Monday, January 05, 2015

Response to SoCal Stan

And we all thought it was a good thing when Stan Kroenke took control of the Rams after Georgia died. It appeared he was a Missourian.

If Kroenke wants an NFL team to play closer to his Malibu home, I say fine. But I would suggest he doesn't get to keep his current team. Follow me on this.

The other 31 NFL owners, and Commissioner Roger Goodell, (who will eventually have to sign off on whatever happens) certainly understand some basics about this situation. Namely;

  • That an NFL team in Los Angeles will happen again in the near future
  • That the Rams used to play there (which makes them more attractive as that new L.A. team) 
  • That Kroenke has the financial wherewithal to do whatever he wants, but not their guaranteed approval
  • That St. Louis has demonstrated that it is a good football market (certainly at least as good as several others currently operating) with a problematic stadium
  • That Kroenke is ready to abandon a fan base in St. Louis in an effort to seize control of the "NFL Los Angeles scramble". 
  • That Kroenke has not satisfied the cross-ownership guidelines for NFL owners (which currently allows him to operate in St. Louis while he owns an NHL and NBA team in Denver)
  • That Kroenke's announced Inglewood stadium creates an ugly PR situation at the NFL office; and doesn't help them in dealing with Dave Peacock, Bob Blitz and those attempting to resolve the St. Louis stadium situation. 
  • That Kroenke is first and foremost a businessman; and is used to playing hardball to get what he wants.'s all about leverage.

Given the current landscape, I would suggest that the Commissioner consider this solution.

  • Add two NFL teams (they've talked expansion anyway). One in L.A. and one in San Antonio. 
  • Let Kroenke have the new expansion team in L.A. (he could even call them the Rams) 
  • Find a new owner for the current St. Louis team (hopefully someone who outwardly cares about the city and fans), 
    • This would be predicated on St. Louis coming up with a worthy stadium solution.  
    • St. Louis fans have shown amazing loyalty to a lousy team and shouldn't have to deal with an expansion team's issues for the next decade.
  • Find an owner for the San Antonio team...(There's lots of money to go around in Texas) 
Obviously, there would be collateral issues to deal with, but this would be a starting point. If Goodell is convinced that the St. Louis stadium people are coming to the table with a reasonable solution, and Kroenke's LA stadium proposal is simply an effort to improve his leverage, then Goodell, and the other 31 owners, could give Stan a "chill pill" with the announcement of such a plan (or at least leak the possibility); and while they're at it express an intention to make him fix the cross-ownership issue...or else. 

The fans in St. Louis deserve better...both on the field...and at the ownership level. Goodell should now come forth with some response that shows he knows this to be true. 

No comments: