For the first time in two decades, no NFL football is being played in St. Louis. The Rams relocated to Los Angeles in the off-season, leaving behind thousands of bitter fans in the St. Louis area. It stands to reason, then, that those fans would have no interest in watching the Rams ply their trade in sunny Southern California.
Ah, but therein lies the paradox of Jeff Fisher football: it's far more fun to watch his teams play when you're only interested in schadenfreude.
The local FOX affiliate in St. Louis learned that lesson the hard way on Sunday when they switched from the non-competitive Rams-Patriots game—a 26-10 win for New England—to a far more traditionally exciting matchup between the Lions and the Saints. The channel's ratings dropped significantly when they switched to the better game.
How could that be? According to Channel 2 sports director Martin Kilcoyne, local viewers were far more interested in watching the Rams get their asses handed to them. Kilcoyne received several calls and tweets from angry former Rams fans who were furious that the network cut away from such a satisfying ass-whooping.
"The hilarious thing is that in the past people were mad at us when they were struggling and we were (obligated to carry Rams) games and they wanted to see the Packers, the Eagles, the Patriots, whoever happened to be the game of the week," Kilcoyne told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "People would voice their complaints, 'Can you switch (out of the Rams' game),' which sounds crazy in the home market. Now we switch and they're mad, because they want to see them lose."
St. Louis fans want nothing more than to see their former club lose, and their former coach is always happy to oblige. The Rams are now 4-8, with virtually no chance of reaching the vaunted 7-9 Fisher Mark.
You might as well keep on broadcasting Rams games, St. Louis TV stations. Fisher is now one loss away from tying the all-time record for regular-season defeats as a head coach. The good people of St. Louis suffered through far too many of those losses in their hometown; they don't want to miss a chance to celebrate at LA's expense. The Rams are supposedly on the verge of extending Fisher for two more seasons, which could mean two more years of primo ratings.