The Sunflower

Marty: The Rams didn’t give St. Louis a fair chance

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Marty: The Rams didn’t give St. Louis a fair chance

I’m doing things differently this year. For the first time in my life, I’m skipping out and not watching the Super Bowl.

Sunday’s marquee contest between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams has turned into a nightmare that won’t end. For anyone deeply interested in St. Louis sports, there could not be a worse matchup.

I’m from St. Louis, and the last thing I want is for the Rams to win a Super Bowl. The Rams aren’t well-liked in St. Louis, and for good reason.

The Rams moved back to St. Louis in 1995. Shortly after their return, they won a Super Bowl. Years later, the Rams were back in it again. They fell to the Patriots, who are commonly believed to have filmed the Rams’ practices that year. Those were the good days. The days before those successes became clouded by the tumultuous downturn of the franchise and its repeated losing seasons.

The Rams’ front office never did much to get back the winning culture it once had. With the losses came serious dips in attendance. That’s when Rams’ owner Stan Kroenke decided to relocate the team back to Los Angeles. In 2016, the Rams broke for California.

Kroenke never gave St. Louis a fair chance. He said that diminished attendance numbers were a large factor, that people in St. Louis didn’t care for football, and that it was more of a “baseball town.”

St. Louis didn’t give up on the Rams — the Rams gave up on St. Louis.

Instead of putting forth the money and effort, Kroenke settled. His focus was never St. Louis, but how he could get the team back out West.

The Rams’ move to L.A. didn’t help solve the matter. You’d think a team that’s made the postseason back-to-back years would sell-out its games. They haven’t.

The St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues have each proven how wrong Kroenke is. The people of St. Louis do care for professional sports. This summer, the city hosted a PGA Championship that attracted thousands to the city. In 2020, St. Louis will host the NHL All-Star game. There’s buzz of a MLS team settling in St. Louis.

I care about sports, as do the people of St. Louis. That’s what Kroenke couldn’t see.

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