St. Louis Is The NFL’s New Bargaining Chip

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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.

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  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.

STATEMENT OF REASONS IN SUPPORT OF THE RAMS’ APPLICATION TO RELOCATE TO LOS ANGELES

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 DemoffRamswas 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!

Derek King

Derek King Sports

@derekkingsports

ITunes & Podomatic: The Derek King Sports Show

City to City, State to State, Worldwide

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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

2017 WBCBL National Semifinal – Charlotte Invasion vs St. Louis Surge

 

For your listening pleasures…if you love basketball, women’s basketball, women’s PROFESSIONAL basketball, check out the 2017 WBCBL National Semifinal between the Charlotte Invasion and the defending champion St. Louis Surge. Arlington Lane handles the play-by-play, Palmer Alexander and Ashley Wright provide color commentary for this epic semifinal.

THE GAME:

2017 WBCBL National Semifinal: Charlotte Invasion vs St. Louis Surge – 1st quarter

As the St. Louis Surge look to become national champions for the second year in a row and finish undefeated, they first have to win the national semifinal. They take on the Charlotte Invasion, a team that has given the Surge fits in the past and look to beat them at their own game. Here’s the 1st quarter action from the Fontbonne Field House with the call from play-by-play man Arlington Lane, and color commentators Palmer Alexander III and Ashley Wright. Sponsored by Deer Valley Home Health and Ol’ Henry Restaurant.

2017 WBCBL National Semifinal: Charlotte Invasion vs St. Louis Surge – 2nd quarter

Here’s the 2nd quarter action from the Fontbonne Field House of the 2017 WBCBL National Semifinal between the Charlotte Invasion and the St. Louis Surge. Here’s the call from play-by-play man Arlington Lane, and color commentators Palmer Alexander III and Ashley Wright. Sponsored by Deer Valley Home Health and Ol’ Henry Restaurant.

2017 WBCBL National Semifinal: The Halftime Show

Arlington Lane and Ashley Wright give their thoughts on the first half of the 2017 WBCBL National Semifinal with the “Ol’ Henry Restaurant Halftime Show.”

2017 WBCBL National Semifinal: Charlotte Invasion vs St. Louis Surge – 3rd quarter

Moving to 3rd quarter action from the Fontbonne Field House of the WBCBL National Semifinal between the Charlotte Invasion and St. Louis Surge. More with Arlington Lane, Palmer Alexander III and Ashley Wright with the call. Sponsored by Deer Valley Home Health and Ol’ Henry Restaurant.

2017 WBCBL National Semifinal: Charlotte Invasion vs St. Louis Surge – 4th quarter

Here’s the exciting conclusion of the 4th quarter from the Fontbonne Field House of the WBCBL National Semifinal between the Charlotte Invasion and the St. Louis Surge. Does the Surge make the national title or does their glorious season end here? Here’s Arlington, Palmer and Ashley with the action. Sponsored by Deer Valley Home Health and Ol’ Henry Restaurant.

2017 WBCBL National Semifinal: The Postgame Show

Arlington, Palmer and Ashley give their final thoughts on the national semifinal along with giving their player of the game awards and their interview with Surge head coach Tony Condra.

ENJOY!

Don’t forget to follow The Network and its parent show on Twitter.

N The Zone Season 3 episode – 04-01-18

Brand new episode of N The Zone to start the month of April…

No. This is not an April Fools joke.

 

The Monologue 04-01-18

The Livn Legend returns with another edition of “The Monologue.” This time talking new season of the St. Louis Cardinals and does NOT go after Mike Matheny. WHAT? So he turned his attention to a conversation he had with a friend about race in the city of St. Louis. Then he turned his attention to a time last year where THIS show was going to partner with another podcast network, and how it was dissed by the network’s founder in the direction it would go. The Livn Legend unleashed. NOTE: The following contains language that some might find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised.

Autumn Marie – The WWE Diva Report 04-01-18

The Livn Legend’s daughter Autumn Marie joins the show to give the first edition of “The WWE Diva Report.” She gives insight on the latest on the WWE Women’s division leading up to Wrestlemania…along with a major hot take on a highly publicized (yet unscheduled) match between John Cena and The Undertaker. City to city, state to state, worldwide! We’re bringing the youth to N The Zone! The following segment is sponsored by Our Lady of Perpetual Health.

Tina Delish (Sports Life Magazine) 04-01-18

Tina Delish, contributor of Sports Life Magazine/Radio talks sports, cannabis, events and more from the digital publication with Palmer.

Sponsored by Mattress by Appointment – Maryland Heights

As always, we’re going city to city, state to state, worldwide! It’s not a podcast, THIS. IS. THE NETWORK!

N The Zone Season 3 episodes

Catch up on the latest Season 3 episodes of N The Zone TODAY!

N The Zone SEASON 3 – Phil Allen 03-06-18

The King of Mt. Airy Phil Allen joins Palmer Alexander to (OF COURSE) talk about the high that he continues to be on now that his Philadelphia Eagles are World Champions. In addition, discussing about the rise of the Sixers and possibly how scary this team could become in the future. This segment is sponsored by Mattress by Appointment Maryland Heights.

N The Zone SEASON 3 – Maurice Drummond 03-06-18

KMOV sports director Maurice Drummond joins Palmer to talk about the Cardinals and Spring Training, Twitter, career reflections and Ozzie Smith. This segment is sponsored by Rich Girls, Real Women Incorporated and Mattress by Appointment Maryland Heights.

N The Zone SEASON 3 – Bauce (IN-STUDIO) 03-06-18

Bauce joins the show IN-STUDIO with Palmer and the A-Train to give his thoughts on the Raiders leaving Oakland. Back in 2015, he was on the front line pushing hard for the Raiders to stay in Oakland. Bauce didn’t hold back and pulled no punches in this interview. This segment is sponsored by Mattress by Appointment Maryland Heights.

NOTE: The following segment contains language that some will find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised.

N The Zone SEASON 3 – Open and The Monologue 02-21-18

We’re back with a fresh new episode of N The Zone. We talk about incorporating new things to the show and gave a recap on what has went on since our hiatus. And then, Palmer delivers another history lesson in “The Monologue.” Find out who and what was said because he said a lot (remember we were out for a while) so give it a listen. Sponsored by Mattress by Appointment Maryland Heights.

NOTE: The following contains language that some find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised…we’re back!

N The Zone SEASON 3 – Kellen Goodwin 02-21-18

Friend of the show Kellen Goodwin of (the title sponsor of the show) Mattress by Appointment – Maryland Heights joins The A-Train to talk about how he got the business started, the deals to offer and why should you trust him for your next mattress. Plus we sprinkle in some sports conversation as well.

 

 

 

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: How St. Louis Lost, Won, and suffered from the NFL ’89-’94

@DerekKingSports

Where do you want to start?

Where do you end?

It just seem that for the great people of St. Louis, it never began or ended. So lets start at the beginning, of the end (the first time).

1988, William “Bill” Bidwell wants out of St. Louis, the town he’s called home since 1960, filing for relocation with the league. On March 15th 1988 the NFL voted to allow the St. Louis Cardinals to relocate to Phoenix, Arizona putting the final coffin nail in the franchises 28 year history in St. Louis. The vote was 26-2 with the now Los Angeles Raiders and Miami Dolphins abstaining. Both Al Davis and Joe Robbie were against the measure for their own reasons.

Davis was still engulfed in a legal battle with the NFL over his ill-advised move into the greater Los Angeles area. and due to the aforementioned legal issues with the league, Davis decided it was best to abstain from the vote, but he wasn’t all too thrilled about the matter.

Source: New York Times

 “It’s all a sham. They vote any way they want and allow anyone they want to move.” Al Davis

Joe Robbie was good friends with Joe Foss, former American Football League commissioner who represented a Phoenix group spent $2 million in a failed attempt to bring an expansion team to Phoenix.

The NFL as a group wasn’t enthralled about the idea of letting the Cardinals move to Phoenix either. The league would have preferred a move to Baltimore as the Phoenix area was looked at as an excellent candidate for expansion, this was all going down long after the Irsay-Rosenbloom debacle in 1972 which the Rams and Colts franchises were traded with their respective owners. That’s another story for another day.

St. Louis Expansion attempt

Jerry Clinton, Former Grey Eagle Distributors owner, who as part owner in the St. Louis Blues and St. Louis Steamers indoor soccer team, Mr. Clinton, told Civic Progress members over breakfast at the Bogey Club of their plans to build a new stadium and bring a new football team to St. Louis. On Feb. 27, 1989, they formed the St. Louis NFL Partnership.

Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch 

 

Mr. Clinton said it had been easy to raise money to buy a team. That turned out to be an exaggeration.

The partnership mailed a prospectus to local entrepreneurs asking for $250,000 each. They got just one solid commitment.

Meanwhile, Mr. Clinton was lending his partner money. “He had no other source of income. … He had to have living expenses,” Mr. Clinton explained.

The two partners lobbied the Missouri Legislature to approve financing to build a stadium-convention center they said would be self-supporting.

The legislation passed but never was used for the stadium. Instead, the city, county and state are paying the tab.

Mr. Clinton lobbied the NFL for an expansion franchise. He even signed a lease for his team to play at St. Louis’ new downtown domed stadium.

As most can see it was a very convoluted series of events. the original group lead by Mr. Clinton and James Busch Orthwein was stalling financially where as Orthwien couldn’t sell his team New England Patriots so he stepped aside allowing Stanley Enos Kroenke to be added to the group. Clinton made a bold move, he left the group and then teamed with a competing group lead by Fran Murray

Source: New York Times, FRANK LITSKY

Although Clinton’s group seems out of the picture, Fran Murray, an entrepreneur and a former minority owner of the Patriots, said yesterday he had taken over as majority general partner of the group. Last week, Orthwein dismissed a proposal by Murray to exchange 100 percent of the Patriots for 66 percent of a new St. Louis franchise. Murray said he would pay the $140 million fee for the St. Louis franchise.

Speaking by telephone from a plane en route to Chicago, Murray said he and three investors now controlled 54 percent of the group. He said he would appear this morning at a joint meeting of the N.F.L.’s expansion and finance committees in Chicago and identify the three investors. He said his appearance before the committees had been arranged by Jay Moyer, the league’s general counsel.

Murray said the remaining 46 percent of his group would be held by Clinton (20 percent), Orthwein (12 percent) Walter Payton (10 percent) and Tom Holley (4 percent). He would not say what share of the group he would retain himself. When asked if Clayton, Orthwein, Payton and Holley had agreed to this change, he said:

“They have not told me they would not participate. I sent them faxes and letters and have not heard that they did not want to remain part of the group.”

So, now you can see that series of events that unfolded during the process. Clinton-Orthwein, Clinton-Kroenke, Murray-Clinton-Orthwein-Payton-Holley and then Competing group; Stan Kroenke, Charles Knight, Andrew Taylor, and John Connelly.

If you are reading that trying to make sense out of what you just read, I was doing the same writing it. The process was so fluid and ever-changing I don’t even think the people involved knew what was happening. All of these things occurred between ’89-’94.

Also during this expansion process mess in St. Louis, Orthwein, bought the New England Patriots in 1992.

St. Louis had already begun construction on the soon to be Trans World Dome at America’s Center.

Orthwein was dead set on heading to St. Louis after the 1993 season. At that point, Robert Kraft, who owned the lease on Foxboro Stadium wouldn’t let Orthwein out of the lease, and due to that Orthwein sold the Patriots to Robert Kraft in 1994 and the rest is history.

I’m shaking my head even writing this stuff!

Thinking back on the entire saga of expansion one would have never thought it would have been this messy, yet it was.

At this point, the dream of having a franchise in St. Louis looked all but dead, on life support, but then, out of nowhere, there came a savior of football in St. Louis, or at least we thought.

Part 2 of this series will be coming soon, stay tuned.

Derek King

N The Zone Contributor

Sources: New York Times, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Chicago Tribune

 

How the NFL saved St. Louis…by leaving.

@DerekKingSports

So, I grew up just outside of St. Louis during the 80’s when baseball was king. Whiteyball was in full swing and the Big Red football Cardinals were an after thought.

Terrible football and St. Louis go hand in hand, kind of like coffee and gooey butter cake. The football Cardinals had suffered from long tenures of losing with brief glimpses of success. Yet we showed up to games, we supported a sub-par product being shuffled out onto the field from time to time was rightfully embarrassing to all the fans who were still supporting it.

William “Bill” Bidwell, owner of the St. Louis Football Cardinals had long been dissatisfied with playing second fiddle to the baseball Cardinals, although the latter had very little to no success during the 70’s when the Big Red were at the heights of success winning 2 division titles and 3 playoff births in 27 years in St. Louis.

Mr. Bidwell petitioned the city of St. Louis for a new publicly funded stadium to where he no longer had to share facilities with the baseball Cardinals. The city balked on the idea of a perennially bad football team pushing for millions of public money for a new stadium in St. Louis. The city had issues of their own to address during that time besides giving a millionaire millions more to build a stadium for a bad football team. It was egos at work at its finest.

Instead of negotiating with Bidwell over terms of a new facility and lease terms, the city, in all their infinite wisdom decided to not negotiate with ownership and force Bidwell to find other avenues. City administrators thinking the whole time he’d never go. Much to their chagrin, he did.

Phoenix, Arizona

I was devastated to say the least. Even as a child football was everything to me. It felt like as I had lost my best friend. I became jilted and eventually got over the loss by rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs, at the time they had just landed Joe Montana and were a very successful team. Only problem was, they weren’t my team. My team left me for a desert, A DAMN DESERT! How could they do that?!

So you see my dilemma, I had no team. I had in all terms and purpose, became a free agent. During this entire search for my football soul there were talks between the NFL and St. Louis about the NFL returning to the city. Officials passed a bill to build a new stadium in downtown that would be christened the Trans World Dome at America’s Center.

This new expansion team would be called the St. Louis Stallions. It was a done deal, at least we thought. My father worked for Paramount Headwear and Apparel at the time and they were running hats and shirts for the Stallions. They couldn’t talk about it, take pictures of it, wear it or otherwise let the product see the light of day. They had an entire setup at the headquarters in St. Louis, they even had a Stallions cake, this is how close it was.

In the 11th hour due to potential franchise owner issues with Chuck Knight, Stephen Brauer, Charles Cella, Sam Fox, Fred Kummer, and Andrew Taylor, as well as the late John Connelly from Pittsburgh, the city introduced none other than Stanley Enos Kroenke as another financial backer, but the play was much too late and the NFL chose Carolina and Jacksonville over St. Louis for expansion. We all know what happened next, so let’s fast forward to 2018. St. Louis has an identity crisis at hand. A county city divide, dilapidated city infrastructure that is in desperate need of repair, dwindling city population, businesses disappearing from downtown faster than a pair of expensive sunglasses. We know this, Stan didn’t have to make such a scathing report on the matter. Fact is now the city can focus on these glaring issues, as long as they stay out of their own way, but that’s always been the issue hasn’t it? St. Louis city officials are more worried about getting their hands greased then doing what’s best for their constituency. Not to get onto a political stump, but this is how things need to get done. Stop fighting over who getting paid and do what’s best for the region. The city is getting there, everyone just has to hold those responsible accountable for their stewardship. Politicians don’t own the city and county, you do. All that being said, would I like to see another NFL team in St. Louis? Without a doubt! Only time will tell. The only thing everyone in St. Louis can do is work together to make their city, the best city they can.

Thank you for reading.

Derek King

N The Zone Network contributor