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Yes there is and Los Angeles exacted it. St. Louis is like the gold-digging mistress who lures away her paramour, only to be shocked when she finds that her husband has decided things were better with his previous spouse after all.

St. Louis’s real grievance is with the Cardinals. Not the baseball club but the Arizona team. The Rams are now back in their real home, Los Angeles. Some facts:

  • The Rams were in LA 44 years, longer than the original Browns in Cleveland, the Colts in Baltimore or either the Cardinals or Rams in St Louis.
  • The football Cardinals spent more time in St Louis than the Rams (27 vs 21 yrs).
  • Before the Lakers ‘Showtime,’ the Rams were LA’s Hollywood team. Merlin Olsen, Rosie Grier and Deacon Jones all leveraged their early NFL fame into acting careers.
  • Before the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ there was ‘The Fearsome Foursome.’ The LA Rams gave us Crazy Legs Hirsch, Deacon Jones, Hacksaw Reynolds and Tank Younger among other memorable nicknames. St. Louis? Only Flipper Anderson and maybe Jerome ‘The Bus” Bettis rise to those classic nicknames.
  • Why are the Rams blue and gold? Those are the state colors of California.
  • The NFC West is now finally actually in the west.
  • One of the reasons the Rams cited for leaving LA was poor attendance. Except attendance at St Louis games was always among the bottom 5 in the NFL.

From the start the relationship between St Louis and the Rams was transactional. Rams execs didn’t look around and say, “You know, LA’s getting to be a dump. Traffic sucks and it’s really hard to get into the best restaurants. Maybe we should relocate. I hear St Louis is nice. Let’s check it out.”

No, St Louis lured the Rams with a real estate transaction, building a football-only stadium, practice fields and a mansion for then-owner Georgia Frontierie. When you pay for your relationship, you shouldn’t be surprised when the price keeps going up.

Fittingly it was a real estate transaction that returned the Rams to LA. Kroenke’s stadium-shopping mall would never make financial sense in St Louis. The city isn’t on anyone’s short list as a favored Super Bowl host. St Louis can’t support two teams as LA could in the future. And real estate in St Louis just doesn’t appreciate the way it does in LA.

Take heart St Louis. You are the greatest baseball city in America (just shut it Boston, they are.) That’s 81 home games vs 8–10 in football. You can start showing some love again to the U of Missouri. And best of all, you’re now unrestricted free agents. You can sever your ties with the Rams and pick anyone else. The Chiefs are obvious but you’re also an easy flight to see the Bears, Colts or Titans. Maybe you want to spend weekends in New Orleans as a Saints fan. The football world’s your oyster St Louis. Pick a team. Quit sulking. Move on. You knew it couldn’t last. A karma circle has been closed.