If there’s one X factor that’s a little unknown until Monday that’s worth talking about ahead of the Wild Card playoff game between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams, it’s the crowd.
In Sunday’s 27-24 loss for the Rams at SoFi Stadium to the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles fans were the vocal minority throughout a noise-dominated 49ers game.
The Rams weren’t ready for that.
“It caught us off guard,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said Monday. “Just because of the way it has been this year. It was great, great atmosphere, great environment. Yesterday it was the same, but there was a lot of red there. It was definitely a surprise.
Kelly Stafford, the wife of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, said on the ‘The Morning After With Kelly Stafford’ podcast that Matthew Stafford had to be on a silent count throughout the game at his own stadium as Jimmy Garoppolo of San Francisco was not.
She posted a video clip of it to Instagram on Wednesday and left it with a caption that read, “My plea. Please don’t sell [your] tickets for Arizona fans.
“It was a difficult environment for us to communicate for the whole second half,” Matthew Stafford said in his post-match press conference on Sunday.
Now those teams reside in the same state, but the drive from San Francisco takes about six hours. It’s around the same time that he’ll take you from Phoenix.
And Valley sports fans are coming off an impressive travel performance in their recent playoffs.
The Phoenix Suns faithful turned out in droves to all four of the teams’ playoffs, including two in Los Angeles and one in Denver and Milwaukee. Point guard Chris Paul, a veteran of over 100 playoff games, constantly gave props to those fans and talked about how unusual it was for an NBA team to have that kind of presence on the road.
Could the Bird Gang be next in Los Angeles?