Ram Notebook : Kicker Lansford Misses Some Easy Ones . . . Before and During Game

Times Staff Writers

Ram kicker Mike Lansford missed an extra point and a 25-yard field goal Sunday. It was his first missed extra point of the season and his first missed field goal from 29 yards or less since 1986.

"I've been blocking the ball at the left hash mark and I did it today," Lansford said. "Pete (Holohan, the holder) and Mike (McDonald, the snapper) are doing a great job.

"My problem is that I haven't established a rhythm. I've missed some in practice. I missed some today (in pregame warmups) from 32 and 25 and I just don't miss those. Hopefully, I can turn it around."

Oddly, Lansford, with a first-quarter extra point, became the team's third-leading scorer in Ram history. He surpassed David Ray (497) and now trails Bruce Gossett (571) and Bob Waterfield (573).

No instant replay was needed for a verbal gaffe made by referee Pat Haggerty. At one point, Haggerty turned on his on-field microphone to call a Cardinal timeout. Only one problem: He said it was St. Louis, not Phoenix, that had requested the timeout.

Someone tell Pat about the franchise move.

In what was probably the play of the game, the Cardinals converted a third-and-12 play from their 3-yard line in the fourth period. This is how Cardinal Coach Gene Stallings described the importance of the play:

"Big, big. All those big ones are big."

Of course.

Cardinal tight end Jay Novacek was a pretty fair decathlete when he was at Wyoming. Novacek placed fifth in the 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Asked after Sunday's game to compare football and the decathlon, Novacek said: "No one blocks for you in the decathlon."

McDonald, the Rams' designated long snapper, came into Sunday's game as the team's fourth-leading kick returner. That's fourth out of four.

McDonald got another chance against the Cardinals and responded with a 22-yard return in the first quarter. That was a career-high for McDonald, breaking the mark of 17 yards.

McDonald got another chance at a return in the fourth quarter, but fumbled.

Halftime ended with a bizarre sight. A truck, acting as a stage for the Rivingtons and the Coasters was parked on the 15-yard line.

As both teams came back on the field the music was still going, as were several dozen dancers dressed in 1950s wardrobe and twisting at midfield.

The players went about warming up as the music and the dancers wound down.

All in all, a sight for Salvador Dali's eyes.

Sunday was seat cushion day at Anaheim Stadium. A nice gift, but apparently not nice enough.

As the Rams went about losing, a steady stream of seat cushions rained down on the field in the second half.

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