The Rams not-so-new home

The Rams move from St. Louis to Los Angeles proves that the NFL will always put money before the fans. In a city where multiple neighborhoods rank among the top-25 most dangerous in the country, poverty is an underlying issue.

That didn’t stop Rams owner Stan Kroenke from moving the team to Inglewood to start a project projected to cost over three billion dollars in construction. This move not only crushed the hopes of already in-state teams like San Diego and Oakland, but the dreams of St. Louis fans who now have lost their football team.

The league committee handling the Los Angeles negotiations initially voted 5–1 in favor of recommending to the NFL to allow the Chargers and Raiders to move to a suburban site in Carson, California. A move to Carson for these teams would’ve been financial salvation.

San Diego has only seen the post-season six times in the past twenty years, winning it all only once in 1963.

The Raiders have had it even worse, last appearing the playoffs in 2002.

When the St. Louis Rams last found themselves in a super bowl in 2001, they ran into Tom Brady. Since then, they only have one playoff victory, coming against the Seattle Seahawks in 2004, the same year they last saw the playoffs.

Needless to say, all three of these teams have run into struggles over recent years, and a location change could create some excitement and more importantly, hope.

Just six short hours after it looked like the Rams would be the team staying put, they were the only team with a guaranteed new destination. The NFL owners turned their backs on their own committee and voted to allow the Rams move to Inglewood.

What happened?

League Commissioner Roger Goodell allowed a private ballot to be held among the owners. Even after many of the owners publicly sided with San Diego chairman Dean Spanos on where they stood on who should be allowed to move, the vote turned out to be 30–2 in favor of the Rams back in Los Angeles.

League owners were easily convinced after Kroenke agreed to put $1 Billion of his own money into the project. Kroenke blatantly neglected the fans, not once looking to the city that gave him twenty years of loyalty for their thoughts on a move.

Much of the reasoning behind a move was because the city of St. Louis couldn’t afford to have three professional sports teams (Blues, Cardinals), but if that was the case, why didn’t Kroenke pour some of his billions into reviving his team where it stood?

St. Louis fans were not happy when they heard the news.

Host of the talk show “Watch What Happens Live” on the Bravo network and St. Louis native, Andy Cohen, responded to Kroenke’s decision with some choice words and gestures.

“I can’t forgive this”, said Cohen. “As a proud St. Louisan I want to give you something on behalf of my hometown”, then proceeded to flip Mr. Kroenke off.

Many St. Louis fans took jerseys and other team memorabilia to Rams Park, where they would leave their gear behind forever. Some even took it as far as burning their jerseys in the streets, LeBron James — Cleveland style.

St. Louis fans shouldn’t just be upset with Kroenke, but with the other 30 team owners that turned their backs on the city’s fans when anonymity became available. Not many had faith in Kroenke making a favorable decision, notorious for his under-enthusiastic attitude towards his team while in St. Louis.

Los Angeles is welcoming their team back with open arms, while fans in St. Louis will continue to live in a struggling economy, now without their football team to watch after church on Sunday.

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