If you care about football in St. Louis, you should care about the Rams. It’s as simple as that as the Rams have their second home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers today. There’s an old saying that I can’t let go as I creep up in age. Don’t let something that you can’t control affect you. The situation with the Rams and how the team arrived at this fork in the road is not a fault on the fans and that is why they shouldn’t give up just yet.
For the past 10 years, while losing teams and miserable times mounted around the Edward Jones Dome and Rams park, they showed up to watch something begin again. Unlike most fan bases of losing teams, the Rams fans never gave up and whatever owner Stan Kroenke “didn’t” say, the attendance was respectable. Watching this Rams team play football the past decade is the equivalent to watching a car suddenly lose power steering and go screaming off a cliff, rolling down the nearside hill hitting every bump on the way down. It hasn’t been easy.
Yes, the owner has something to do with that. Kroenke makes Harrison Ford on a talk show seem chatty. He doesn’t say a word but he sure does speak volumes with headlines. He pushes pawns all across the board, wages the future of his football team on a dream lot in California, and doesn’t say a word to fans. He helped bring the team here and waited for his opportunity to snag ownership of them back. He’s never fully invested in this team in St. Louis. If Stan played poker, he’d make even more money. His poker face is a 24/7 gauntlet. Don’t even try to read it. I’ll sum it up. It reads, “I don’t care about you.”
That doesn’t mean stay away from the games downtown. Do St. Louis a favor and SHOW UP. Cheer for your team. Show them that you care. That is the best and only way to hurt Stan’s plan. Show that the city is a viable place for NFL football. Pack the dome. Light up the city on Sunday mornings and afternoons. Don’t let the hard work of stadium task force leaders Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz die in vain. Create a frenzy and see what happens. If the team does leave, at least you can say you did something about it. You did your best. As a football fan pleading for its team to remain in St. Louis, it’s the only thing you can do.
The Rams team is a young group once again. A bunch of young men trying to create something special out of improbable parts. Their quarterback, Nick Foles, is a transplant from Philadelphia, looking to start anew. Their running back corps consists of a few bodies. The receiving core is a group of men still trying to find their true potential and seeing their 4th or 5th different quarterback throw passes towards them. The defense is the white snake of this plaza. Powered by defensive end Robert Quinn, defensive tackle Aaron Donald and linebacker James Laurinaitis. Their front seven is among the best in football, a feared group of tacklers that dares opposing teams to run the ball.
Yes, the secondary isn’t exemplary and the offensive line will need patch work throughout the season. With a new offensive coordinator comes hope of a more exciting system but also the dreaded Jeff Fisher override. Will the passing game be opened up? Will Tavon Austin and Brian Quick be turned loose? Or will the Rams die via check down boredom? All of that is up in the air.
Here’s what is known. There are 16 games to play, and eight of them are at home. The fans need to show their pride one more time. Stand up for not only the Rams but the prospect of NFL action in St. Louis in general. Instead of grunting about Stan and his evil ways from your chair in St. Louis county, get down there and mix it up with the fans. Tailgate, barbecue, scream, shout and cheer. This young team will be empowered by it. This fanbase will seem stronger than ever. The city of St. Louis may just fly on it.
It’s all we can do. Show up, make our presence known and see what happens. It all starts today.