Earlier this week, Silent $tan took the gloves off and came out swinging at the city of St. Louis in the Rams relocation application. He berated the city saying that it's unfit to be an NFL city and that the proposed North Riverfront stadium would lead to financial ruin for any NFL franchise that occupies it.
You can call it business or call it negotiating but generally with those two functions, there is some level of professionalism held intact. $tan left no resemblance of professionalism in the application. He threw low blow after low blow and shows no signs of slowing down.
While I've learned never to underestimate the capabilities of a douchbag billionairre, I gotta say that I didn't expect this from an NFL owner. It seems, however, that the civic leaders of St Louis and Missouri expected it because they had their retorts ready.
On one hand, it's a Governor's job to defend organizations in his state. But on the other hand, Nixon has gone out on a limb for the Rams with the State bonds being issued for the stadium. He has done his part to keep the Rams in St. Louis. While he left the 'formal response' to the St Louis Stadium Task Force, he did add this:
If we don’t have a long-term lease and a tenant there, we’re not going to build a stadium. And if we do (have a team), it’ll be a publicly owned stadium, and we’re not going to raise taxes, and we’re going to redevelop an area of the city ... that has been very vexing to a lot of folks.
He stopped short of throwing the low blows that $tan did, but he made it known that the fate of a downtrodden portion of the city lies in the Rams hands.
The task force responded with a lengthy rebuttal that covered all inadequacies in the Rams relocation filing. I'll leave it to you to read it in it's entirety, but the conclusion is very telling.
We have painstakingly followed protocol while assembling a stadium plan that would be well-received by the Rams and NFL. In particular, we have strived to be respectful of all stakeholders throughout all phases of this endeavor, above all the St. Louis Rams organization.
On December 30, the proposal for National Car Rental Field was delivered to the NFL, Rams and team owners. It details the funding, planning and overall certainty the League has requested. While we are very proud of our proposal, we fully expected the Rams to file for relocation.
We were not prepared, however, for the cruel attack and false claims made by our local team owner, to his League peers, in an attempt to punish and embarrass St. Louis – a city whose residents and businesses have loyally supported the Rams for more than two decades. No matter the justification for relocation – and the falsehoods in the Statement of Reasons strongly suggest the Rams have no justification to vacate St. Louis – the style in which their point was made was unprecedented, personal, groundless and unbecoming of a steward representing what we feel is the greatest professional sports league in the world.
But, we want to assure the NFL of this: St. Louis can, and will, work with Stan Kroenke. No irreparable harm has been done to our relationship or the potential to forge a true partnership that will serve the NFL, the Rams and St. Louis for decades to come. St. Louis is an NFL town. It is home to the St. Louis Rams and our team owner is Mr. Kroenke. We look forward to the next chapter and sincerely appreciate you taking the time to consider our response.
The last paragraph obviously stands out like a sore thumb. How big of a man do Bob Blitz and Dave Peacock have to be to make this water under the bridge? $tan did his best to burn every bridge in St Louis, and here the task force stands, ready to fork over $400M and a littany of other benefits to this blowhard.
I mean, $tan is doing his best to burn bridges and the city is still standing by him and his poor math skills. I have the utmost respect for the Task Force because I would have punched $tan in the throat by now.
In a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Mayor Slay openly questioned $tan's commitment to the city of St. Louis. Again, I'll leave you to read the full letter, but this is another shot in St Louis' return volley to $tan. The Mayors closing remarks are similar to most fan's feelings at the moment.
While I remain extremely unhappy at the portrayal of St. Louis in the Rams' relocation submission, I am hopeful - if not confident - that the NFL will do the right thing.
The sad part here is that fans will continue to be the forgotten observers of this entire soap opera - one that is sure to get uglier before it's resolved.