Rams fans say goodbye to football at the Dome with a revisit of 'the greatest show on turf'
St. Louis Rams fans had a chance to relive some memories from the team’s glory days Saturday.
Former Rams players, including members of the 1999 Super Bowl championship team, played a game of flag football in the Dome at America’s Center. It’s likely one of the last times Rams players, past or present, step foot on the Dome’s turf now that Stan Kroenke has moved his team to Los Angeles.
Long-time Rams season ticketholder Scott Dankenbring braved the heat to tailgate before the game. He and his brother-in-law Scott Bozzardi found some shade by the parking lot and sipped beers from a cooler until the doors opened.
Dankenbring isn’t too happy with Kroenke for moving the Rams.
“We don’t like (Kroenke) but we love the St. Louis Rams. My daughters grew up with the St. Louis Rams, and now our hearts are just ripped out but thank God for this game today where we can have closure,” Dankenbring said.
For Dankenbring, going to see the Rams was as much about hanging out before the game as seeing the team play, tailgating and burning something from the opposing team.
“But one play I remember in particular, it was a catch Ricky Proehl made against Tampa Bay in the corner of the end zone right in front of where I sat,” Dankenbring said. “That catch won the game for us and put us into the Super Bowl, so being here at this Dome and watching that play that sent us to our only Super Bowl Championship will always hold a special moment in my heart.”
Dankenbring said he's bought a few tickets to Blues games for something to do this winter, but he hasn’t picked a new football team to support yet.
“I’ll be a lost soul just searching for a team, just like it was when I was a season ticketholder for the St. Louis football Cardinals and then they left town,” Dankenbring said.
Jamie Myers of Godrey, Ill. also doesn’t know what football team to support now that the Rams have left.
“I watch football religiously. I loved it and I’m still going to love it. Don’t know who I’m rooting for yet. Still might root for the Rams, but I don’t know,” Myers said.
He, his wife Sarah, and their friends Chris and Stephanie Luedloff came to the dome for “one last hoorah with the Rams” Saturday, playing music from the back of their car and sipping cool drinks before the game.
Myers said he also took his son to the last NFL Rams game in St. Louis earlier this year.
“He got to go to one game and that was it. (His) first game and last game because I don’t think we’ll be having football back in St. Louis unfortunately,” Myers said.
A few cars down, Jim Schroeder of Florissant cooked hot dogs for his friends and family. He said they came out to honor the team for the good times they had.
“I wasn’t a season ticketholder. I’m too poor. But we’d come to at least a game or two each year and always tailgated,” Schroeder said.
Like Dankenbring, Schroeder was a St. Louis Cardinals before the team moved to Arizona.
“Just can’t get a break on keeping these teams around here. It’s a shame. We didn’t do anything to deserve to lose them, let’s put it that way. That’s the way I look at it,” Schroeder said. “Trying to get one more (game) in and hopefully some (time) down the road, maybe (through) expansion or something we’ll get a team here.”
Money from the game went to Rams Super Bowl Champion Isaac Bruce’s foundation, which supports various charitable activities in St. Louis.
Follow Camille Phillips on Twitter: @cmpcamille.