Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Rams look desperate in attempt to prevent another 49ers takeover of SoFi Stadium

Jan 24, 2022 at 10:06 AM--

The Los Angeles Rams are desperately trying to prevent another red and gold takeover of their home venue, SoFi Stadium, for Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers. It was an embarrassing situation for the home-team Rams the last time the Niners visited. The eyeball test told you that more 49ers fans were in the stands than Rams fans. Listening with your ears told you the same thing.

At one point, quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Rams had to go to a silent count because of the noise while they were on offense. Again, they were the home team.

"It was a tough environment for us to communicate in really the whole second half," Stafford said after the game, per ESPN.

Even the officials were in awe by the lopsided fan representation.

"We were in a TV time out and the ref's kind of standing there, and he's like, 'Man, who set this up for you guys to have this many fans out here?'" star 49ers linebacker Fred Warner said after the game. "And I was like, 'I don't know. This feels like a home game.' And [the fans] came up big at the end there. Shoot, you felt it. It felt like a home game."

The Rams are trying to prevent a repeat invasion from their division rival's fanbase. After all, a trip to the Super Bowl is on the line.

Fans looking to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster, the official ticket distributor, were presented with a message stating the following:

"Public sales to the game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA will be restricted to residents of the Greater Los Angeles region. Residency will be based on credit card billing address at checkout. Orders by residents outside of the Greater Los Angeles region will be canceled without notice and refunds given."

That restriction, however, has since been lifted.

Could it have helped some? Maybe. Of course, the Rams are severely underestimating the number of 49ers fans that reside in the greater Los Angeles region. A significant number of The Faithful live in the area, and it's a safe bet that many of the fans that took over that Week 18 game at SoFi Stadium were actually locals. They flocked to the LA Memorial Coliseum when the Rams were there. They took over the then-named StubHub Center when the 49ers visited the Los Angeles Chargers.

Aside from the locals, before the restriction was lifted by Ticketmaster, it's safe to assume that Bay Area 49ers fans looking to get to the game were already able to find tickets. Sites like StubHub and SeatGeek that deal exclusively with the secondary market never have such restrictions.

On Sunday night, Melissa Whitworth, the wife of Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, offered to buy the tickets from Rams fans looking to sell, desperately pleading with them not to sell to opposing fans. That in itself was probably not a good look. But, even worse was what came next.

Whitworth attacked a fan, Patrick Tulini, calling him "classless" (as well as another word), saying that his response to her tweet wasn't a good look from the long-time 49ers fan. 49ers Webzone fans know Tulini well. He often helps by finding under-the-radar news for the site. And if you read what Tulini said to Whitworth, you'll realize how embarrassing her response was. Fans on both sides were on Tulini's side within the responses.

Whitworth wasn't the only player wife who was irked by the number of 49ers fans at their home stadium.

"I have never seen so many of the opposing team's fans at a game," Kelly Stafford, wife of the Rams' starting quarterback, said on her podcast after the Week 18 game. "And we came from Detroit, and there are a lot of good traveling teams there, but that was wild…It was crazy. I've never seen anything like that, but it made it very hard for us."

As a response to the Rams' efforts and tweets like Whitworth's, former 49ers players Joe Staley and Frank Gore, likely in jest, offered to help fans get to the game.

With the big game just six days away, we'll soon learn if the Rams' efforts have any effect.

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