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Butt Those Bears 

The Rams take on Chicago

THUR 8/12

It's that time of year again: The time of testing for long-term relationships, when your significant other is transformed into either a raving, face-painting lunatic, or worse, a killjoy shrew who nags you to "stop watching TV and eat at the table." Sparks fly and testosterone levels soar as bodies adjust, developing tolerance for lotsa brats and mass quantities of cheap beer. Hallelujah, Sunday doesn't suck anymore, because football season is upon us.

And what, pray tell, is football without rivalry? Sissy, that's what. A good rivalry is precisely what we've got brewing with those Lovie Smith-helmed Bears. St. Louis and Chicago will always have baseball between them, but it's time to expand that general antagonism, and with the Cards handing the Cubs their dignity in a doggie bag this season, we have the momentum to really stick it to the Windy City. As the Rams and Bears partner up for the first dance of the season, fans wonder: Can our offensive line pull together? Where are we without Kurt Warner? Will we still be the greatest show on turf? Find out at 7 p.m. at the Edward Jones Dome (Broadway and Washington Avenue). Tickets to this statistically meaningless pre-season game are $42 to $80. And ladies, stand by your man. Don't make fun of his fantasy league, and please don't ever ask "who cares?" when awaiting the results of a coach's challenge. You, after all, are replaceable, but football is forever. -- Jedidiah Ayres

Fair State
See for yourself at the Missouri State Fair!

Farmers seem like a noncompetitive bunch: Living far away from others (and pavement) makes it difficult for a quick game of HORSE. Don't be fooled by their slow and steady manner, though; they're just as competitive as the rest of the free world -- only at things you can't do. See for yourself when they battle it out at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. The fair begins Thursday, August 12, and is host to some big-name concerts (call 1-800-422-3247 or visit www.mostatefair.com for prices), but no show is as great as the six-part Super Farmer Contest at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, August 16. Watch as these men and women, the bread and butter of Missouri, drive a tractor, gather eggs and hang a gate (among other competitions). Cheer them on, and don't even pretend that you're good at that stuff. -- Alison Sieloff

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