Time for another edition of N The Zone REPLAYING THE HITS! We take you back to Season 3 when Rory Karpf (@RoryKarpf), award-winning filmmaker and director joined N The Zone to talk about his work with the “30 For 30” Ric Flair documentary along with dismissing the notion that the same old story was given on Flair, along with being a fan of the wrestling genre. The guys also talk to him about his work with ESPN and how he developed a relationship with them, what was his best film that he has worked on, along with how he got connected with rapper Snoop Dogg. Plus touching base on the “I Hate Christian Laettner” documentary, how that came to fruition and what new projects he has in store for the future.
For the first time on “The A-Train Show,” the A-Train welcomes Bauce (@bauce_man82) of the Forever Oakland Initiative. Here they discuss the happenings in Oakland with their lawsuit against the NFL, how they learned from St. Louis and what it could mean for the city of Oakland if St. Louis wins their lawsuit, in addition to showing love to guys in Los Angeles who are their biggest Twitter fans. An explosive 2-part (segment) conversation that brought out the feelings and humor of the A-Train and Bauce and is definitely one worth listening to.
In this week’s edition of “The Monologue,” The Livn Legend tells you why Isaac Bruce should be in the Hall of Fame right now over Tony Gonzalez, who was named a Hall of Famer at the NFL Honors ceremony Super Bowl weekend.
NOTE: The following contains language that some will find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised.
Back on the show this week, Natasha Gransberry (@TheGransberry) of The Gransberry Chronicles and author of The Gransberry Gridiron Guide joins Palmer Alexander talking her recent Super Bowl experience that included some time on the ESPN First Take set.
Outside of a miracle, The NFL cannot escape the coming storm that involves the lawsuit that is coming from St. Louis. We all know how shady and corrupt the NFL and their associates can be. Remember when the NFL sent the charlatan known as Eric Grubman to St. Louis to help “guide us” to a solution to retain the Rams? Well we all know that was a farce and coordinated dog and pony show for our entertainment. There was never any interest in keeping or allowing St. Louis the opportunity to keep the Rams. The Rams organization and the NFL coordinated the effort to move the team out of the St. Louis market in order to cash in on Los Angeles the number 2 market in the nation. Smart business if you ask me but, the way it was done was dirty as all get out.
In 2013 NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was quoted on Stan Kroenke buying a 60 acre parcel of land which has now become the building site for his new mega palace in LA “He has kept us informed of it; we’re aware of it,” Goodell said. “Stan is a very successful developer,” “He has billions of dollars of projects that are going on around the country in real estate development. So I think instead of overreacting, we should make sure we do what’s necessary to continue to support the team locally as the fans have done in St. Louis. And make sure we do whatever we can to make sure that team is successful in the St. Louis market.” “There are no plans to my knowledge of a stadium development. Anything that would require any kind of stadium development requires multiple votes of the membership.”
So that was a blatant lie and they knew it going in.
The fix was in from the beginning by the NFL not allowing St. Louis any time and giving them a very narrow window to organize a counter effort to keep the team. Much to the NFL’s chagrin, St. Louis managed to not just “cobble” together a manageable or actionable plan but, an actual VIABLE plan in the city’s core, in downtown along the riverfront of the Mississippi to the tune of 1+ billion dollars (400 million in tax money). I will tell you that the NFL never expected St. Louis to actually come up with a plan within the very short window that was given (Just a few months) let alone a viable plan that was signed sealed and delivered. So what did the NFL and Stan Kroenke do in response to this plan? They viciously attacked the St. Louis market and released the hounds on the region and market stating that St. Louis is “Only a baseball town” “The proposal is inadequate” or my favorite from Stan was “I will not stand here and be a victim”.
Victim? Stan Kroenke? The NFL? REALLY? How about the fans? How about the market and region you so callously left behind in your egregious pursuit of LA and its money? We all knew during this process the NFL was always going to be the winners of this debacle. St. Louis was never expected to compete with Stan’s LA vision AT ALL. Considering all roadblocks that were put in place since 1995. Yeah, I said 1995. How you ask? When the Rams were wooed here by city officials in 1994 to relocate to St. Louis in 95 then owner Georgia Frontiere wanted nothing to do with St. Louis, she wanted to move to Baltimore but, being the fact that St. Louis had built a 100% taxpayer-funded stadium in the TWA dome to house the now-defunct St. Louis Stallions expansion franchise that was promised to St. Louis in 1993, the stadium had no one to fill it so St. Louis gave Georgia nearly $60 million dollars as a gift to bring the team to St. Louis plus all the PSL money as well plus most of the parking, concessions and other usages. The Rams only paid approximately $25,000 per game to use the TWA/Ed Jones Dome facilities and the St. Louis CVC who owned the dome, operated at a consistent loss during the Rams tenure in St. Louis.
The lease that St. Louis had with the Rams was such a great deal, and that the Dome at the time was the greatest revenue generating facility in the NFL at that time. Once the dust had settled and other stadiums were built around the NFL, the Ed became outdated by the NFL’s standards very quickly. In other words the NFL wasn’t making a killing in St. Louis anymore so as early as 2002 the NFL, Stan Kroenke, the Rams organization were all planning a possible exit strategy to jettison the city of St. Louis to bounce back to LA, which keeps in mind that Stan Kroenke sat on the LA NFL committee to figure out the LA conundrum. Oh he figured it out alright, they all did. They knew as soon as Georgia has passed away in 2008 Stan had the right of first refusal on any offer presented for the sale of the franchise of which he exercised. Once Stan bought the remainder of the team in 2010 the plan was set into motion and the path was set, get to LA by any means necessary.
Silent Stan was harder to find in St. Louis than an intersection without a Walgreens or CVS. When the snaky specter of Enos Stanley Kroenke reared his toupee covered head in 2010 to announce his purchase of the team he stated that he was making every effort to keep the team in St. Louis just like he made every effort to bring the team to the market in 1995. Once again the Ghost of Kroenke hovered over the press conference during the announcement of the hiring of new coach Jeff Fisher damn well knowing what was on the tips of everyone’s tongue. “Are you attempting to move the team?” he reiterated his attempt to help keep the team in St. Louis. Stan said after buying the team in 2010 “There’s a track record, I’ve always stepped up for pro football in St. Louis. And I’m stepping up one more time.” “I’m born and raised in Missouri,” Kroenke said. “I’ve been a Missourian for 60 years. People in our state know me. People know I can be trusted. People know I am an honorable guy.” How funny that just 5 years later this was Trusty Old Missouri Guy Stan’s assessment of the St. Louis market (St. Louis) “lags, and will continue to lag, far behind in the economic drivers that are necessary for sustained success of an NFL franchise,” “Compared to all other U.S. cities, St. Louis is struggling,” “Any NFL Club that signs on to this proposal in St. Louis will be well on the road to
financial ruin, and the League will be harmed.” If you would like to view the full document please feel free to follow the link but, reader beware, it is filled with inaccuracies, false statements and outright lies about the market.
The years following the rare Kroenke sighting in 2012, Enos, was never seen again in the city of St. Louis only his minion Kevin Demoff was going around St. Louis media outlets trying to squelch the consistent rumors of the team relocating. “Expect the team to be here in St. Louis” Demoff said on an interview with 101 ESPN St. Louis.
As you can see and hear it was an all-out lie from the beginning. Stan sent his lackey to do his bidding which was a miserable attempt to calm the St. Louis fan base so the team could maximize revenue in St. Louis and squeeze the fans and the city out of every last possible dollar to be had before launching themselves headlong to LA. Bernie & Randy The Podcast get deep into the feelings about the Rams relocating.
Only problem was this, after the move was announced on January 12th 2016, Enos and his mini-me Demoff, held a presser in LA bragging about the process of the move which dug themselves deeper into a rabbit hole for the legal team in St. Louis that was waiting with bated breath for Silent Stan and his tag-alongs to hang themselves with the proverbial noose, it was only a matter of time before their excitement got the better of them.
Part two is coming soon stay tuned!
ITunes & Podomatic: The Derek King Sports Show
City to City, State to State, Worldwide
N The Zone Springfield
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.
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.
N The Zone Contributor
Don’t forget to check out My interview on N The Zone
I’m Tiera Dobbins, N The Zone Network‘s newest NFL contributor, and I want to welcome you to the first edition of “The Dobbins Report.” This week let’s focus on the AFC North.
The Cleveland Browns have gone into 4 overtimes in the last 6 weeks and Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker missed his first PAT in his career, it is spooky times in the NFL. The Pittsburgh Steelers enjoyed their Bye week during Week 7 and due to losses of their divisional foes came out on top of the AFC North.
Although LeVeon Bell is still a no-show, the Steelers are now sitting at #1 in arguably the toughest division in football.
Week 7 is now behind us and Week 8 started last night with a somewhat interesting matchup, but finally, Brocktober is almost over! Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans had a field day with the Miami Dolphins defense. Watson threw for 5 touchdowns in their 43-23 win over the Dolphins. Though the Texans won their fifth consecutive game, Texans WR Will Fuller tore his ACL.
So, for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Steeler Nation there are two questions: Can the Steelers remain in the #1 spot? And Where is LeVeon? The most important question is, can the Steelers remain leading the AFC North?
In Week 8, the Steelers will face the Cleveland Browns. Another tough AFC North matchup for some diehard fans. These two teams have met for their Week 1 opener the last few years and whether they meet in Heinz Field or First Energy Stadium the black and gold usually comes out victorious. Their meetup in September, both teams somewhat wrapped up Week 1 both victorious… kind of. Browns and Steelers ended regular overtime tied 21-21, now week 8 is here and it’s time to make this division even more interesting.
Since Week 1 one thing has remained the same and that is there is still no Le’Veon Bell. But Pittsburgh has been doing just fine with running back James Connor surprising not just the NFL but his own team; even getting a shout out from Bell after the Steelers 28-21 defeat over the Cincinnati Bengals.
As for the Browns in Week 1, Tyrod Taylor started as QB against the Steelers defense, but now we have Baker Mayfield bringing the spark the Browns have needed.
This 1:00 p.m. matchup will be another great game to grab a Pumpkin Beer or an IPA to see how the cards fall in this AFC North Matchup! Maybe Le’Veon will be doing the same.
You can find me on Twitter, @_Dobbins_
Welcome to N The Zone: In Case You Missed It! Check back at some of the Season 3 episodes before you catch the Season 4 PREMIERE!
Award-winning filmmaker and director Rory Karpf:
2018 St. Louis Surge Season Recap:
VK Credit Repair’s Kendra Dean: