I have to mention this because for 16 years as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, Tony La Russa became a sports icon in the city of St. Louis. La Russa and the Cardinals were on hand at the Edward Jones Dome yesterday, fetted for their improbable World Series win in both an official capacity as well as unofficially with the St. Louis Rams taking a page out of the Cards' playbook for a dramatic upset win.
Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo and Tony La Russa are friends. Spagnuolo was a guest of La Russa's at spring training this year. In fact, Spagnuolo and the current Rams leadership, recognizing that baseball is king in St. Louis, have done a great job of embracing the hometown Cardinals, and not just for the sake of marketing. Those efforts will go a long way toward deepening the Rams' roots in St. Louis, something that could come in handy when stadium talk heats up soon.
I doubt that the Cardinals making an appearance at yesterday's game made the difference for the Rams. It was really more of an ominous coincidence, and Steven Jackson made it pretty clear that the Rams weren't going to get kicked around today regardless of what happened on Friday or who was in the house for a visit. Still, I can't help but think that the Cardinals' championship run didn't inspire the Rams at least a little.
This is a Rams blog, and I apologize to my peeps in Southern California. For me, professional sports in St. Louis are intertwined. You get a certain level of satisfaction from seeing the Cardinals and the Rams merge on the same field like they did yesterday. And of course, what a perfect way to merge the city's passion with its curiosity than an upset win over the Saints on the same weekend the Cards won it all.
Hats off to Tony La Russa for a great career, especially these last 16 years.