clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFL Relocation: Reaping The Whirlwind...

New, comments
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

If this whole process has taught fans of the NFL anything, it's that existing fan value really never enters into the league's  mind set. No team is safe; money drives the NFL's will...

In previous parts of this series, I've stated clearly I don't think ANY team should be moved. Now that the St. Louis Rams are no more, my feelings on the subject haven't changed. Fans - in both St. Louis and Los Angeles - have their thought points. I get it. My heart of hearts is split, and I'm oddly numb right now over which way to think about the Rams returning to L.A...

Maybe I'm beyond naive, but most of the time I just want SOMETHING I can count on as a sports fan. My football soul was built by watching Deacon Jones, Jack Youngblood, Merlin Olsen, Tom Mack, Flipper Anderson, Henry Ellard... The list goes on and on... 20 years of watching the Rams in St. Louis built onto to my NFL fan template, and I'll hold Kurt Warner, Steven Jackson, Aeneas Williams, Isaac Bruce, Tory Holt, Orlando Pace, and many others equally - and along side - with all who came before them... But let's be VERY clear about one thing I've learned of late: The many players I just mentioned are all the NFL - as an entity - have given me, and nothing else. The NFL is a mono-dimension template that presents games and players as their voices. Behind these two items, there's nothing but a monetary code of ethics; lacking soul, conscience, and blatantly displays its greed for all to see...

I can't help but feel many of you are saying: "You're just now getting this?" Like I said, I'm a bit naive. I look for the best in everyone, and shun giving up on anyone. I open doors for people to precede me; help my friends and neighbors... I can be counted on by all who know me, and don't live for a thank you just because I did what I feel is the right thing to do. I'm not special, nor do I want to be. I get taken advantage of from time to time, but I shake it off and move on...

Yet, don't misunderstand me. I get to the point sometimes, when I'd love to just rage at people who present a sociopath's lack of consideration for others. It's the lack of empathy that gets me most. Last night, reporters had to remind some NFL owners about the fans who lost out in this whole relocation %$#& storm. On Twitter, a few likened the wait to hear the owners' vote to that of waiting for a Papal enclave to send up a smoke signal signifying a new Pope had be chosen. One color smoke means one thing, another color means another. The only thing burned last night were fans hopes, dreams, and their love of teams being summarily bargained away...

The St. Louis Rams are now the Los Angeles Rams, as they were when I grew up. I wish I could take this bumpy ride and come out thinking this whole thing meant something? That something had come full circle... To some, maybe it has. But let's not ever forget the collateral damage left behind. The NFL can't seem to extricate itself from an unending series of storms. They seed the clouds that pour rain on them, and can't help continuing this cycle. They're drowning fans in a muddy sea of miscues, "(fill in the blank) Gates" of every variety, and now team relocations which don't appear to be over. San Diego and Oakland can stretch this whole thing out for another two years!

I'll love my Rams, and watch them, write about them, and cheer or moan for them. I'll Mock Drafts for them, and arm chair quarterback with the best of them. It will come on another day though, because right now, the Rams are more "them" than I really like to think about at the moment. I have to ease into change, just as you do. All I can do today is think about the thousands and thousands of St. Louis Rams fans I've been blessed to write for these many years. These are such unbelievably kind, intelligent, funny, caring fans, that it causes me pain to think of what they're going through...

It's not much, but it's all I can give you right now: If you'll read it, I'll always write for you. I won't change, and I hope you'll find it in your hearts to allow me to continue to inform you, entertain you, celebrate with you, and commiserate in those times when our Rams just don't get it right... It's all I have to give, but it's yours...