Hey Rams Family,
I have to tell you I am a little shocked about the reaction to this news of playing in London. I am even a little more shocked at the posts that I am seeing in regards to the Rams potentially leaving St. Louis. So now I have to throw my hat in.
I'm not a genius by any stretch and cannot tell you that I fully understand front office semantics, but what I feel I do understand is business. I'm positive that when you calm down and put your business hat on, you will understand too.
Ok, first thing, the Rams team as a product:
a. Take the celebration of a game for the Rams from the beginning of the day - tailgating:
The parking lots that are currently available are sub par for true tailgating and some of them worse yet, for just parking. So although you have enough space to put up a small grille, some chairs and etc, you still have to keep it small and watch out for all the chad rock dust that flares up when a new fan rolls into the parking lot. Cough Cough!
b. Time to go into the stadium:
Cattle call into the stadium which is not that bad, but it could be better based on what I have seen in other major stadiums. Long lines, violations of personal space and potential arguments due to someone thinking that you have jumped them in line. You know, same ole same ole.
c. Ticket prices:
I am not mad about the ticket prices today. I think they are commensurate to what we are seeing on the field. We are not seeing the best Rams ball right now, so the price is not too bad.
d. The venue:
The stadium is not a bad place to watch a game in my opinion. I think the size of the seats "suck @$$", but the venue is nice. My question is, how do you upgrade something in the future so that it can be full when you can't even fill the lesser spaces today? Is additional seating part of the potential upgrade? Score boards, check; jumbo-tron, check; decent food, check! I do think that if a small Frontier league team by the name of the Gateway Grizzlies can have the Luther burger, our Rams can have a signature dish too! Just sayin!
e. The before game and half time shows:
I have not been impressed. I have never seen anything that was more important than me grabbing so more Mike's Hard Lemonade, beer, grand nachos and a brat. Period. I feel if the show is really good, it will make me forget my food and drink.
f. On field product:
It's been quite some time since the Rams have had a winning season and our wins have been far between. Sometimes they have even been mysterious (we beat New Orleans with our backup quarterback this past season?!!) It has been perennial top 5 draft spots for the Rams which before the new CBA were very expensive places to be. Even worse, the inability for past regimes to effectively evaluate talent at the top of those drafts is even more disparaging. Once on the field, you would see a glimmer of hope for a win fade by the beginning of the 4th quarter due to the Defense spending the most time on the field between the 3 squads and we won't even bring up Special Teams. My hope is that the new regime with all of their collective experience can change this sad turn of events to a better day and brighter horizon. We'll wait and see.
As fans, I guess due to all the years of losing, we don't really turn the place upside down. I would put Rams fans as mild in comparison to let's say, Niners fans or Oakland fans. I bring those two clubs up as they have had their share of losing seasons, but the fans still keep coming and supporting. They are LOUD too. So, maybe winning will make some fans open their mouths and get rowdy for the Rams, but I don't know.
h. After game activities:
I would like a flyer or something handed out at the game that maps out what venues in downtown St. Louis will be having after game activities. This would be cool, but when thinking over it more, the Rams need to win in order to actually inspire after game activities, so I won't put the cart before the horse.
So when I hear that the Rams are playing in London, a place that loves soccer far more than American football, I don't break a sweat at all. I have a friend that is from England, an avid "Man U" fan, and he called the American version of football, "cute".
I mean come on family, we are talking about a country that has a game called Rugby? Has anyone at all ever taken in one of these games? They are brutal, vicious works of beautiful violence. Can you tell that I love it? I mean what's not to love, the refs actually let the players play and hardly anyone is immune to getting the dog crap knocked out of them.
Sorry, let me get back on track.
Anyway, all I'm saying is that we as fans need to be easy, calm down and know a few points before you keep letting your blood pressurego critical about the possibility of the team leaving STL.
1. No one will pay for a loser to move in to town and it will take some time for our Rams to get good, let alone LA "sexy" good.
2. Al Davis' son Mark has already said that if Oakland doesn't pony up, they are just fine with moving to their old stomping grounds
3. The Chargers have said that they are not moving out in 2012, but there is no commitment past that year so far. A lot has to go well within a year for them not to move.
4. Lastly, both teams mentioned above are more attractive and available sooner than the Rams (they cannot make a move till 2014)
Therefore, it's my belief that instead of allowing the media to continue to keep playing with Rams fans' emotions, let's allow rational thought to prevail, get some of those $250 season tickets (I hope they do that again this year, whoohoo) and start cheering.
Me, I'm hoping that someone starts writing about other possible locations the team will move to within the St. Louis area, like the old Chrsyler plant location, Earth City, old Ford plant location or maybe new location downtown? Stan might just remove the city government from the equation completely and pull a Jerry Jones to own it all, who knows. Keep cool family, I think the NFL is here to stay in St. Louis, we just need to support. What do you think?