The NFL Could Run Into A Rough Night In The Sports Epicenter Of St. Louis

World Series Game 4 outdraws Sunday Night FootballIn an utterly unique and unprecedented scheduling quick, Monday's Game 5 of the 2013 World Series, as well as the Monday Night Football game, will both be played in downtown St. Louis, less than one mile from one another. Coming off a decisive Sunday night Game 4 ratings win over NBC's Sunday Night Football broadcast (MLB overnight rating 10.5, SNF overnight rating 9.9), FOX and MLB are nearly certain to outduel ESPN and the NFL on Monday, due in large measure to the expected blowout of the hometown Rams (backup Kellen Clemens starting at QB), courtesy of Russell Wilson and the first place Seattle Seahawks.

On average, NBC's Sunday night telecast draws 10 million more viewers than ESPN's Monday night event. So, if Sunday Night Football (TV's highest rated show) can be eclipsed by the World Series, the far less popular Monday night game does not really stand a chance. While the World Series used to handily out rate any NFL broadcast, nowadays, any win for MLB, when head-to-head versus football, is big news for Bud Selig and company.

A scenario that could be even rougher for Roger Goodell and friends involves the potential spectacle of a sold-out and raucous Busch Stadium, compared to that of a half empty and listless Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis is one of the very few areas of the county where the popularity of the baseball team well outpaces interest in the local NFL franchise. In fact, in baseball crazed St. Louis, this discrepancy of love is not even close.

The 100-plus-year-old Cardinals are as much a part of the fabric of St. Louis as Anheuser-Busch and the Gateway Arch. The Rams, on the other hand, only moved to the city in 1995 and are rumored to be potentially on the way out of town, if renovations to their less than 20-year-old dome are not undertaken. This season, while the Cardinals placed second in baseball in both average and total attendance, the Rams come into Monday ranked next to last in average attendance, only behind the Oakland Raiders.

Making matters worse, in a recent posting on his MMQB website, NFL insider Peter King noted that the Rams garner more visitors to the team's official website from their former home state of California, than that of their present home geography of Missouri.

With all of the above information in mind, Monday night is shaping up to be a stellar night for MLB and a forgettable one for the NFL. In the second decade of the 21st century, situations like this are very few and far between.