ST. LOUIS — Danario Alexander and Sean Weatherspoon are used to playing football together in the Edward Jones Dome.
For the fifth-straight year, the two kept the tradition alive, but on Sunday, Alexander, who plays for the St. Louis Rams, lined up on the opposite sideline of his former Missouri teammate Weatherspoon, who plays for the Atlanta Falcons.
From 2006-2009, Alexander and Weatherspoon took to the field for Missouri's season openers against Illinois. Three of those years William Moore, who is also now a Falcon, played for Missouri.
Alexander was unable to play because of an injury, so he found himself in an awkward situation while watching the game.
"It’s kind of weird because I was kinda rooting for them, but I’m rooting for the Rams also," Alexander said.
Even though St. Louis lost 34-17, Alexander was somewhat happy after the game because two of his closest friends helped ensure the victory.
“It’s always good to see your best friends go out and play good,” Alexander said. “Willy Mo had a pick today, and Spoon had a pretty good pass breakup.”
Moore’s interception came late in the fourth quarter. The Rams had the ball on the Falcons' two-yard line with a chance to cut into Atlanta's 9-point lead.
“It’s just perfect,” Moore said. “I missed one in high school and ever since then I had to get it. It was huge. Sam Bradford’s a Big 12 guy. He’s a conservative quarterback. He don’t throw many interceptions, so it’s good to take advantage of them.”
Moore, a Missouri native was busy catching up with family on Saturday night, but Alexander and Weatherspoon were able to meet up at Red Lobster for dinner. They talked about life in the NFL and tried to keep track of the Missouri game that was going on as they ate. Of course, they also talked about some of their favorite memories from playing in the Dome.
“It was great to come back,” Weatherspoon said. “This is pretty much where it all started back in ’07. My first start came in the Dome. It was great to be out there and mix it up with my teammates again and get a win.”
It was Weatherspoon’s first game back on the field after dealing with a knee injury for five weeks. While he was ecstatic about his return, he had been hoping that Alexander would play.
“It was fun, but I wish he could have been out there so we could have gone at each other a little bit,” Weatherspoon said.
Regardless, having three former Missouri football players in one NFL game was a strong indication of how the Missouri football program has fared recently.
“I told some guys that Mizzou’s going to take over this league in a few years,” Alexander said. “We’ve got guys coming out like Aldon Smith who’s going to be a top prospect when he comes out, and Blaine Gabbert when he decides to come out. We got a lot of players that are going to do good.”