Tag: Stan Kroenke

Why St. Louis fans should care about the Rams

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.

Joe Buck stands up for St. Louis in calling Kroenke out

If you had any reservation about Joe Buck’s feelings towards his hometown before today, they surely are gone now.

With the St. Louis Rams relocation/new stadium/multi-faceted storm of uncertainty circling the team on a daily basis, fans need a pick me up from a national face. Today, they got just that in the form of local boy Joe Buck taking to Twitter to slam Rams majority owner Stan Kroenke and his plan to relocate the football team to Los Angeles. Check out Buck’s twitter profile for the stream of comments, but it pretty read like this.

What Stan Kroenke is doing to St. Louis Rams fans with this ordeal is a joke and an “insult”.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

After all, Stan pulled the team away from potential owner Shahid Khan years ago in a colossal shift in direction. Without publicly telling fans right away that the Rams would be in St. Louis for a long time, Stan just took the team back towards his corner of the room. He pulled his card and declared other potential owners useless, a little nugget he had built into the alliance with Georgia Frontiere.

When that happened, I had a sick feeling what Stan was up to. He didn’t care about the football fans in St. Louis. He cared about future dollars and cents. He always wanted to move these Rams west. It was never in question. He drove up ticket prices. He stayed in hiding while the Edward Jones Dome struggled to remain up to code. He checked out and bought land in Los Angeles to build a stadium. This was all part of the plan. At the end of the day, Stan was a shrewd decrepit businessman who played St. Louis for a fool. His intentions were clear from the get go. Now everybody is playing catch up.

All Buck did today was voice an opinion that many know and feel but don’t have the national weight to swing.  He called out Kroenke for being playing dirty, lying to the people of St. Louis and throwing a heavy hook towards the body of the Midwest when it comes to its football prospects.

Save me your talk about Stan Kroenke just doing what businessmen do and trying to make money. It doesn’t add up. You don’t see Bill DeWitt III trying to swindle St. Louis Cardinals fans while putting a crap show on the field for years. Tom Stillman has put his heart and soul into the Blues and making them competitive.

What Kroenke did here was lay the foundation for a move years ago. Threatening to move in order to get a new stadium deal financed. Having the dome(which has only been standing since the mid 1990’s) go on a year to year lease with the Rams and the NFL. Slowly but surely, Kroenke has worked all these moves into a plan to leave.

Kudos to Buck for unleashing the truth. Do me a favor and don’t focus too hard on the specifics of what Buck said and concentrate on the meat of the statement. What Kroenke is doing is 100% cutthroat, heartless and it has the potential to damage St. Louis for a long time. When it comes to stadiums/domes in the downtown area of a city, it’s not just about football. It’s about community growth, jobs and building something that can spark life downtown. Ballpark Village, Busch Stadium and Scottrade Center can’t do all the heavy lifting themselves. St. Louis needs the economic punch of a football stadium. It’s fuel for a city. With a new stadium, the Ed Dome could be left to schedule a number of events and dates and the Northern Riverfront could become a booming section of the city with the NFL’s full support behind it.

Stan was never on board with a new stadium here. Not for a second. He always wanted California. He’s holding the Rams over the Pacific ocean while Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz coordinate with the city of St. Louis, Governor Jay Nixon and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to keep the team in St. Louis in a frantic last ditch effort. While signs aren’t dismal for the underdogs, Kroenke is making it a tough fight. Instead of speaking with his words and keeping one foot inside a city, Stan is letting an empty suit jacket and checkbook speak for him. What a joke indeed!

Once again, Stan’s whole ordeal smells like garbage. He pried the team away from Khan with this plan in mind. He always wanted the team out west, where they came from. He’s a scoundrel for insulting a fan base who has shown up to see a pathetic team for years. Buck just called him out. He didn’t use a cryptic arrangement of 140 characters to zing Kroenke either. He threw a series of hooks, jabs and straight right hands to the temple of Stan’s phony initiative. Sometimes, integrity stands taller than dollar bills. Buck’s words won’t fix stadium issues. Just nice to see a big stick take a big swing.

Thanks for speaking up for a city of voices, Joe Buck. Thanks for stepping up for a city you grew up in and are attached to forever. A place you keep sacred roots. Buck didn’t have to say anything. He could have stayed quiet, walked the status quo, and hid behind the mighty Fox kingdom. Instead, he took to the most powerful modern outspoken device to prove his point and that’s social media. He wanted the fans to hear him.

We heard you, Joe. Loud and clear. Thank you for being the voice of the people.

Stan Kroenke: The Shadow Boxing NFL Owner

St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke waited 15 years to get full control of the team and everybody thinks he is going to ship it back to Los Angeles at first glance.   Think again folks.

This week, Stan bought land in LA and it was the size of a stadium.  Cue the freak out blues!  Oh no, he really is taking the Rams back to LA and St. Louis will be struckla-sp-rams-stan-kroenke-photo-20140130 with grief again.  Well, guess again because is inaccurate.

I don’t have a PHD in real estate or NFL ethics but I can tell you this.   This latest development has no effect on the Rams moving after 2015.  Why?

There are tons of hurdles for Kroenke to hop over even if he wanted to move the team, which I don’t think he does.  He has to get a majority vote from the owners, get permits, get more land for a serviceable parking lot and tailgating, and would endure a ton of heartaches to get this done.

Kroenke isn’t buying this land to move the Rams.  He is buying this land to hold it as leverage against the city of St. Louis to make updates to the Edward Jones Dome or build a new stadium somewhere in the area.  The city rejected a recent 700 million dollar renovation offer and now Stan took the ball back into his court by buying this land, which could turn into the Walmart Super Store it was supposed to become 9 years ago. Leverage folks.

The reason this news gets everyone rolling is due to Stan’s quiet nature.  He doesn’t treat the press like they are a needed valve to his operation and works on his own terms.  He shadow boxes the media and fanbase better than any sports owner in the land.  He is a tricky man and it works to his advantage in these matters.

The NFL doesn’t want the Rams to move back to LA anyway.  Think about it.  An expansion team means more money and a brighter future out west than leftovers from the Midwest.  Los Angeles had the Rams once and they were shipped away.  That large metropolis needs new blood and a new logo and face.  Mark Cuban maybe?

Stan and The Rams are staying put.  By 2015, the Ed Dome has to be in the top 8 of all 32 NFL stadiums or in their words, top tier.  If not, the Rams are free to move or do a year to year lease.  My thought process tells me another renovation deal is struck or a new stadium plan is made before that mark is up.

For 700 million dollars, I would rather see a new open air stadium with real grass and roots out in Earth City instead of brightening up the dead as a door nail North St. Louis Ed Dome.

I am not telling you the Rams will become a Super Bowl team or fill a new stadium anytime soon.  That depends on drafts, schedules, play and coaching which only the future holds dear.  I can tell you based on past dealings and the current smell of gunpowder in the air, that if a new NFL team lands in LA, it will not be the Rams.  Don’t start calling him “Stan Not The Man” just yet.

Then again, I have to applaud the guy for making ripples like this for buying an empty parking lot.  Ramble on Rams Fans!

-DLB

Photo Credit-LA Times