ARIZONA CARDINALS

Los Angeles Rams host Cardinals after ‘surprise’ opposing fan presence

Jan 13, 2022, 7:27 PM

Fans react during the fourth quarter between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers at So...

Fans react during the fourth quarter between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

If there’s an X-factor that’s a bit of an unknown until Monday and worth bringing up prior to the Wild Card playoff matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams, it’s the crowd.

During Sunday’s 27-24 loss for the Rams at SoFi Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles’ fans were the vocal minority throughout a game dominated on a noise perspective by the 49ers.

The Rams were not ready for that.

“It did catch us off guard,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said Monday. “Just because of the way that it’s been this year. It’s been great, great atmosphere, great environment. Yesterday was the same thing, but there was a lot of red there. That was definitely a surprise.”

Kelly Stafford, the wife of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, said on “The morning after with Kelly Stafford” podcast that Matthew Stafford had to be on a silent count throughout the game in his own stadium while San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo was not.

She posted a video clip of that on Instagram Wednesday and left it with a caption that reads, “My plea. Please don’t sell [your] tickets to Arizona fans.”

“It was a tough environment for us to communicate in really the whole second half,” Matthew Stafford said on Sunday in his postgame press conference.

Now, those teams reside in the same state, but the drive from San Francisco clocks in around six hours. That’s roughly the same time it’ll take you from Phoenix.

And Valley sports fans are coming off an impressive traveling performance in their last postseason.

Phoenix Suns faithful traveled in strong numbers to all of the teams’ four playoff series, including two in Los Angeles and one each in Denver and Milwaukee. Point guard Chris Paul, a veteran of over 100 playoff games, consistently gave those fans props and spoke on how unusual it was for an NBA team to have that type of presence on the road.

Could the Bird Gang be next in L.A.?

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