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Blackouts a yardstick for the Rams

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The word blackout conjures up images of a wild youth (note I didn't say memories), but for the St. Louis Rams the word blackout pretty much sums up their last three seasons of play as fans stayed away from the stadium. That meant even if you wanted to watch a Rams' home game you had to find alternative means as the lack of a sellout kept the games off the air. 

For a time, it looked like the Rams home and season opener, this Sunday against the Cardinals, would be blacked out too. Fortunately, the team is on track to sell the required amount of tickets, making it possible for even more area viewers to get a glimpse of rookie QB Sam Bradford and RB Steven Jackson. But the threat of blackouts isn't gone. Eliminating blackouts will be one of the Rams' biggest benchmarks of progress this season. 

Blackouts, of course, hinge on ticket sales; ticket sales hinge on a winning team, among other things. 

Devaney, Spagnuolo, Bradford, Jackson and new owner Stan Kroenke have a big job this season to reinvigorate the Rams and their fans. How many blackouts they end up with during the season will be a useful benchmark in grading their performance on that front. People don't build stadiums for teams that don't win games.