Saturday, January 16, 2016

The NFL and Owner Stan Kroenke Do St. Louis and Rams Fans Wrong

Stan Kroenke
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the NFL decided to move the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles.  This wasn't done this week.  It is very obvious by the actions of owner Stan Kroenke and when Roger Goodell tipped his hand this week with the letter he sent to owners.  Is there anything wrong with that?  At it's core, no.  But the way this whole thing was handled is completely and utterly unfair to St. Louis, the state, and the fans.  Stan Kroenke hasn't spoken to fans or given interviews concerning the Rams in years.  All the while he purchased land in Los Angeles and made his plans.  At some point it would have been the right thing to do to speak out on the topic while the city and fans fretted over the possible loss of their NFL franchise.  But he never did.

The city of St. Louis was allowed to come up with a very good stadium proposal working through all the hoops concerning land, funding and bureaucracy.  It wasn't an easy journey for anyone involved.  And while St. Louis came up with a proposal neither San Diego nor Oakland have stadium plans in place.  This seemed to make it look good for the teams from those cities moving while keeping the Rams in St. Louis.  On the surface anyway. 

This week when the owners met to vote we heard the relocation committee recommended Oakland and San Diego move.  We also heard there were other owners who either didn't like Kroenke or the idea of the Rams being allowed to move while St. Louis had a viable stadium option on the table.  That all soon unraveled.  The first vote quickly showed owners were on board with the Rams moving.  Then they were approved by a 30-2 vote. 

Again, a team moving to another city because they can make more money is at it's core not wrong.  How the league let the city of St. Louis drift in the wind for the last two years when they had no chance of keeping their team is downright wrong.  It was a sham.  How can you say otherwise?  Looking at the NFL bylaws on relocation and the stadium proposal it is hard to believe Kroenke met all the requirements.  I am disgusted by how this was handled.  Kroenke shut out the city and the fans.  Completely silent for years not giving any hint while going behind their back.  Not engaging them in an true discussions on how to keep the Rams in St. Louis.  And Roger Goodell let it happen.  How do you run a league seeing an owner doing this, and say yeah that is ok.  I have lost so much respect for the NFL and Goodell.  I have had none for Stan Kroenke for quite a while.  He has to rank up there as one of the worst owners ever in this league. 

Enough with that.  So the Rams are leaving.  Ironically they are going back to Los Angeles whom St. Louis "stole" the team from 20+ years ago.  Interesting side note.  The Rams actually started in Cleveland playing eight years and won the NFL Championship in 1945 before they moved to Los Angeles after that season.  I get all the reasons why this can be good.  Those Rams fans who are still in Los Angeles will be ecstatic.  Former Los Angeles Rams who are still in California will be able to reconnect with the team and hopefully we'll get to see more of those great older jerseys. 

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