Wednesday, February 03, 2016

It's Us Against the World

I've finally calmed down enough to write about the Rams move to LA. But I'm not at all happy about the way St. Louis was treated in all of this, and that's more concerning to me than not having an NFL team here.

Nobody...I mean nobody... outside of St. Louis seems to give a diddly about how St. Louis was rear-ended by the NFL and Kroenke's team. OK...USA Today had a piece in which writer Luke Kerr-Dineen proposed that the NFL should pay St.Louis's outstanding debt on the dome. But there seems to be no empathy in most of what I've read, and none in anything I've heard spoken on national TV, or anywhere else. Apparently Terry Bradshaw was right all along when he said "LA is a done deal for the Rams", and we chose to think him a moron. People outside of StL don't really care about us. Maybe they should, because they could be next. But they don't. And it seems there's a general level of excitement about the Rams move. Ticks me off!

It's my opinion that St. Louis was caught in the perfect storm at this point in its history. A whole collection of factors came together to make it impossible for the Rams to stay here. Oh, it was possible for them to stay. But with ESK calling the shots, and seeking his dream, it became impossible...especially with the complicity of Roger Goodell and his unscrupulous minions.

The reasons are exactly what you know they are. And the list is long. I won't identify them all. But some would be-
  • The after-effects of the Ferguson incident
  • The stagnant state of general population and economic growth of the city and region
  • The smarminess of the NFL commissioner, and the league office's willingness to broker a deal for ESK
  • The "crazy clause"--The Dome must be in the top tier of NFL venues or the Rams can escape their lease. 
  • The nationally-accepted perception of St. Louis as a baseball-crazy place
  • The nationally-accepted perception of St. Louis as in fly-over country
  • The murder rate
  • The mayor of St. Louis being just one of a few hundred such elected officials in the St. Louis market rendering him somewhat powerless.
Many American cities would present a similar list, or worse. I mean how in the world can St. Louis be less of an NFL city than Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Nashville, or Jacksonville? Maybe we're not. But now we don't have a team.

Now, the city is going to be without the NFL for either a long time, or forever. And forever is a long time. And there is nothing anybody, even Dave Peacock, can do about it. Efforts could be mounted to attract an existing team. And we can make it known that we are open for NFL business and will build a new stadium for an expansion team. But that would likely only accomplish one thing. We would become a bargaining chip for the NFL that LA was for the last 20 years. 

Like others who have written and spoken in the aftermath of the move, I feel like we need to clean up our house first. We need to get rid of the perceptions that are out there. We need to make this into a place where it makes sense for a team to want to be, and do business. How does that happen? I hope someone has the answer, and the power to act on it. 

In the meantime, Let's Go Blues! And Let's Go Cards! (And maybe Let's Go MLS team!) 

And please notice there is a person important to this post whose name I chose not to write. Enjoy your investment when you can't get 30-thousand people to show up for the games in your Inglewood monstrosity buddy.