I imagine this morning for Rams fans feels eerily similar to waking up after a bad breakup. Emotions ranging from frustration and anger, to confusion about where it all went wrong, sadness, and probably a little nausea. Mine are centered more around the anger spectrum, never having been much of a Rams fan, but with a deep love for my city and many good friends who have been Rams fans for a long time. I think we can all agree that the way this went down was a disgusting display of greed, callousness, maliciousness, and deceit. It is clear from everything that has come forward over the last 24 hours that the NFL and Rams ownership never intended for the team to remain in St. Louis. Which begs the question, why put the city through the process of proposing a new stadium? Why put the fans through the agony of feeling that there was ever a chance their beloved team would stay? It has become exceedingly clear to me that the NFL has become the worst run organization in all of professional sports. Led by a commissioner who seems to have little interest in the fans or the integrity of the sport, and supported by owners who appear to be extremely out of touch and far removed, the NFL has become a league riddled with issues ranging from domestic abuse and violence to drug use and cheating scandals. This is not to say that other major professional sports leagues are not without their faults, but in recent years it seems to have become commonplace and almost accepted as part of the culture of the NFL. What does that mean for the future of the sport? The officiating has declined, the enforcement of penalties and sanctions is inconsistent and seemingly arbitrary at times, and it often appears that certain rules only apply to certain teams and/or players. And yet the NFL is one of the most powerful organizations in America.
So where does that leave St. Louis? I honestly don’t see us getting another football team under Goodell’s reign. For whatever reason, he seems to have a rather strong distaste for our city. I do not, however, see Los Angeles supporting two football teams. In the meantime, for you football fans, please consider coming out to support the Cardinals and the Blues. Both organizations are committed to the city, the players and the owners care about the fans, and in case you haven’t been paying attention, our baseball team has a pretty rich history and likes to win. I will not lie, being a Blues fan will bring you joy along with a lot of frustration and sadness. But it binds us as a fan base. We celebrate together and we suffer together. And we’d be happy to have you.
In the end, this is not a reflection of our city or our fans. I firmly believe that St. Louis is one of the BEST sports towns in the country. Fans from that city up north and slightly east may disagree (and as an aside, those fans seem to be the only ones celebrating the Rams move, outside of LA, which is rather distasteful but not entirely unexpected), but our history of success and our dedication to our teams cannot be denied. I think St. Louis is on the precipice of becoming even greater than we already are, and I’m proud to call it my home. So while you work through the emotions of this loss, let’s try to remember some of the good times we had during the Rams tenure here. The Greatest Show on Turf, the hall of famers we had the opportunity to see, the impact on the community that the players who have donned that Rams jersey have left, the games we enjoyed with family and friends, and the memories that, no matter how hard they may try, the Stan Kroenkes and Roger Goodells of the world can never take away.