As the combine nears and visions of draft successes begin dancing in our heads, there's plenty of talk about free agency here at TST. Whether it's at outside linebacker, wide receiver, guard, along the defensive line, or even now at free safety should O.J. Atogwe not return, there's plenty of momentum behind a bevy of options to bring onto next years roster and plenty of support for various names at those spots as well. Of course, that means money, and Rams' money means Stan Kroenke.
Having purchased the Rams last year, Kroenke is now the rare-found sporting quadraproprietor, as owner (whether full-out or in loophole sense only) of the St. Louis Rams, Arsenal FC, the Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets. That's a pretty solid CV. With so much organizational clout in his pockets, it doesn't take much to push a fan base toward discontent. That seems to be happening in Denver, the epicenter of two of his major fan bases.
In a chat with readers over at the Denver Post, Mark Kiszla opened his mailbag with a question that ended:
We have to differentiate between making stupid decisions (Broncos) and simply appearing to be cheap (Stan Kroenke's Avalanche and Nuggets). Isn't it fair to question whether Kroenke is simply spread too thin in terms of interest with all the teams he has ownership of?
You've got to throw some sympathy their way. Kroenke owns teams in the two behemoth leagues (the NFL and the EPL), and two in declining leagues with limited support (the NBA and the NHL). On top of that, his Denver-based teams are struggling.
The Nuggets are trying to trade Carmelo Anthony who currently holds about 10% of his fair value because everyone knows he wants off the 7th-place team. The Avs are next to last in the Western Conference, coming off of some trades that are being perceived in most circles as sacrificing some strong long-term talents for more immediately productive players (Blues fans, feel free to chime in on that point).
Meanwhile, Arsenal are coming off one of the biggest wins in recent history, a 2-1 comeback over Barcelona, the consensus best club in the world. The Gunners are in second place in the league, and are still in the running in all three tournaments: the Champions League, the FA Cup and the Carling Cup (sorry for the Arsenal talk. Y'all know...). The Rams, as we all know, rose from the ashes last season on the wings of a phoenix-like Sam Bradford and have enough young talent, both on the field and in coaching polos on the sidelines, to suggest an impending run of forthcoming success.
You can't really believe Kroenke is spending his cash on the wrong teams. Which brings me my ultimate question: is Kroenke really being spread to thin or is he just thinning out his expenses at the expense (pun, mothasucka) of his two less competitive teams? Should the Rams go after an attractive free agent or two when CBApocalypse does end, should we be glad that our team has the confidence of its owner to the point that he's willing to spend money on this team where others don't enjoy such confidence? Or should we be worried that when our time comes to slip back into inadequacy, we'll suffer from the same tight pursestrings that the Avs and Nuggets are dealing with?