The NFL Has A Plan For STL

After a few days of watching and reading old news clips, snippets, monologues, articles on everyone’s opinions on the NFL, St. Louis, the NFL in St. Louis and basically everything revolving around that fact. It seems to me that there are many people who blow up their keyboards on social media, regular folks and media personalities telling the reader or listener to “Screw the NFL!” “We don’t need them!” “If they want to come back they can pick up the bill and pay for everything.” All of these statements are valid points and they are completely justified in their feelings towards the matter. The NFL DID KNOWINGLY stick it to STL in the search for ever-increasing revenue streams to flow through the already clotted veins of the NFL’s pulsating black heart.

101 ESPN’s and St. Louis’ very own Randy Karraker has made his feelings very clear about the NFL and what they did to STL and NFL fandom in general. His speech at the NFL relocation hearings in STL from the end of 2015-2016 are something to behold. After the move, his monologue on the “Bernie & Randy” podcast was everything the STL NFL fan felt over this deal. The passion in his words moved this man to tears and to be honest I’m not afraid to state that fact.

I couldn’t attend the hearing because the NFL had capped the attendance at 1000 people with their excuse being that the two other markets (OAK, SD) didn’t have suitable facilities to house the events that had more than a thousand seats. I call bullshit! STL’s showing and rabid support of their fandom and “DIGNITY” showed the NFL that even though Kroenke stacked the deck, even though there was a complete effort on the NFL’s part to get Stan to the luscious lands of LA in his bid to move up the Forbes list. We all could see the writing on the wall, to be honest, we just couldn’t believe that the NFL would be so callous in their attempt to move the franchise back to LA in the face of it all.

Let’s be very clear about something, the NFL and it’s slimy, mangy, cronies never expected STL or the fans to put up much of a fight, much like what happened in SD and OAK. They stacked the deck against STL, pushed the stadium task force to keep moving forward (to the tune of $16 million) with their planning of a new stadium damn well knowing the fact that they (the NFL) had absolutely no intentions on staying in the gateway city. Stan Kroenke, Kevin Demoff, Eric Grubman, and Roger Goodell are all bedfellows in this devious game of musical chairs. LA was granted a seat before the game ever started, so STL was behind the 8-ball from the start. If you’re asking yourself then why the dog and pony show if they just wanted to leave then why not just leave then?

I’ll tell you why…

The NFL knew they couldn’t just up and move out of STL. They had to have justifiable reasoning to do so, regardless of how we feel about it. The NFL had to protect itself during the rigged process so there was no question to the league’s “integrity” and I use that term loosely. Even though the NFL did a masterful job at covering their tracks, the excitement from some in the Rams organization and some outside of it spilled some of the beans on the matter which has led to St. Louis, St. Louis County, and the Regional sports authority to sue Stan Kroenke and the other 31 principal owners in the league for multiple grievances.

Let’s be clear, do I think that STL has a chance to win a lawsuit against the NFL? In any situation there is a chance. That being said it’s minimal at best and the NFL has revenue streams that STL doesn’t have. The real threat is that this could go to discovery, which it has and I will tell you that the NFL has ZERO interest of this ever seeing the light of day. There will be a settlement in the matter, what that entails I do not know, but there will be a settlement.

Now this brings me to the current rumors of the Chargers being linked to a possible St. Louis move. Let me be very clear, this information never gets out unless the NFL wants it out there. This is a ploy by the powers that be within the NFL that want to settle the lawsuit to keep it from going to discovery and open court to protect the league.

I’ll go even further on the Chargers situation in LA. Projected PSL sales weren’t just down, they were drastically lower than anticipated from $400 million to $150 million. The NFL has already had meetings with the ownership groups and are weighing their options on what to do with the team. I’m tired of hearing that they have a 40-year lease and they can leave after 20 so that tells you they’re not leaving, or that the league cannot force the Spanos’ to sell the team.

FALSE.

The NFL can do whatever it wants and they have shown this in forcing out Jerry Richardson, former owner of the Panthers for “Conduct detrimental to the League.” Even though he agreed to sell you know it was hostile. If Dean Spanos went rogue and against league wishes, what do you think they’ll do? Stan Kroenke owns the lease and he can release them anytime he wants. The Chargers will have to start paying their $600+ million dollar relocation fee in 2019 that the league assessed them on their move to LA in 2016. They’ve started pricing their tickets drastically lower than their counterpart in LA, the Rams. Make no mistake, the Chargers are in serious trouble, but that doesn’t mean they will automatically be forced to pick up and move to the Gateway City. What it does mean is that the NFL is vetting their options and considering the lawsuit forcing the NFL into a discovery process they don’t want to be in, in a market that doesn’t support them (LA), their prior market of San Diego won’t have them and even if they could between the Spanos’ and SD they’ve had a dozen or more possible stadium proposals that have never even come close to panning out.

So, if you are the NFL where do you go? Let’s not forget that the Bills are in a bad spot in Buffalo (#53 TV market) with their current and long-standing stadium issues at the Ralph, The Jaguars have been linked to a London move for several years and it looks like current circumstances (Shahid Khan being investigated for corruption in his bid to buy Wembley Stadium) and statements by NFL officials that London looks to be more of an expansion opportunity than relocation so it looks like the Jags will not be moving from Jacksonville (#42 TV market) to London at all. The Jags are very much in play for a relocation as are the Bills and possibly the Chargers.

What other markets are available that are NFL ready as in (Plug and Play) where you can take a team overnight, plug them in and let them go. St. Louis is about it. There are other cities don’t get me wrong and I have stated in interviews and in writing that those particular cities are not ready immediately for NFL football. It would take them at least a year or two to be ready, possibly more.

Lots of people say that everything hinges on the lawsuit between STL and the NFL and I’d agree that it does play a part, but it’s not the whole enchilada. St. Louis is the only market that is NFL ready and that’s a fact. STL was NFL ready and capable when they ripped the Rams away to pad their pockets.

All I’m saying is that at the end of the day the NFL wants to be in St. Louis just for the fact of being in the #21 TV market that won’t infringe on other markets and they know that we have supported our teams even though they said the opposite when they yanked the Rams. Don’t get me wrong, the NFL is worried about the lawsuit, but it’s just a small piece of a much larger puzzle that is being played out and at the end of the day we will slowly hear information coming over the next few months on what the NFL’s grand plan is, because we know it involves money.

Thanks for reading.

Derek King

N The Zone Contributor

WWW.DEREKKINGSPORTS.COM

Don’t forget to check out My interview on N The Zone

The Best of N The Zone: 01-15-17

img_20170115_093530Unfortunately there is no NEW episode this week due to some unfortunate circumstances in town. However, we do have a wonderful “BEST OF” show for you. In a matter of speaking this is a Rams-themed episode. Total coincidence when myself and Palmer put this show together. Seriously. I got two monologues from Palmer on the Rams; mostly William Hayes, Jeff Fisher, and former D’Marco Farr. Plus we have two “classic” interviews with former Rams QB Tony Banks and Joe Laurinitis, better known to wrestling fans as Road Warrior Animal, and also the father of former Rams linebacker…James Laurinitis.  Banks talked about being a young QB in the NFL and how hard it was to overcoming certain issues (this was around the time of the RGIII saga) and Laurinitis talked about being the best tag team EVER along with why he and the WWE aren’t the best of friends. Very intriguing interviews for sure. 

Take a listen here: The Best of N The Zone: 01-15-17

The Finale from Legends Of The Dome

 

Legends-of-Dome-320@thelegendkil

ST. LOUIS, MO

The Legends of the Dome flag football game lived up to the hype and then some. The score of the game didn’t matter. There were plenty of hugs, handshakes, and tears shed last Saturday in what was our last time ever stepping in that building to watch football. One of the best moments was the player introduction and I stood right by the tunnel as every single St.Louis Rams player was announced. And I swear it gave me goosebumps watching those guys run through that fog for the last time. It was great catching up with some of the former Rams players like Roland Williams who videobombed me on the field as I was interviewing Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

One of the biggest cheers was for Hall of Fame tackle Orlando Pace who was honored at halftime at midfield with his family. 101 ESPN Randy Karraker delivered some heartfelt words for Pace who makes his home here in St.Louis. Pace also was taken on the golf cart and waved to the crowd of over 10,000 people and thanking them for support and love.

Some of those guys still look like they can play today. Former Rams cornerback Dre Bly came over to me on the sideline and said,”Please pray for us cause I’m out of shape.” Keith Lyle told me after the game that he hopes this event continues. I think we should try bowling or softball from here on out,” said Lyle. Then he paused for a second when I reminded him it’s hot as can be outside. You right bowling it is, said Lyle as he bent over in laughter next to Jeff Wilkins who was sporting an ace bandage on his foot he tweaked his ankle. Wilkins quipped,”Man this is going to mess up my golf game.”

I also got a chance to interview several prominent figures from the Greatest Show on Turf including Mike Martz and Dick Vermeil. You can watch those interviews on St.Louis American Youtube channel. When the game was over and they started turning off the lights I was still standing on the field and then a stadium employee told me I got 12 minutes to leave. I didn’t want to leave yet. I got so many memories from the double overtime loss to the Carolina Panthers, seeing Larry Fitzgerald first game, or seeing former Big Red wideout Roy Green who was my all-time favorite when I was a kid. As I was walking down that long hallway past the locker rooms for the final time I saw D’Marco Farr we looked at each other and I said,”this is it man I can’t believe it.” Farr shook his head, “I know,” he said.

Bittersweet it was, and maybe this will stoke the fire once again for the NFL, it’s going to take some time for the wound to heal. But, I appreciate what Isaac Bruce continues to do for the city of St.Louis and help provide a chance for all of us to have some closure on the Rams no longer being in St.Louis and this town returning back to a two-sport town again. For more coverage please subscribe to our Youtube page at STLAmerican/Video and you can also follow me on twitter @thelegendkil @NTheZoneShow @NTheZoneNetwork

 

10 For Tuesday: Rams’ Demoff Further Exposed

DemoffRams(St. Louis, MO)

@RealShaneGray

By now, many of you have likely either watched or heard quite a bit about the head-scratching, mind-boggling presentation that Los Angeles Rams Chief Operating Offender Kevin Demoff made at Harvard-Westlake High School on March 1.

Unfortunately, if you missed the video and want to see it, Demoff has apparently had his infamous, boneheaded speech pulled, after several comments he made were strongly scrutinized in articles by the likes of The Sporting News’ Ron Clements, InsideSTL’s Tim McKernan and 101 ESPN’s Randy Karraker as well as in audio by 101 ESPN’s Bernie Miklasz, among others.

In other news regarding the Rams’ great deceiver, Demoff spent time this weekend speaking at the South by Southwest conference about “the intersection of personal ethics, fandom and commerce in sports.”

Yes, you read that correctly.

The same man who quite obviously has no appreciation or understanding of proper personal ethics and who blatantly lied to his fans repeatedly was invited to speak about “the intersection of personal ethics, fandom and commerce in sports.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

If Demoff’s speech was honest, this appearance would have consisted of him talking about how he believes that any respect towards personal ethics or fans should be tossed out and stomped on if needed when “commerce in sports” is involved.

With that said, today’s “10 for Tuesday”…

 

1. Some people want the N The Zone family to continue talking about the Rams, while others want us to stop talking about the *%$#*@-up franchise altogether. I can see both sides.

With that said, the above is new information and — I for one — will continue to report anything that exposes Demoff for the deceptive, dishonest, slimy human being that he has proven himself to be. Consider it a warning for our L.A. brethren and appropriate reporting for the STL family.

So, if you don’t want to see it, you’re on the wrong site. On the other hand, if you want to see Demoff called out for his lies and exposed for all the damage he helped bring to St. Louis and the fans here, then you’re exactly where you need to be.

2. In Demoff’s aforementioned presentation, he made it clear that the move to L.A. was in the works for two-and-a-half years prior to its approval. In other words, the Rams began plotting for relocation by at least the Summer of 2013 when Sellout Stan Kroenke called Demoff about the Inglewood site.

3. Additionally, Demoff detailed how the Rams were quietly but earnestly making moves towards the move by the Spring of 2014 and that they were “stealthily” working hard towards an L.A. stadium in the summer of that same year.

4. Points two and three — like the Rams relocation proposal — add more proof that Demoff was lying to St. Louis since — at least — roughly the close of the dome’s arbitration case in early 2013. When looking at points two and three, these words from 2014 — among many others you can find here from both 2013 and 2014 — look particularly pitiful:

Demoff (to InsideSTL)

“I expect it (our future) will be right here in St. Louis. I don’t see any reason that that can’t be so.”

“I promise you Stan is looking at lots of pieces of land around the world right now and none of them are for football stadiums.”

Demoff (to 101ESPN):

“..I know everybody can sit here and say, especially this weekend, “The building can rock like it did in 1999,” which is absolutely true. If we play better football, it will be loud, passionate. But in terms of getting people off the couch away from television which is a fight that everybody in the NFL is going through and everybody in sports is going through, how do we improve the fan experience and give them the best? I think that’s the solution. If we can come up with it whether it’s downtown, whether it’s in the county, whether it’s somewhere else, I think we’d be in favor of it.”

Demoff October 2014 (CBS Sports 920’s McKernan, Edmonds & Moe):

“I think when he (Kroenke) said what he said (about wanting Rams to stay) when he bought the team, he was sincere, he was genuine and in the meantime there’s a path and a process that’s behind closed doors, and that’s what we’ve adapted to.”

“It’s hard to believe now but the Seattle Seahawks actually moved to Los Angeles for about two weeks in 1996 before returning back to Seattle. I don’t think anybody now looks at their fanbase and says they’re not passionate, they’re not a great team, that’s not a great market. So these things tend to get worse before they get better and I always look at if we can get this thing done, how do we move forward, how do we build a great stadium, how do we make St. Louis a better place for having a great venue?”

5. Clearly, Demoff served as Chief B.S.er in St. Louis, along with his duties as Vice President of Football Operations. And while were on the football side, Demoff also let this gem slip out at his presentation at Westlake-Harvard, via Turf Show Times:

“I will say, we’ve been really crappy in free agency. I’ve written a lot of bad deals. We just haven’t found a lot of success in free agency. And so I think there’s a buyer beware in all of that, in terms of going out and buying other people’s players, that we just haven’t figured out.”

There are clearly a lot of things that Demoff and the Rams haven’t figured out on the field, as evidenced by there historically poor performance over the last decade-plus. But for Demoff to admit that they aren’t being aggressive in free agency due, in part, to them not having the confidence to believe they are capable of getting it right… well… that is stunning.

I mean, everyone who’s followed the Rams in recent years realizes they aren’t getting it right and haven’t for some time, but for the team’s COO to admit that they are basically inept in regard to free agency is eye-opening and scary.

Best of luck with that, Los Angeles. You sure as heck will need it with Kroenke, Demoff and company at the helm.

6. Demoff’s presentation also revealed that when then Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was knocked out for the year in the preseason of 2014, that he welcomed a “distraction” from the on-field “trainwreck” that was likely to come.

I have to wonder what current players or former Rams like Chris Long or James Laurinaitis think knowing their top executive — and who knows who else in the organization or on the coaching staff — had given up on the season before it even started. I have to think they aren’t very appreciative of the thoughts.

Either way, the comments vividly show that Demoff possesses quite the loser’s mentality, giving up on his team before the season even began. What a competitive fighter to lead the organization from the top, right? And you wonder why the Rams haven’t had a winning season since 2003? With leadership like this, don’t much to change for the Rams on the field other than the stadium and the city the team plays within.

7. Along the same lines, Demoff essentially shared that he was thankful that the Rams fell out of the playoff race late in 2015 so that he could concentrate more on the franchise’s reLIEcation application.

What a slap in the face to the hard-working, paying customers buying tickets in St. Louis and the players who put their bodies on the lines on the gridiron. Yet another example of the classlessness at the top of the Rams organization.

8. With all of the above in mind, I wonder how many season ticket holders out there have emails from 2013-2015 from Demoff? I know that many do, as he was quite interactive with fans and media during many stretches. I would love to see ’em.

9. On another note, we would love to have your feedback on what you think of the N The Zone Show. Tweet @RealShaneGray, @thelegendkil, @TheATrainSTL or @NTheZoneShow to provide us with your feedback and we will try to respond to everyone’s thoughts and opinions.

10. Finally, a little late on this, but excited to see St. Louis land an NHL Winter Classic game for 2017 against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blues and Cardinals worked in conjunction to bring this to pass. Good to have a couple of civic-minded professional organizations in town working together to bring great events to the STL.

Thanks for reading…