December 2, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams tackle Rodger Saffold (76) talks with fans after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in overtime at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis defeated San Francisco 16-13 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Commentary: St Louis Rams And The NFL Need Each Other


The St Louis Rams may not be the St Louis Rams for long. The Edward Jones Dome owners on Tuesday said they were hopeful that the Rams will be able to get a deal done to stay in St. Louis. Being hopeful and being certain are two very different things. The situation is tense and no one know exactly how it will turn out. However, both sides forget one important detail.

The NFL and St. Louis need each other.

All this grandstanding by both sides is unnecessary. Find a way to get this done. The NFL needs the Rams in St. Louis. Los Angeles is a large, cosmopolitan city. LA loves winners but will not support losers. Maybe in today’s world, the NFL doesn’t need fans in the seats to make money with the emergence of TV contracts. However, it’s going to look terrible with no one at the games in a brand new downtown Los Angeles stadium.

I understand the Rams in St. Louis have not been getting great attendance as well. St. Louis as a city is cautious about the NFL. They have already been burned once before with the St. Louis Football Cardinals when they moved to Arizona. They need this team. Los Angeles or London can’t support a team like a hard working, simple Midwestern city like St. Louis can. St. Louis is still relatively new to this town. The Blues have been here in St. Louis since 1967 and the Cardinals have been in St. Louis since 1882. These teams have established roots in the Gateway to the West. The Rams haven’t established those roots yet. To leave after your only lease in that city will turn the St. Louis off to the NFL forever. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

The NFL is a smart business, they know they can’t alienate the 22nd largest media market in the country. The Rams belong to St. Louis. The most success that franchise has ever had happened in their short time in St. Louis. They belong to St. Louis. How are you going to honor Kurt Warner or Marshall Faulk in a city that they never played in? You can’t. That would be awkward. The Rams are St. Louis and it should stay that way.

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Tags: NFL St. Louis Rams

  • Youngblood

    Totally lame point. How do you honor all of Los Angeles’ stars in St Louis then? Deaco, Merlin, Youngblood, Harrah, Slater, Dickerson, Fears, Waterfield, Crazylegs, Van Brocklin, the list goes on. The Rams set attendance records in LA and there are millions more “blue collar” fans in LA than St Louis. The NFL needs the 22nd market but not the 2nd market? Pure stupidity.

    • Chris Flanagan

      Never said that the NFL didn’t need LA. It’s likely crucial from a TV Contract standpoint. However, St. Louis has been burned by the NFL once before and wouldn’t open it’s doors for a 3rd time if the Rams left. They can create a new franchise in LA, two actually. My opinion is to just leave the Rams where they are and give them a chance to establish roots in the STL.

      • Youngblood

        I have friends in St Louis that are Rams fans, but they seem to be the exception, the Rams haven’t sold out in 6 seasons. Some of those were hopeless teams, but three of the last four years the Rams have been around .500….So, should Kroenke really invest in building a new stadium in St Louis, which appears to be a luke warm football market (even in the days of the Big Red)? Honestly, the Rams, who have 50 years of history in LA and have a lot of fans left somehow, make far more sense than other teams in LA. If the league wants LA to work, they should give Stan the green light on relocation.

      • St. Louis Lambs

        Screw that – St. Louis can have a new team. Or we’ll take the new team and the Rams name. The “St. Louis Rams” as an entirety is a mistake and black eye for the league. You guys are in bed with Georgia Frontiere.

    • Mike24

      Exactly. The number 2 market can be alienated but not the 22nd?

      Heck the NFL can alienate StL 4 times over before they get to LA media market numbers.

  • Chris Slama

    St. Louis doesn’t deserve a team. Like you said, the city has had 2 chances. They’ve failed to show support both times. If Georgia didn’t pull off the NFL equivalent of the movie “Major League”, the Rams would still be in Los Angeles where they belong.

    • St. Louis Lambs

      “Major League” is exactly what happened!

  • fourtwentymuleteam

    the “St Louis Rams” will never roll off my tongue. They belong in L. A.. The mascot name doesn’t even sound right. Besides the zoo, where’s the nearest [feral] Ram to SE MO? CO somewhere??

  • St. Louis Lambs

    This article is (unintentional) comedy gold! You guys hang banners from LA and put LA Rams in your “ring of honor” along with Cardinals they played AGAINST and you’re wondering how LA would honor the five seconds of success the Rams enjoyed in St. Louis.

    I love the “empty stadium” line, too – do you think we didn’t notice all the empty seats in your monday night game awhile ago? How about the Chicago Bears’ “home game” in St. Louis? LA won’t support losers but St. Louis will? Then why aren’t they? The Rams “belong” in St. Louis like Jack Youngblood belongs in your stupid ring of honor.

  • Eric Geller

    You’re absolutely ridiculous. You really haven’t clearly thought this out.

    You said:
    “The NFL is a smart business, they know they can’t alienate the 22nd largest media market in the country.”

    Why not? The NFL’s alienated the 2nd largest market for 20 years.

    You said:
    “LA loves winners but will not support losers.”

    Really. You can’t win them all as they say. I’ll put L.A.’s attendance record in supporting a “loser” up against St. Louis any time. You obviously believe that’s why the Rams left Los Angeles in the first place. One of the biggest lies/misconceptions “kool-aid” you’ve gulped. Los Angeles lost the Rams because of the very stadium issues St. Louis is experiencing now and when it lost the Cardinals too. Had Los Angeles not supported the Rams during bad seasons they would’ve left after year five in L.A. They were here 49 years prior to bolting for St. Louis.

    You said:
    “it’s going to look terrible with no one at the games in a brand new downtown Los Angeles stadium.”

    Really. You know for a fact no one will show up for an NFL game in Los Angeles!? Just like we Los Angelenoes don’t show up for Lakers, Clippers, Kings, Ducks, Dodgers and Angels games when they’re not doing well said sarcastically!

    You said:
    “How are you going to honor Kurt Warner or Marshall Faulk in a city that they never played in? You can’t. That would be awkward. The Rams are St. Louis and it should stay that way.”

    Really. Tell me. How is it you honored Deacon Jones, Jack Youngblood, Eric Dickerson, Melrin Olsen, Tom Mack, Jim Everett, Vince Ferragamo, Leroy Irvin, Tom Fears, Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch, Bob Waterfield, Norm van Brocklin among others……who all played in St. Louis only because they kicked the St. Louis Cardinals’ behinds year in and year out?!?!?!

    You said:
    “The Rams belong to St. Louis. The most success that franchise has ever had happened in their short time in St. Louis. They belong to St. Louis.”
    Really. First of all, the Rams belong to no one (except Stan Kroenke of course). They’re a member of the NFL which, like you said, is a business. If the powers-that-be determine it’s more financially beneficial for the Rams to move back to L.A…..that’s what’s going to happen. Truth of the matter is the Rams’ “brand” is worthless in St. Louis as compared to what the brand and the entire franchise would be worth back in Los Angeles. As far as your “most success the franchise has ever had happened in their short time in St. Louis” statement, yeah they won their only Super Bowl in St. Louis. That’s all you have. The three years of the GSOT. In Los Angeles the Rams have, among other things, a World Championship….an NFC Championship (Super Bowl XIV), five of the top-ten attendance records in NFL history, a record seven straight NFC West Division Titles, double-digit division titles, the Fearsome Foursome, the all-time single-season rushing record among other notable achievements in 49 years in Los Angeles.
    Granted, the Rams appeared in two Super Bowls winning one in St. Louis. But THAT’S IT. And what does St. Louis do…….St. Louis ” awkwardly celebrates” all those great achievements by some great Los Angeles Rams players like Deacon Jones, who once told me – and I quote, “The only thing football fans in St. Louis know me for is kicking Jim Hart’s ass!”
    You’re grasping at the “but, it’s not fair if they leave” straw like a five year-old.
    PATHETIC!!!

  • Don Jennett

    Exactly, Youngblood: Not only does the “Ring of Fame” have 10 LOS ANGELES RAMS, the other three were Cardinals players! We had season tickets from 1964 until the day they left in ’94 — the Rams were beloved in Southern Cal until that evil witch Georgia “Swim Out Farther, Carroll” Front-and-Rear-y and her equally-evil henchman John Shaw tanked the team so they could convince the NFL to let her move to the city of her Showgirl roots. An absolute tragedy. The team name should have stayed — a la the Browns in Cleveland. St. Louis in a baseball town, and a great one at that. The Rams wouldn’t be missed at all…

  • City Of Angelz:.

    L.A is the home For the Rams fuck st.Louis its funny how the media and reporters are trying to cover shit up when we can sell more tickets and rep for our team die hard fans LA.RAMS .: !

  • Ulises Sanchez

    Chris Flanagan, ur an idiot. Horrible reasons for Rams to stay in St Louis. You basically just gave excuses about y u think they should stay. O and wait, did u say that a new stadium in LA is going to be empty? Credibility lost…

  • LordofLight

    The “most success that franchise has ever had happened in their short time in St. Louis”? You really need to learn history, fella. Does the Rams’ 1951 world championship now not count? (If you think only Super Bowls count, you’re an ignoramus.)

    Plus while they didn’t win a title, the Rams from 1966 to 1980 had only one losing record and made the playoffs 10 times — including eight consecutive trips from 1973 to 1980. (Some dingbat took over in 1979, but that’s another story, isn’t it?) The St. Louis variation of the Rams — with those awful gold and dark blue uniforms — has had only posted four winning records in 19 years, and none since 2003! Even during down years in the late ’50s and early ’60s, the Rams never sank as low as they have in St. Louis.

    The only reason the Rams went to St. Louis was because of a stadium deal and greed — and now they can’t even draw fans. Put ‘em back in LA where they belong!

  • CFAN

    The St. Louis RAMS aren’t going anywhere. The NFL stands to make billions (with a B) on expansion fees in the LA market. They would be stupid to relocate an existing franchise and when it comes to making money, they are not stupid. And, they’ve been doing just fine without the 2nd market for almost 20 years. The longer it takes LA to get their act together, the higher the expansion fee goes. The NFL is in no hurry to put a team or teams there and why should they?

    • Eric Geller

      Los Angeles’ act IS together. It’s the NFL that needs to get its act together. It would be stupid for the NFL to NOT put an existing team – one with the largest Los Angeles ties (the Rams) – back in Los Angeles especially when there’s talk of two teams in Los Angeles. Do you really think the Los Angeles sports fan would put up with two expansion teams at the same time especially with the prospects of both teams losing for five years. That would be the worst scenario. For L,A, to work, the Rams would be the perfect established team to move back because of their long history in L.A. along with an expansion team. As far as relocation/expansion fees….AEG said it would pay the relocation fee of any team ready to move. Also, the prospect of the Rams moving back to L.A. could waive the relocation $$ as it happened when the Raiders moved back to Oakland. As you say the NFL isn’t in a hurry to put a team(s) in L.A., It appears the NFL is in no hurry to help St. Louis keep the Rams either.

      • CFAN

        I don’t really care what LA fans would put up with. Apparently, they didn’t put up with the Rams and Raiders either. Waving the relocation fee is not a positive for the owners, but charging an expansion fee would be. The fact that Goodell continuously states that the NFL owns the LA market would tend to support this. Expansion fees would be a cash cow for the NFL owners. Relocating a team, any team, would be a zero net gain for the owners. The NFL owners didn’t get rich by accident. They know what they’re doing. They’re going to get their money one way or another. That’s why the LA market has been without a team for 20 years and will continue to be without a team until someone writes a really really big check.

        • Eric Geller

          The NFL doesn’t care that you don’t care what the L.A. fans would put up with. Again, you’ve drank the “Kool-Aid” because L.A. fans DID put up with the Rams and the Raiders. THE ONLY REASON L.A. IS WITHOUT AN NFL TEAM(S) IS BECAUSE OF STADIUM ISSUES…NOT FAN ISSUES. Remember, the Rams called L.A. home for 49 years before moving to the Midwest.
          Here’s something you need to understand. St. Louis isn’t making the NFL owners any money. 31st out of 32 teams in league revenue is pretty bad. The Rams’ value is well below the franchise average value of $1.2-billion. It’ll be worth that – and more – IF the franchise is relocated to Los Angeles.
          You obviously don’t understand marketing and demographics. But in a megalopolis like Los Angeles where ticket prices will be expensive ones, a team fans can identify with (the Rams) lines the NFL and its owners’ pockets with much green.
          A big check will be had by the NFL and its owners WHEN/if the Rams move back to Los Angeles.
          You can bank on that. Also, bank on the fact that St. Louis is an afterthought at this point based on the teams value, attendance figures and the lack of $$$ to build or improve a stadium.

          • CFAN

            Thus the big rush (20years) to get a team back in LA and the NFL’s unwavering commitment to do whatever it takes…yeah, koolaid…pffffftttt

          • Eric Geller

            That’s all you have………pffffttttt!?!? Stadium issues were – and still are (see STL CVC) – the major issue in team relocation in all sports. Wonder what you’ll be “pffffftttttting” when the Rams and the league announce a move out of St. Louis because of its stagnant financial state.

  • Gary Stewart

    ive been a rams fan for 50 years and i dont give a crap where they play i will root for them so all this matters very little hell id root for em if they moved to london although id hate that!! in fairness to the city of stl the cardinals when there very seldom fielded a competitive team and id love to see what the attendance numbers were all those years. and when the rams were the GSOT the fans were there we can wait one more year to see if we can again field a winning team then stan will better be able to judge i say lets watch the rams and just play!!!