Today in peeing-on-NFL-owners’-graves news, St. Louis Rams edition

Nothing much new today on the NFL-to-L.A. front except for everyone on the planet continuing to completely freak out about it, but I did want to take note of two links worth following:

  • Will Leitch, last man standing at my old employer Sports on Earth, has penned a great piece comparing St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s scorched-earth approach to getting out of that town to former Browns owner Art Modell’s self-reinvention as the most hated man in Cleveland for moving the team to Baltimore, to the point where a Browns fan was recently arrested for peeing on Modell’s grave. That’s a high bar to match, and I’m not sure the Rams have the kind of tradition in St. Louis that anyone will be inspired to quite that much hatred if they leave, but it’s always nice to give people ideas — so long as Leitch doesn’t end up paralyzed by fear of his own awesome power if it works.
  • I don’t always post links here to when I do radio appearances (Twitter is a better place to keep up with that, if you’re interested), but my visit to St. Louis CBS Sports Radio’s We Are Live last night was too long and too hilarious not to share with you all. Podcast link is here; if I can find a web archived version as well, I’ll add an update.

17 comments on “Today in peeing-on-NFL-owners’-graves news, St. Louis Rams edition

  1. Today’s St Louis Post-Dispatch devoted half a page to a Stan Kroenke dartboard, in case anyone was wondering whether this would descend (or rise) to the levels of a middle-school slapfight.

  2. Neil…when do you appear in the podcast? Not that Travis and Chris’ banter isn’t entertaining, but I’d like to get your segment.

  3. @Kei:

  4. It is not peeing on a grave, but this gofundme campaign aims to send boxes of poop to Kroenke’s house.

  5. I just realized something, if the NFL accepts Stan Kroenke’s proposal in any form, the league can be sued for bribery. Heck, Jerry Jones can be sued for bribery. The NFL Network is one of his pet projects in addition to the Cowboys.

  6. ^ Stop perpetuating this ludicrous narrative. The other day you tried to claim St. Louis could and would sue the team and Kroenke in federal court for slander, despite having absolutely zero substantiation for that assertion. The claim you’ve made here is no different.

  7. It’s a well written article, but it isn’t the fairest thing I’ve ever seen.

    Yes, Kroenke is deriding St. Louis as a market, as a city and for the weak (in his mind) effort to “keep” the Rams – a franchise it does not and has never held even a tiny slice of ownership in.

    Does anyone believe an owner in this day and age can get approval to move by saying “they’ve been great, wonderful, I’m crazy to leave this place but you know what? I want to anyway”?

    The comparison to Modell is not effective either. Modell did not have a new stadium deal in place and did not have any competition for his intended landing spot. Kroenke does. He also (again, unlike Modell) has the money to build whatever he wants wherever he wants…even absent NFL stadium funding programs. No-one else in this “race” has that.

    All sports owners who move their franchises are hated. Kroenke will be too, and rightly so. But given that the city of St. Louis acquired it’s team mainly because the wife of the former owner wanted to move her team to her home town (which, one can’t help but point out, she left decades earlier), and the city offered a $200m stadium when LA was offering nothing at all (then as now), can they really claim to have been wronged?

    I’ll say it again: St. Louis doesn’t own the Rams. Never has.

    Part of the problem with bribing sports owners to favour you with the hosting of their team is that someone else will eventually offer more, or just provide a better opportunity in general, regardless of subsidy. Sports franchise owners and trophy wives tend to be notoriously fickle.

  8. John Bladen: Modell did have a stadium deal in place when he decided to move. The stadium deal was essentially the one Baltimore had offered the NFL when seeking an expansion team and all the state bonds and such were authorized.

    Also, not all owners who move their teams are “hated”. In Cleveland Art Modell is truly and universally loathed. In Seattle the name Clay Bennett would be met with a shrug or even a response of “who?” by all but a small subculture. I bet most people in Atlanta would have no idea who owned the Atlanta Thrashers–many might not even know such a team existed.

  9. Modell did not have a stadium deal in place in Cleveland. Of course he had one in Baltimore, hence the move. Cleveland had talked to him about a new stadium, but they never did make an agreement (obviously, as they skipped town)

    Sonics fans do hate Bennett. Non-fans don’t care, as you would expect.

    As for the Thrashers, they never had any fan support to speak of, so no, no-one will lament their passing (as with the Flames).

  10. Well, Kroenke doesn’t have a deal. He has a proposal. A deal implies agreement.

    The point was the level of support differs. In Cleveland they lived and breathed the Browns. In Seattle the Sonics were just another entertainment option.

    I’m not sure how much support the Rams have but I imagine it’s moderate. If the Cardinals moved, that would be a different matter, much more akin to the Browns’ move in terms of the lasting hatred.

  11. But Stan Kroenke doesn’t need the deal because he already has the land and has reportedly already broken ground. My beef is that this amounts to bribery if the NFL accepts his deal. The only way everybody could end up going home happy is of Kroenke and Dean Spanos swap teams with the latter owning the Rams in a new waterfront stadium that makes the Cardinals super jealous.

  12. Bribery is a word that has actual meaning.

    When a franchisee pays the league to acquire the exclusive rights to establish or relocate a franchise in market that’s not “bribery”. That’s business.

    There are a lot of underhanded things involved with the NFL–anti-trust exemptions, non-profit status and of course the massive amount of public subsidies they extract. The league offering the market to the highest bidder is actually the only above board and honest part of the story.

  13. Kroenke has been offered a deal which some members of the relocation committee have commented is “pretty good”.

    He may not want to take it, and uniquely among current owners the league may not be able to force him to do so. But he does have a bona fide offer from the city that hosts the franchise he owns, whether he considers it to be acceptable or not. As has been discussed on other threads related to other sports franchises, what Mr. Kroenke owns is an NFL franchise located in St. Louis. Unless and until the NFL approves his relocation to another market, that is all he owns.

    I agree with you on the “highest bidder” comment. However, as I understand it the NFL voluntarily surrendered it’s NFP designation last year. Since it was only the league itself and not the member teams that were NFP, I don’t believe that has a significant impact on the organization. My assumption is the league office operated on a cost recovery basis, and any “league” generate revenue excess to office needs was distributed to member teams in it’s entirety.

  14. All we ask in St. Louis is he change his name. He has no connection to those GENTLEMEN. I suggest Anus Richard Kroenke. Wecalso ask he put is 84 acre home up for sale and divest all holdings in Missouri. He is no longer classified a citizen of this state. Finally stop lying about our city. L. A. Has just as many issues if not more. Hell the state of California is broke and has been bailed out before so this is just a miser trying to drain out $$$ from the citizens out there. Good Luck L. A. But just remember, once the beast is full it will move on!