Party with a Purpose – Taste of the NFL
St. Louis Rams General Manager Les Snead signs an autograph for a young fan / Photo by Dave Preston
When Kevin Demoff, executive vice president of football operations for the St. Louis Rams, announced they would be hiring Les Snead as the team’s general manager, he said, “…We think with him (Snead) and Jeff (Fisher) running our football operations, we have a chance for sustained success.”*
If Snead decides to continue chairing the St. Louis Taste of the NFL, as he did this year for the first time, this event has a strong chance for sustained success, just like the Rams.
Taste of the NFL organizers could not have planned a better set of circumstances. On Sunday, the Rams played NFC West Division leaders, the San Francisco 49ers. The game ended dramatically with rookie kicker Greg Zuerlien booting a 54-yard field goal to give the Rams a 16 – 13 win in overtime.
The victory pushed the Rams to 4-0-1 within the division. They’ve already more than doubled their win total from a year ago.
The next night at the Taste of the NFL, more than 20 Rams players showed up at the Foodbank to sign autographs, mingle with guests and sample food from St. Louis area restaurants. When it was time to introduce them to the crowd from the stage, Snead had a funny story or special memory about each player.
Joined by his wife, former NFL Network reporter Kara Henderson Snead, the couple showed good chemistry while reliving draft day stories with some of the team’s rookies and enjoying a laugh about locker room pranks pulled off by some of the veteran players.
Veteran defensive end Chris Long seemed to have involvement in the majority of the pranks. Despite Sneads’ story-telling, Long claims to have “no idea” how 3,000 live crickets and more than 50,000 packing peanuts ended up in teammate James Laurinaitis’ vehicle after a long day of practicing.
All of this made for a great evening for those in attendance and a successful fundraiser for the St. Louis Sports Commission and the Foodbank.
In his short time with the team, Snead has earned the respect of the Rams’ players. On Monday, that respect was very evident by the player turnout to support their general manager in his first year as event captain.
With the money raised that night, the Foodbank will be able to provide more than 140,000 meals for hungry families throughout the bi-state region.
When a family gathers around their kitchen table tonight to eat a meal prepared with food they received from the St. Louis Area Foodbank, they can thank Rams players and personnel like Cortland Finnegan, Robert Quinn and of course, Les Snead for helping to make the Taste of the NFL a resounding success – one that will hopefully be sustained for years to come.
* = Quote was orginally published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Ryan Farmer is the communications manager for the St. Louis Area Foodbank