The biggest game on the NFL’s Week 14 schedule has the Philadelphia Eagles visiting the Los Angeles Rams. First place in the NFC playoff standings could be at stake in what’s become an extremely competitive race at the top.
Fox’s broadcast will go out to nearly the entire country (other than the Seattle and Jacksonville markets for the Seahawks-Jaguars game) at 4:25 p.m. ET. But with the game in Los Angeles, in the backyard of Fox NFL Sunday, the pregame show is looking to get out of the studio for a College GameDay-like experience on site with Rams fans surrounding the set and showing support for the home team.
In what seems like a very Hollywood-like approach to filling that backdrop behind the Fox NFL Sunday crew, a literal casting call for fans went out to come to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as Rams supporters and create a fun, enthusiastic environment for the pregame show (which broadcasts at 9 a.m. locally, it should be noted).
Here is the casting call that was posted Wednesday at the Project Casting website:
We’re looking for LA’s biggest NFL fans to be a part of #NFLSunday’s Los Angeles Rams vs. Philadelphia Eagles Pre Game Show!
Come out, bring your spirit, your best NFL gear & join us for NFL on FOX THIS Sunday!
However, if you click through to that link, you’ll notice that an update has been added in which Fox disputes the notion that actors and extras were essentially being hired to pose as Rams fans during the Fox NFL Sunday broadcast. Eddie Motl, vice president of communications at FOX Sports and FS1, said such an effort wouldn’t pay off anyway since the set will be located inside the stadium.
“We hired 1iota to help secure a live audience for tomorrow’s FOX NFL SUNDAY pregame show from the LA Coliseum. Not sure where the information in your post is coming from but it doesn’t represent our intentions accurately and because of it there is a notion among several sports blogs that we are paying actors to be Rams fans and that is absolutely not the case. Our set is located inside the stadium. Our show airs at 9 am PT when the stadium is technically not open to the public so therefore we needed to ‘bring in’ a live audience.”
As Motl mentioned to Project Casting (through a requested direct message), many sports blogs, news sites and tweets aggregated reports that Fox was trying to fill up the backdrop for its Sunday NFL pregame show with supposed Rams fans.
This is a joke. Actors posing as Phony #rams fans . And the #NFL wanted LA for a team and they can’t even get fans to support. Brutal. #Eagles fans will overwhelm them. @SportsRadioWIP https://t.co/2cRLcpVxz8
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) December 8, 2017
I’ve done at-site NFL pregames for 14 years now. Not a single place — not even the most rabid spot — has had a bustling fan scene 4 hours before kickoff.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) December 10, 2017
FOX is seeking actors to play Ram fans this Sunday because the stadium will be flooded with Eagles fans.
If that's not the definition of pathetic, idk what is. #FlyEaglesFly
— Nicole Smith (@_cole_marie_) December 9, 2017
Obviously, the network felt the need to dispel that notion. As it turns out, Fox might not need the help to create a fun atmosphere around the Coliseum if Eagles fans visit to support their team as expected.
My cousin was getting a rental car in LA and was asked where’s he from? He mentions Philly. The guy at the rental said that 85% of their business this weekend is coming from Philly. Also said, the Eagles fan invasion is similar to the Chargers game earlier this season.
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) December 7, 2017
— JT The Brick (@JTTheBrick) December 8, 2017
#Eagles fans have overtaken California. Can’t go 30 mins without seeing midnight green.
— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) December 9, 2017
We’ll be eager to see what the atmosphere is like four hours (!) before kickoff. Tune in at 12 noon ET/ 9 a.m. PT to see what the setting around (and inside) L.A. Coliseum looks like during Fox NFL Sunday.
UPDATE: Fox NFL Sunday certainly didn’t put its set inside the Coliseum. Not only are Curt, Terry, Howie, Michael and Jimmy outside the stadium, but stands have been set up for fans surrounding the set. Are all of those people real Rams fans? We see some Eagles fans as well.