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Rams on the Move

The latest news from the NFL: Los Angeles is getting the Rams back.

The San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders, who also wanted to move to LaLaLand, lose out... or maybe win, depending on how you look at this. The league chose the Rams and their plans for a new stadium in Inglewood over the Chargers and the Raiders and their joint scheme for a new stadium in Carson. They did say the Chargers could have a year to decide if they want to join the Rams in LA, presumably sharing the yet-to-be-built Inglewood stadium. (The Chargers would be fools to take them up on that, if you ask me. San Diego has faithfully supported the Chargers for half a century, while LA has not proven it can support one NFL team, let alone two).

I feel sorry for my friends in St. Louis. This is the second time they have lost a franchise. First the Cardinals, now the Rams. They deserve better. St. Louis is a great town (Archon is great con too, for what it's worth). A great sports town. LA isn't. If there is ever another round of expansion in the NFL, let's hope they get a new team.

Still... since the league was determined to get a team back to LA, and the candidates were the Chargers, the Raiders, and the Rams, I am glad they picked the Rams. "St. Louis Rams" never sounded right to me. "Los Angeles Rams" did, and does. (Yes, I know they started in Cleveland, but that was before my time). There is history there. And I'm old school, so I like history. Okay, true, the Chargers had history in LA as well, since they started there... but that was in the dawn of the AFL and they only played in LA for about five minutes. And the Raiders have history in LA too... but that was always wrong. The Raiders belong in Oakland... and the Chargers belong in San Diego, preferably in their powder blue uniforms.

Will LA support the Rams? Maybe at first. Novelty always counts for something. And after too, so long as they are winning. But if they start to lose? Don't count on it. There's a reason both the Rams and the Raiders left LA back in 1994. You know, during my years in TV, I went to a number of NFL games while I was out to LA. Mostly in the Coliseum, which is where the Rams will be playing until their new playpen is ready. How did I ever get tickets? you may wonder. Did I have a season pass? Not hardly. Did I buy them from a scalper? No need. I just walked up to the box office on game day and said, "I'd like a ticket." Good seats too. The Coliseum was always half empty at the games I attended (mostly when the Jets or Giants were visiting). And half of the people who were there seemed to be rooting for the visitors.

But maybe this time will be different. Maybe.

I don't know if the Chargers or the Raiders will stay put now, or try to move somewhere else. If they do move, however, I hope the NFL makes them change their names. If we have to shift franchises around, the way to do it is the way they did the Cleveland to Baltimore move, where the team moving leaves its original name with the city, and gets a new name for the new place. That's much to be preferred than the Baltimore to Indianapolis model. The Colts name should have stayed in Baltimore, just as the Browns name stayed in Cleveland.

Of course, the best model of all is Green Bay, where the team is owned by the city and the fans and will never move. Would that we had more of those... but I fear the NFL would never allow it.



Jan. 13th, 2016 10:52 pm (UTC)
The Chargers have the option of sharing the stadium, too.
We'll see how it all pans out.
Jan. 13th, 2016 10:53 pm (UTC)
Another reason not to sit in traffic
LA native here. We are not a good sports town and we certainly don't need one more reason to sit in traffic. We didn't ask for another NFL team, nor do we really want one. There is no reason for the NFL to be in LA where the fans won't appreciate it.

Jan. 14th, 2016 08:27 am (UTC)
Re: Another reason not to sit in traffic
Speaking as another Angelino, we don't need another sports team. Nobody here really cares about Football anyway, and if they do they're rooting for either the Raiders or the Chargers. Or Seattle. Let those cities deal with the headache that a stadium brings, because yeah, what Tylerb80 said, we don't need one more reason to sit in traffic.
Conor Henry
Jan. 13th, 2016 11:04 pm (UTC)
Rams Move
I've lived in LA my whole life with the Rams leaving when I was an infant. My dad remained a Rams fan, but my favorite player was Curtis Martin when I was young and the Jets have been my team ever since. I wish the Rams well in the NFC, but I will only attend when gang green is in town. Many friends my age in LA support teams other than Rams and I don't expect that to change now.
Jan. 14th, 2016 09:45 am (UTC)
Re: Rams Move
I agree with you. I've lived in LA for the last 30+ years, but I'm a KC girl, born and raised, and the Chiefs will always be my team, win or lose. So unless the Chiefs are here playing, I have no interest in the Rams.

However, I am grateful to the Rams for presenting the idea of building their stadium in Inglewood so the plans to build that monstrosity downtown fell through. Those downtown plans may take the prize for the worst idea I ever heard.
Jan. 13th, 2016 11:07 pm (UTC)
Team name change
I agree that teams should change their name when moving to a new city. "The Oklahoma City Super Sonics" would have driven me crazy. Also very happy that, so far, my Chargers are staying put.
Jan. 13th, 2016 11:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Team name change
I know what you mean. The Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz are both pretty moronic names.
Jan. 14th, 2016 10:57 am (UTC)
Re: Team name change
Do you care about basketball George ?
Jan. 14th, 2016 05:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Team name change
Jan. 14th, 2016 07:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Team name change
I always liked that the Lakers had alliteration, even if LA lacks lakes. Memphis Grizzlies also dumb, but at least grizzlies are fierce. Not so much lakes.
Jan. 13th, 2016 11:24 pm (UTC)
I became a somewhat football fan with the Rams in the "greatest show on turf" era, so I am sad the St. Louis have lost its NFL team

As an European it is difficult to me to understand the franchise model with teams switching cities. It should be difficult for a small city to compete to big cities like L.A.
Conrad J. Dominguez-Urban
Jan. 14th, 2016 12:06 am (UTC)
Moronic Names?
What about the Arizona Cardinals? I'd have thought, seeing as how Dr. Baker has described the T-rex as a 9 ton roadrunner from hell, that they'd have changed their name to the more indigenous bird.
Chris Watson
Jan. 14th, 2016 12:13 am (UTC)
Fan ownership
You are very right about the Packers, George! Would be great to have more fan owned teams. My soccer team, Heart of Midlothian, in Scotland went through huge financial turmoil before being bought by the fans and now things are looking very good for us :-)

Would be great to have a NFL style salary cap in European soccer but that will never happen.
Jan. 14th, 2016 05:40 am (UTC)
Re: Fan ownership
George is right about the Packers ownership in theory, but it really should be called out for the scam that it is. The people that are shareholders in the Packers are doing it "gratis" which means that they receive no compensation or profit. They're basically given a piece of paper saying they are shareholders and the team's Board of Directors keeps all the money for the organization (or who knows what they do with it?). It's like having a Kickstarted NFL team but with no backer rewards. It's not like the Packers would fold as an NFL team if they didn't have this money from these sold shares.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Bay_Packers_Board_of_Directors
Dan Pepper
Jan. 14th, 2016 04:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Fan ownership
I think they get the assurance that the team isn't gonna become the LA Packers some day, along with their chance to vote on whom runs the organization and seem to believe they did very well on the deal, from what I hear from Packer fans. Calling it a scam doesn't make much sense, because everyone knew up front what they were buying and got it. (Shares cost $250 each in 2011.) It's just not shareholding under the usual sense of owning stock in a for-profit corporation, but Packers fans obviously consider it a good deal.

The NFL bylaws actually banned the Packer's ownership model in 1960, but grandfathered them in. As a Detroit Lions fan of long standing, I'm very open to the idea that no owner at all would be a marked improvement.
Jan. 14th, 2016 01:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Fan ownership
I spent a large chunk of my childhood in Saskatchewan, home to the CFL Roughriders, who operate on a community-owned basis, not unlike the Packers. (I admit that I am unclear on the details, especially as I live halfway across the continent from Regina now.) I would indeed recommend such an arrangement for more pro sports teams.

Edited at 2016-01-14 01:26 pm (UTC)
Jan. 14th, 2016 12:20 am (UTC)
Maybe when LA doesn't work out for them, those weird persistent rumours about an NFL team relocating to London will come to something. And it'll be the London Rams. Or something crazy like that.
Jan. 14th, 2016 12:50 am (UTC)
No, no. Obviously it should be the Baltimore Raven who move to London. The London Ravens would be a great name.

Then the Indianapolis Colts could move back to Baltimore and be the Baltimore Colts again.

And the Rams, after they fail in LA again, could move to Indy and become the Indianapolis Rams.

And we need to get the Cardinals back to St. Louis somehow... which means Phoenix needs an expansion team.
Jan. 14th, 2016 12:57 am (UTC)
The Sunday morning UK-Based games were apparently a success in the US market, people woke up to watch them. And the NFL seemed genuinely quite keen on establishing a London franchise so they could offer games all day through Sundays.

Heh. The London Patriots... That would be a strange historical mash-up.

I can't really imagine it happening though. The West Coast teams aren't going to be keen to make that flight on a regular basis, and the travel for a London based teams away games would be a killer.
Pep Burillo
Jan. 14th, 2016 11:46 am (UTC)
NFL in Europe

It will happen if and only when new ways of travel make it possible to do LA-London in three hours. A 12-hour trip as it is nowadays is way too much.

The jet lag could be dealt with, for instance, the London team could do baseball-style road trips of say, four games, and stay in the US for a month at a time, and then home also for a month...

I think it will eventually happen. Commercial interest is just too big.
Jan. 14th, 2016 01:07 pm (UTC)
The Phoenix Cactii
Jan. 14th, 2016 01:01 am (UTC)
LA Is A Sports Town.
Mr. Martin I wouldn't say that LA isn't a great sports town. You just need to look at the LA Lakers, some of the greatest players of all time came from the Lakers. Players like Jerry West (who the logo of the NBA is modeled after), Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic, and Wilt Chamberlain played there for a while. And then there's the LA Kings, a hockey team in a place that doesn't get much ice, they are in first in their division and won the Cup in 2012 and 2014. And don't forget the LA Dodgers.

So yes, LA is a great sports city.

PS: This is coming from a Boston sports fan.
Jan. 14th, 2016 07:34 am (UTC)
Re: LA Is A Sports Town.
The Lakers have been perennial winners, however. As you say, they have had many of basketball's greatest stars, one after the other.

LA has always loved winners.

Let's see the Lakers stink for a few years, finish out of the playoffs year after year, and see what happens to the their support then.

The real test of a great sports city is whether or not they will continue to support their teams during the down times as well as the championship years.
Mike Miller
Jan. 14th, 2016 11:10 am (UTC)
Re: LA Is A Sports Town.
the real test of a great sports city is whether they support it or not......I agree just look at Chicago..Bears,WhiteSox and The Cubs if the windy city didn't support sports they all would have been gone years ago
Jan. 14th, 2016 01:21 pm (UTC)
Re: LA Is A Sports Town.
The Lakers have sucked before and fans still supported them. After Magic retired the team went through a rebuilding phase just like the Celtics are doing now. These things take time and a good GM. I don't know if the Lakers GM is any good but if he is then the team should be a playoff team in 3-4 years at most.
Jan. 14th, 2016 01:27 pm (UTC)
Re: LA Is A Sports Town.
By that standard, the aforementioned Regina - and the whole province of Saskatchewan - long ago passed that test.
Jan. 15th, 2016 04:24 am (UTC)
Re: LA Is A Sports Town.
This might actually be happening. The Lakers are the second worst team in the NBA this year, and don't really have too much of a strong base for future years. It's Kobe's last year so he's doing a victory lap season, but the reality is no one has wanted to play with him for years and the franchise isn't set up to succeed. The fanbase seems to have already moved onto the other LA team, the Clippers, and the Warriors who play in Oakland.

Edited at 2016-01-15 04:25 am (UTC)
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:24 am (UTC)
Giants hire McAdoo. Pathetic.
Zim Calhoun
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:33 am (UTC)
Being a Rams fan in St. Louis (having grown up with the Cardinals) this really sucks. Its not just that its happening, but the way it happened. Outright lies and misinformation was put out, things taken out of context and picked up as fact by lazy national reporters. From 1995 to 2006 the Dome was sold out, even though their were only 4 winning seasons in that time. Then in the 5 year record stretch of the worst football the league has seen where the Rams only won a total of 15 games, the Dome was still selling around 57,000 tickets.

I disagree about all the "history" being tied to the "LA Rams". The Greatest Show on Turf is purely St. Louis Rams, along with that Superbowl trophy, (should have been more... why did Goodell destroy the tapes!??!! Could go on about how that Superbowl loss led to the Rams leaving now)

George, you are probably still smarting a bit from when the Rams played the Jets and Martz called for an onside kick while being up 35 to 0
Jan. 14th, 2016 02:57 am (UTC)
Green Bay has had my heart precisely because of its tie to the community. Having lived in St. Louis & Columbia, Missouri, they certainly deserved better than the hand dealt, though I'll be happy not to have the Kroenkes around.
Lindsay Travis
Jan. 14th, 2016 03:24 am (UTC)
Do you think the move will affect their performance? I'm thinking it won't. I assume/hope NFL players are already motivated to win.
Duane Freese
Jan. 14th, 2016 05:42 am (UTC)
Rams and Ravns
No, no, no. Ravens -- Baltimore -- quoth the Raven not nevermore but evermore. Poe, Edgar Allan. Baltimore. Ravens. Now London Black Birds?
But as for the Rams. The fans were crazy about them in the 1950s, so crazy. How could they not be with a player such as Crazy Legs Hirsch, who had one great season and one very good one, and one wild style of running, that got him a Hollywood biopic and a ticket to the Hall of Fame.
And because they were the Rams of Los Angeles, they are remembered for The Fearsome Foursome, although the appellation was first applied to your Giants' Robustelli, Grier, Katcavage and Modzewlewski, and then the Detroit Lions' crew of Stan Williams, Darris McCord, Roger Brown and Alex Karras (though Karras went Hollywood later. Sigh.)
So, yeah, the Rams didn't fit St. Louis any more than the Oilers fit Tennessee, but I truly am sorry for the St. Louis fan base. They deserved better.
Jimmy Potter
Jan. 14th, 2016 09:32 am (UTC)
Name changes
How about, the Arizona Phoenix? Then St. Louis can get the Cardinals, Jags can move to London and become the Leopards(the royal standard used to be three leopards on red) -OR- move to Mexico City and become the Jaguars or Jaguar Knights after the Aztec warrior society! Puerto Rico gets a team named the Sharks in the AFC East! Jets vs Sharks(bit of AFC EAST-side story) and Sharks vs Dolphins(Wild Discovery) twice a year!

Or, if you really wanted to spread the sport overseas they should focus on promoting its youth sports in Europe. In order to avoid diluting the talent pool of NFL caliber players they need to expand the game from the ground up.
Jan. 14th, 2016 10:14 am (UTC)
What gets me is the pretense that the current Browns are the same franchise as Paul Brown & Jim Brown's Browns.
Jan. 14th, 2016 11:46 am (UTC)
What irks me most about the whole thing is how the NFL completely ignored their own relocation guidelines (yes, I know they are not 'laws,' but no one forced the owners to develop them). Teams aren't supposed to be able to move *just* to make money. Teams aren't supposed to move while their home city is still making legitimate efforts to keep them. Those factors were brushed aside 100% when Kroenke dangled a shiny new toy in front of them. Not surprising, but I am disgusted by their behavior.

And I believe there is an NFL rule (one they actually enforce) that says the Green Bay ownership model is no longer allowed. That would damage the owners' ability to continuously threaten moves and build new shiny toys every so often by holding cities hostage for publicly generated ransom money.

I'm done with the whole league for a long time. Go Pack, go! :)
Jan. 14th, 2016 05:04 pm (UTC)
re: Rams to LA
Not to excited, Rams left for huge amounts of cash in the first place and when St Louise did not pony up public cash for a new stadium they decide to return to LA. LA build the Staple Center with a Hotel tax, bonds and land giveaways and think the same thing can be done with a football stadium where Hollywood Park and the Forum use to be, or in Carson at the place where the Goodyear blimp use to be tethered up. But no one has broken dirt and the funding issue is not resolved.
Jan. 14th, 2016 05:06 pm (UTC)
I was starting to believe that a move back to LA for an NFL team was never really going to happen. That's because the NFL, at the end of the day, is a group of billionaire owners who are trying to make more money. No problem there, I love capitalism. But, when one [or maybe two] teams get to LA then the remaining 31 [or maybe 30] owners are no longer able to hold their cities hostage with the threat of a move to the LA market. But I guess they all prosper with this move.

It does suck for St. Louis. I remember hoping that the Bucs weren't going to relocate back in the mid 90's when their original owner died. St. Louis has a long history with the NFL but being an outsider I'm wondering if it's more of a baseball town. No disrespect to the Rams fans at all. I've just noticed that there doesn't appear to be an empty seat in the house every time I happen to see a home Cardinals game on TV. I've also heard from transplants that it's typical that home baseball games are sold out in that town.
Jan. 14th, 2016 07:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Surprised
Kind of a false narrative that StL is a baseball town *only.* Yes, primarily the fans there will root for the Cards, but for the past 15-20 years, that's because they've played very well with excellent results. Quite opposed to the Rams, especially the last 10 years of utter on-field futility (including the worst 5-year stretch of any team IN HISTORY).

Basically this entire past football year (longer really...just this last year he had open intentions of relocation), you had a mustache-twirling owner who put a crap product on the field and threatened to move. Then when no one showed up, he used the low attendance as justification why he should move. SMH.
Jan. 15th, 2016 12:14 pm (UTC)
You should put a patent on that
London Ravens , love that !

I'm from the Midlands in the U.K . Part time American Football fan and big time soccer ( real football ) fan . The thought of my team relocating to another part of the U.K. is soul destroying ! Do you Americans not care for History and tradition , memories even ?! Seems to be all about money . Sad state of affairs really because when you get down to it , it's still local people rooting for a group of guys throwing a ball around .
Josh Barbeau
Jan. 15th, 2016 03:08 pm (UTC)
Appreciation from St. Louis
As a St. Louisan, your support means a lot, George. I read your football updates regularly, so it was cool to hear you touch on my local team since ours don't play each other (Giants or Jets) particularly often.

If there's a league that could expand, it's the NFL, even though the playoffs are already so tough to get into. Do you think an expansion would necessarily include a new team in each division or do you think one team added to each league would be enough?

Having an extra MLB team in the St. Louis Cardinals' division always seemed difficult until the Astros moved to the AL.
Jan. 15th, 2016 05:04 pm (UTC)
London Raiders has a ring.
WalMart won again. The Ram man has the gold so he makes the rules. And he threw in a nice new studio and a "NFL" campus all built on top of the bones of old Hollywood Park.

The NFL always needs a location to lord above cities to pressure them to make tax payer paid improvements. Getting to be slim pickings in the USA so methinks London will be the new lurking team threat.

The Raiders might be mad enough to move to London. Like Al Davis his son might roll the dice. Oakland should keep their Raiders but everything and everyone is for sale so the Raiders might set sail. Though, methinks, the Jaguars might hold the keys to Londontown.

With concussion' lawsuits looming and the young generation to cutting ties to high cable bills the NFL has seen its high water mark. Disney's ESPN jewel is in decline and seems to have turned to be often peddling pure obnoxiousness. If the concussion ripple devastates Pop Warner children will become fans of other sports.

The NFL is too big to fail but so was the Roman Empire. Everything must end and, methinks, the end of the NFL has begun.

Still the show must go on....Carolina 38 Seahags 19, Cardinals 44 Pack 22, Denver 29 Pitt 15, Pats 31 KC 21.

Cards 37 Carolina 35, Pats 31 Broncos 13

Cards over Pats 38-35 in the Big Show.
Jan. 15th, 2016 06:24 pm (UTC)
St. Louis
If you remember, St. Louis stole the Cardinals from Chicago and more recently the Rams from Los Angeles. So, I don't feel that bad for them.
Jan. 15th, 2016 10:16 pm (UTC)
The Real Draw in LA
The real mpney maker here will be getting the opposing fans to attend the game. LA is a city of transplants, so every home Rams game is going to have at least 10-20k fans of the opposing team. Probably more for NFC West rivals like San Francisco and Seattle, in which there might actually be more visiting team fans than the home team. And as a lifetime LA area resident, this will be even more pronounced if the Rams are losing since LA is a fair-weather fan town when it comes to sports.

The other upside here is that LA is no longer a location that other NFL owners get to use to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers to build a new stadium every 15 years. It's ridiculous that billionaires can ask municipalities to put hundreds of millions of dollars on the shoulders of taxpayers to build something that the economics literature uniformly shows loses money over time.
Dionna O'Steen
Jan. 16th, 2016 03:25 am (UTC)
Los Angeles is getting the Rams back.
I'm here in Inglewood and was really looking forward to my Raiders coming home. Rams.....{grumble grumble}
Jan. 16th, 2016 06:25 am (UTC)
I watch college ball, and the UCLA and especially USC fanbases are notorious for their fickleness. I blame Hollywood, or something.
Jan. 16th, 2016 04:48 pm (UTC)
This is why I can never call myself a "fan"
I used to be a Browns fan, and then I learned a valuable lesson: don't love something that won't love you back. The whole concept of "loyalty" to a sports franchise is silly beyond words. It's like trying to marry a hooker. They love you as long as you keep paying.

I enjoy football and follow the Bengals. The debacle last weekend annoyed me - but hey, I'm over it.
Jan. 16th, 2016 06:39 pm (UTC)
Green Bay is amazing in how the city and fans own the team — and one of the most loyal followings in the league. I'd love more of that.
BJ Wellman
Jan. 16th, 2016 08:54 pm (UTC)
Detroit Lions!!
As long as the Lions stay in Detroit I'm fine.
Oberyn Calderon
Jan. 18th, 2016 05:19 am (UTC)
Rams > any other choice for LA
I think we may have broached this subject on a previous post, but I can't recall.

Just wanted to chime in as a person who lives in So Cal (as we call it) and who also loves football. I thoroughly happy that it was the Rams that won the bid to come to LA. I honestly never understood the Chargers' interest in coming to LA, when San Diego truly loves them. Philip Rivers is basically worshiped as soon as you hit Temecula. Yes there was some jumping ship when San Francisco was heading to the Super Bowl- but needless to say to anyone with eyes, the San Francisco apple no longer looks appetizing.

I never wanted the Raiders to come back to LA for numerous reasons. The main being the violence attached to the fan base's reputation....and that is not without cause. It's kinda like....we can't have the Dodgers AND the Raiders having people attacked BOTH within Los Angeles....it would just give the "City of Angels" an even worse repute. Plus the Raiders have been the laughing stock of the NFL for YEARS now. I don't think that would be the right kind of omen or energy to bring in to an LA market. Especially-as you said earlier- our track record for support isn't all that.

Regardless I am glad they settled this and that I will have a team I can support AND watch live from time to time. Can't wait to buy my jersey! I'm an Aries too, which makes it doubly convenient!!


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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