ST. LOUIS, MO
Since the Los Angeles Rams moved west for greener pastures they continue to be the gift that keeps on giving, especially to the city they spent the last 20 years residing. Just recently USA Today’s columnist Luke Kerr-Dineen wrote a column in regards a new billboard in Los Angeles taking a shot at the city of St.Louis. The billboard for those who’ve haven’t seen yet uses the “Greater Than-Less Than” symbols associated with mathematics. Was it a cheap shot? Of course it was, but it’s the world were living in today.
But, the part in USA Today’s columnist Luke Kerr-Dineen article that really stood out was the following sentence. “There comes a certain point where bitter St.Louis fans will have to accept that, regardless of how the deal went down, the team now belongs in Los Angeles.” Now he’s right the Rams definitely belong in Los Angeles. The part where I completely disagree with is his misinterpretation on bitterness. What he and many other that do not reside in the region realize is that the bitterness and hate towards the Rams have zero to do with the players.
The bitterness is towards Rams owner Stan Kroenke who made sure he defecated over the entire region to the point that no other NFL team would even consider moving to St.Louis. He did it in such a manner that even Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis who sports a haircut like famed Three Stooges front man Mo Howard thumbed his nose at the possibility of moving the Oakland Raiders to St.Louis. And to pour salt on a gaping wound Kroenke is trying to get tax credits in city of Maryland Heights, and seriously trying selling Rams Park in Earth City for the low price of a $1. Again nobody faults a person for wanting to make money, but the way he went about it was colder than a mother-in-law kiss. Winning was never a priority, at least not on the field and loyal fans in St.Louis showed up for a team that had only four winning seasons in 20 years in St.Louis. The Rams missed the playoffs 80% of the time while here.
And Kroenke isn’t the only person that is at the root of this feeling of bitterness. Rams COO Kevin Demoff gives several meanings to words like “serpent,” “weasel,” or “fatherless child” as he admitted to be glad the Rams lost four games straight so they could focus on moving instead of getting to the playoffs. Then you toss in the shenanigans by the Rams PR Department that got more than upset at me, because I said in an article last year that Demoff was giving the fans mixed signals. And it turned out to be true the entire time. I still shake my head and think about that day I was at Herbert Hoovers Boys Club and it’s 90 plus degrees and the Community Relations Department is laying sod while Demoff and Kroenke continue their lust for money, with the city of Los Angeles acting as an performance enhancing pharmaceutical product.
I think it’s a little unreasonable to think that fans who did care and that did spend their hard earned money on a product that was basically tanking, not to feel more than just bitter about this. And even for those casual fans or your everyday citizen didn’t like how Kroenke defecated on a market that he does a lot of real estate business in. When the Big Red left for Arizona in 1988 they didn’t keep leaving bird droppings on St.Louis. They moved west and carried on.
It’s business and it’s always been business. Kroenke made it personal no question about that. And that’s something USA Today’s columnist Luke Kerr-Dineen don’t understand. St.Louis is flawed just like many other cities across the country, and some people are just sticking up for their hometown. It’s not bitterness. It’s love for your city and your region.