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ESPN Story Details Ownership Squabbles As Stan Kroenke And Jerry Jones Strongarm Rams To Los Angeles

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The devil is in the details.

Chris Files/101ESPN

You can't really get beyond hyperbole when talking about NFL owners. They're a crass, uncaring bunch on the whole.

But an ESPN report out today from Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta, Jr., exposes just how crass Stan Kroenke was, enabled by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and NFL exec Eric Grubman, in his push to move the Rams:

At Mastro's, the two men met to determine whether they might have a shared vision for Los Angeles. Kroenke was enthusiastic about a 60-acre tract of land in Inglewood, nestled between the Forum and the soon-to-be-closed Hollywood Park racetrack. Earlier in the year, Kroenke had driven around the site at 5:30 a.m. and raved about its potential to Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff and to Jones. Spanos, though, was cool on the Inglewood location, citing concerns about parking and traffic.

Still, both men, and their associates, saw the convivial dinner as a promising first step toward a potential partnership. They agreed to be in touch.

But after the dinner, Spanos called Kroenke several times. Kroenke never returned any of the calls.

Despite Spanos' reservations, the Inglewood land -- owned at the time by Wal-Mart, the family business of Kroenke's wife, Ann Walton Kroenke -- still intrigued Kroenke. At the time, it was being sold in a blind auction. Without any warning to Spanos, a company set up by Kroenke, Pincay RE LLC, offered $90 million, outbidding everyone -- including NFL executive Eric Grubman, who later would become the league's point man on the relocation process. Nobody knew whether Grubman had bid on his own or on behalf of the league or some other buyer. But Kroenke's purchase -- and his later deal for an adjacent 238 acres -- was a precursor of what would become the dominant theme of the NFL's return to Los Angeles:

Stan Kroenke would not be stopped.

The whole thing's worth your time. It's nothing that we didn't allude to here at TST throughout the entire process. It was a fight between the collectivists (or as the report deems them the "old money" owners) against the individualists ("new money").

For all Kroenke's conniving and Jerry Jones' Yosemite Sam efforts, it wasn't ever as smooth or as direct as it should have been. And that falls on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who the story points out numerous times is hardly seen as a decent authority figure to the owners.

In the end, it doesn't change anything. But it does life the lid on the innerworkings of the process and shows just how dysfunctional the NFL really is.