The early-2 000 s Rams were one of the NFLs most exciting teams and then Kurt Warner left. Since then, the franchise has been spiraling down the toilet
Twenty-one years after get the Rams from Los Angeles, St Louis has lost its NFL squad again. Like the Greatest Show On Turf, the Rams stay in St Louis was rapid and ultimately disappointing.
The NFL owners voted 30 -2 on Tuesday night to allow the Rams and the San Diego Chargers to move to Los Angeles. Yes, Los Angeles, a city decidedly apathetic about NFL football, is being given two teams, because one team to ignore only isnt enough. The Chargers have a one-year option to decide to stay in San Diego or head north, but the Rams are officially run from St Louis. Squad proprietor Stan Kroenke, a Missouri native who went to the University of Missouri, got his wish to move the Rams out of his home state. He likely shouldnt attend any high school reunions for a while, lest he get shivved while walking to the bar.
Kroenke in every route played the role of evil, greedy, corporate villain in get his Rams out of St Louis and took opportunities to dump all over his city in recent months. St Louis offered a $1.1 bn open-air stadium along the Mississippi river, but Kroenke never seriously considered it and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell balked at the proposals requirement of $200 m from the NFL because it was doubled what league policy lets. What a wonderfully convenient policy for Goodells ever benevolent NFL.
We understand the feelings involved of our fans, told Kroenke. We worked long and hard at the various alternatives. Yeah, thats not really true. But, hey it probably was fun to say if youre the villain-type!
In the Rams 29 -page application to move to Los Angeles that was released a week ago, Kroenke cited the stagnant St Louis economy and an indifferent fan base as his biggest reasons for wanting to move. The match-up between the economies of St Louis and Los Angeles isnt a fair battle. Los Angeles is the No2 market in the country. But rending St Louis fans, the people of his own hometown, was a cheap shot. If Kroenke is truly worried about fan apathy, he moved to the wrong athletics city. In a scientific poll conducted by the San Diego Union-Tribune in August, only 37% of Los Angelenos said it was very important that the city get an NFL team, and only 27% were very excited about that squad being the Rams.
Sure, it was embarrassing for the Rams that 16 years into their stay in St Louis, a video was produced instructing them how to cheer at a football game.
But Kroenke never put much on the field worth cheering for. St Louis actually deserves some serious best athletics town consideration for detecting anyone at all willing to pay to watch the Rams. If the people of St Louis filled the Edward Jones Dome every Sunday, youd truly have to wonder why they had nothing better to do with their lives.
From 2007 through 2011, the Rams ran 15 -6 5. Thats the worst five-year stretching in NFL history. The squad hasnt had a winning season since 2003. In fact, in the Rams 21 years in St Louis, the franchise only had four winning seasons and they all came in a five-year stretching between 1999 and 2003. Thats not the fault of the fans or the local economy. Thats all on the failings of the organization Kroenke operates. If it wasnt for lucking out in uncovering a supermarket stock boy who could play quarterback at the end of the last century, Kroenkes Rams would blow the Cleveland Browns out of the water for the coveted status of most pathetic NFL franchise.
But the Rams couldnt even handle their good fortune in detecting Kurt Warner the right way. The Rams improbably won the Super Bowl in the 1999 season, and went back two years later, only to lose even more improbably to no-name Tom Brady and a former Browns washout coach named Bill Belichick. Two injury-plagued seasons followed that for Warner and the Rams released him. In 2004 he played for the Giant and then went to Arizona, where the St Louis Cardinals ran after the 1987 season. There, Warner helped turn the Cardinals franchise around and took them to a Super Bowl in 2008. Meanwhile, the Rams were in the midst of going 15 -6 5. Well played, Kroenke.
When Warner left, so did any semblance of a franchise identity. While it feels like the Greatest Show On Turf should have won more than one championship, those Rams were the most exciting squad in the NFL. They had Warner, Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt and his gnarly thumb, Isaac Bruce, sack expert Kevin Carter, and Dick Vermeil sobbing uncontrollably about everything. They had Mike Martz, the original Chip Kelly, believing he was smarter than everyone else. Warner was on the encompas of Sports Illustrated. Faulk was on the encompas of Madden( unfortunately ). The St Louis Rams were the must-see NFL team.
Since then? What is one memorable thing about the St Louis Rams over the past 12 years? Nothing stands out to me. If I rack my brain, I remember Steven Jackson operating through his NFL prime for hopeless teams. I can see a bunch of failed coach-and-fours whose names I dont recollect. More recently uhh oh, yeah, there was that game against the Steelers this year when the Rams accidentally lit their turf on fire.
Oh, and when Jeff Fisher permitted a visibly concussed Case Keenum to keep playing. And if were going glass half-full: the Rams squander Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley like they did Jackson. Exciting! But thats all Ive get. The modern Rams brand has been nothing. Theyre a lose squad that might pop up on the NFL RedZone Channel a few periods a Sunday when their foe does something arousing. The teams trademark helmet swirl didnt so much represent a rams cornet over the last decade. It illustrated a franchise spiraling down the toilet.
The NFL relocation plan in place gives the Raiders and Chargers $100 m if they construct new stadia in their current marketplaces. The league should also give St Louis fans a check for $100 m to divide among themselves for having to watch the Rams for the last 21 years.
So Los Angeles now has the same team they had before. And not only in name. The current St Louis Rams are an exact carbon copy of the 1994 Los Angeles Rams that fled to St Louis. The 1994 Rams had a star running back in Jerome Bettis, a solid defense, a veteran coach in Chuck Knox who had lost an effectiveness that he once had, and two worthless quarterbacks in Chris Miller and Chris Chandler. The new Los Angeles Rams have a superstar running back in Todd Gurley, a solid defense, a veteran coach in Jeff Fisher who long ago lost any effectiveness he once had, and two worthless quarterbacks in Nick Foles and Case Keenum. Hollywood loves putting out bad sequels to movies that werent all that good in the first place. These Rams should fit right in.
While the Rams will begin play in Los Angeles this year, most likely at the Coliseum, Kroenke plans to put his squad in a massive facility in Inglewood by the start of the 2019 season. On Tuesday night, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who earlier this year told of Brandon Weeden: You wont find a more gifted passer called Kroenkes Inglewood stadium plan: Absolutely the greatest plan ever conceived in sports.
Maybe Jones is right. Perhaps Kroenkes schemed$ 2-point-something billion facility will be historic. With Kroenkes team inside the glimmering facility, it will at the least be the nicest garbage receptacle in world history.
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