Rams Peaking After Being in the Valley

The St. Louis Rams are 4-0 and drawing support from appreciative fans, which is a far different scenario from their tenure in Los Angeles in recent years.

"Things were so tough for the Rams in Southern California that defensive lineman D'Marco Farr swears one L.A. nightclub wouldn't let anyone in who admitted to being on the team," Staci D. Kramer wrote in the Chicago Tribune.

Said Farr, "We're coming from a place where you couldn't give away Rams' football cards to a place where they can't make them fast enough."

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Trivia time: Which school last represented the Pacific 10 in the Rose Bowl after two conference losses?

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Celebrity couple: Umpire Bruce Froemming remembers a minor league team in Huron, S.D., that was having trouble drawing fans.

"It got so bad," he said, "that one night the announcer said, 'Here are the starting lineups, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson.' "

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Viewpoint: Bob Smizik in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "The NFL is out of control. The name of the game is maim. Players turn themselves into human projectiles with the specific intent of inflicting as much damage as they can upon their targets.

"The league talks a good game, levies fines, but clearly has no great interest in attempting to lower the level of violence that the fans so clearly love."

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Fragile Fraternity III: Some more anti-Cal Ripkens: Florida Marlin pitcher Marc Valdes aggravated a rib injury sneezing in a cab. And teammate Jerry Browne required nine stitches in his elbow after slipping in the bathtub at the team's hotel in Philadelphia and whacking it on the soap dish.

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A standoff: Bill Lyon in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

"Jerry Jones vs. the other NFL owners. Hmmm. Whom to root for . . . whom to root for . . . There's only one logical choice here, of course.

"Double knockout. They're all unsavory. They're all in varying degrees, contemptible. They're all bloated with self-importance and corrupted by power and wealth."

Couldn't you be a little more specific, Bill?

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FYI: USC holds the Pac-10 conference record for most consecutive football victories, 25, from 1931 to 1933.

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Looking back: On this day in 1950, Ezzard Charles won a unanimous 15-round decision over Joe Louis at Yankee Stadium to retain the world heavyweight boxing title.

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Trivia answer: UCLA's 1993 team.

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Quotebook: Dallas Cowboy guard Larry Allen: "We've played great. We're a big, physical offensive line, and no one has faced up to us yet."

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