I enjoyed the story from Daniel Craig (not relation to the actor that I am aware of) from the PhillyVoice about how Fox Sports, faced with one of the most appealing NFL games of the day (and the season given its playoff implications), is trying to avoid embarrassment during their pre-game show from the LA Memorial Coliseum.
The show is set at the Coliseum to showcase the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the LA Rams.
However, Fox Sports is worried that LA Rams fans won’t show.
While the Rams have a stronger LA fan-base than say, the LA Chargers (formally the San Diego Chargers), Fox Sports, and undoubtedly the NFL, want to avoid what happened during the Eagles vs. Chargers game in LA earlier in the season, when Philly fans significantly out-numbers Chargers fans.
And they have good reason to be worried.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the Rams are suffering the worst NFL attendance decline in decades.
Their cross-town (if you can call them that) colleagues, the LA Chargers, who had been based in San Diego until this season, also have had problems. They have not been able to fill their temporary stadium, the StubHub Center.
Of course, not filling a stadium is typically not a big deal, as the average NFL stadium seats about 67,000. However, the StubHub Center is a soccer stadium that seats 27,000. Ouch!
Now, while the Chargers were 0-3 heading into the Philly game (a game they narrowly lost by the way), it was incredibly embarrassing for the NFL and the Chargers, because the Philly players felt like it was a home game for them – given the sizable crowd advantage they had.
So, in an effort to avoid a repeat – guess what Fox Sports is trying to do for their pre-game show?
They put out a casting call for LA Rams fans.
Now, Fox Sports has since issued a statement saying they are not looking for actors.
But in their casting call they do specify that people need to “audition” saying: “To audition for a role in the upcoming NFL Sunday pre-game show, check out the casting call breakdown below.”
The casting call specifically states they want people to be LA Rams fans, and wear “your best NFL gear” for the show.
So, maybe not actors pretending to be Rams fans, but it’s clear that Fox Sports, broadcasting from LA, does not want to embarrass either the NFL or the LA Rams by having their pre-game show dominated by Eagles fans.
That Fox Sports feels compelled to advertise for LA Rams fans is pretty pathetic.
One thing is for certain… You don’t need to worry about Patriots fans showing up for a pre-game show ahead of a major game.