback Kellen Clemens because franchise-face Sam Bradford is out for the year after tearing an knee ligament last week.
“To us, it doesn’t matter,” Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said. “The roof may be getting blown off or maybe it isn’t. We’re not going to change anything that we’re doing.”
It will likely be the least expensive ticket all season to see the Seahawks. Thousands of tickets between $8-$20 were available on Internet ticket reseller StubHub. Those weren’t promotional prices, rather what individual sellers were asking. In many cases, the price was three times lower than face value.
That doesn’t bother Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who is a one-man party to begin with.
“We have a great time at practice every day and nobody is there,” Sherman said. “I think we’ll be fine whether the stadium is filled to capacity or whether it’s empty.
“We create our own energy. We do a great job feeding off of one another, and if one of the guys makes a play, we’re amped up. If one of the defensive lineman makes a sack and does their sack dance, I don’t think things like that are going to change.”
If the Seahawks are dancing at the end of the game, it will be because of their fourth road win of the season. Their three in four tries thus far already matches last year’s total of road wins in the regular season. The franchise record is five, set in 2005, when the Seahawks went to the Super Bowl.
Wilson said he believes things on the road changed in the middle of games during the middle of last season. He takes copious notes and went back through them to see what he was “feeling” and “thinking” on each play during the second and third quarters.
“It’s usually around plays 25 to 40, where something in that game happens,” Wilson said. “Whether it’s good or bad, something happens and that’s kind of the ebb and flow of the game. That’s just natural because obviously when you ... go into the beginning of the game ... everybody is ready to go.
“Or when the game is at the end of the game, it’s the fourth quarter; everybody is really focused because it’s the end of the game. But in between that second and third quarter is where you really have to be great I think, too.”
The Seahawks have won five out of seven on the road since consecutive losses away from CenturyLink Field last year in Weeks 7 and 8.
They are likely to add to that total Monday night, though not many will be there to see it.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-1) AT ST. LOUIS (3-4)
5:40 p.m., Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
TV: ESPN. Radio: 710-AM, 97.3-FM.
The series: Seattle and the Rams have met 29 times, and the Seahawks lead the series 18-11. The last time the teams met, the Seahawks won, 20-13, in Seattle on Dec. 30, 2012.
What to watch: Twice against Arizona, rookie right tackle Michael Bowie was beaten off the corner for sacks that led to Russell Wilson fumbles. The Rams can cause the same problems with defensive end Robert Quinn, who has forced four fumbles this year to go with seven sacks. Seattle will have to slide protection to wherever Quinn is, and it will be important that center Max Unger and Wilson identify who should be where. Creating multiple turnovers should be the only way St. Louis has a shot in this one since its quarterback turns the ball over often. Kellen Clemens has 25 career turnovers against seven touchdowns. The Seahawks lead the NFL with 19 takeaways this season. Seattle also gets back middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who missed two weeks with a high-ankle sprain. Wide receiver Percy Harvin, coming off August hip surgery, will not be active.
The pick: Seahawks, 35-10
No. Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., Year
25 Richard Sherman, CB, 6-3, 195, third
If Rams quarterback Clemens throws at Sherman, it could well be another pick.
26 Michael Robinson, FB, 6-1, 240, eighth
Seahawks’ spiritual leader rejoined the team this week after being cut in camp.
53 Malcolm Smith, LB, 6-0, 226, third
Smith has been pushed into the starting lineup by Bobby Wagner’s injury and has been excellent.
73 Michael Bowie, RT, 6-4, 332, first
Bowie was beaten twice off the corner last week against Arizona, and QB Russell Wilson paid the price.
91 Chris Clemons, DE, 6-3, 254, 10th
Clemons came back quickly from a hyperextended elbow last week to have an impact.
No. Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., Year
10 Kellen Clemens, QB, 6-2, 221, eighth
Takes over as the starter for injured Sam Bradford.
11 Tavon Austin, WR, 5-8, 176, first
Speedy rookie a concern over the top.
55 James Laurinaitis, LB, 6-2, 248, fifth
Leads St. Louis with 55 total tackles.
89 Jared Cook, TE, 6-5, 254, fifth
Cook’s 344 receiving yards leads the Rams.
94 Robert Quinn, DE, 6-4, 264, third
Strong edge rusher has 7 sacks and has forced 4 fumbles.