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Series champion Cardinals a big hit at Saints-Rams

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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Chris Carpenter, Tony La Russa and the World Series champion Cardinals drew huge cheers Sunday at the NFL game between the St. Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints.

They might've fired up the Rams, too.

About a dozen Cardinals showed up at the Edward Jones Dome. Outfielder Skip Schumaker and shortstop Rafael Furcal hoisted the World Series trophy when the team was introduced early in the first quarter, and they got a prolonged standing ovation as they waved to the crowd from the end zone.

"To be on the sideline is definitely an adrenaline rush and we're not even playing today," pitcher Edwin Jackson said.

The Cardinals' presence revved up the fans and may have rubbed off on the Rams. Winless this season and two-touchdown underdogs, they beat the NFC South-leading Saints 31-21.

"Maybe we were inspired by the Cardinals. Who knows?" tackle Adam Goldberg said.

Carpenter wore the jersey of star running back Steven Jackson when he went to midfield for the coin toss. Carpenter beat Texas in Game 7 on Friday night.

"This is my first time in this stadium. It's awesome to be part of this," catcher Yadier Molina said.

Chris Long sacked Saints star Drew Brees three times. After the first one, he swung his arms as if wielding a baseball bat.

"I mean, like, it's funny," Long said. "I thought about it but I didn't want to put the cart before the horse. Then, it just hit me. We got Chris Carpenter in the building. I saw Molina and all those guys. It's a great thing for our community. I'm usually not one for celebration, but that was fun to do."

La Russa sported the jersey of injured quarterback Sam Bradford. The manager was joined by Matt Holliday, Kyle Lohse and several Cardinals. Many of the fans in the Rams' crowd of 57,179 came wearing Cardinal red _ some of them paid $23 for tickets, part of a promotion to honor Series MVP David Freese, who was raised in a St. Louis suburb and wears No. 23.

The Cardinals' victory parade was held later in the day and finished up a few blocks away at Busch Stadium.

"Listening to thousands and thousands of people going crazy for us is definitely going to give people chill bumps. I definitely wouldn't mind doing it again," Edwin Jackson said.

Last week, several of the Rams went to Rangers Ballpark for Game 3 of the Series, highlighted by Albert Pujols' three home runs in a 16-7 romp over Texas. The next day, the Rams played across the parking lot at Cowboys Stadium and lost to Dallas 34-7.

The Saints, meanwhile, dismissed any connection between the Cardinals' success and the Rams' outstanding play.

"I think we're reaching with baseball," Saints coach Sean Payton said after the game. "I don't think so. Look, I know this city is extremely excited about their baseball championship, but I don't think that carries over to the game today."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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