The Rams are back! Not back as in they didn’t exist for a while, or that they are good again, unfortunately. But back in the sense that the NFL just approved them to move back to Los Angeles, where they were previously located from 1946-94.
There are a few different ways to view this decision. Some are excited that a team is back in a huge market like Los Angeles. Others think that the Rams did not deserve the move, that it should have gone to teams like the San Diego Chargers or Oakland Raiders. The city of St. Louis was offering the most tax dollars towards a new stadium to keep the team there, yet the Rams are the ones who got to move.
If you are a cynic, the realization that this move was all about money will make you sick. As a long-suffering and loyal Rams’ fan, I’ll admit that they were not an organization desperate for a change of scenery. Being from Edmonton, I remember how incensed everyone was a couple years back when their wiener of an owner, Darryl Katz, threatened to move the team to Seattle. Even though the fans in Edmonton are far more hockey crazy and the team was definitely making enough money where they already were. Everybody hated Katz, and so did I, though I certainly never cared much for the Oilers.
It seems to be that the exact same sentiments exist currently in St. Louis, and who can blame those fans? Making matters worse is that this has been in the cards for at least three years; it was no secret that Rams’ owner Stan Kroenke wanted to move the team. And so the fans had years to mentally prepare themselves for the horrible reality that is losing a professional sports franchise. I had to deal with this myself up in Canada, taking the time to ponder what a move would mean for me and if I would be able to continue to cheer for a team once it moved from a city that I strangely grew to love.
I had decided in advance of last week’s decision that I would indeed continue to cheer for the Rams in Los Angeles if it came to that. But it really got me thinking – what do I do about the past? I definitely did not become a Rams fan because of the city, it was all about Kurt Warner. But soon the city became a part of that. I started to cheer for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. I went for a road-trip there and said how St. Louis was cool because they had good BBQ and blues music there, even though I would not have cared if it wasn’t for the Rams. I even pretend that the city is more cool because that is where Joe Buck is from. Beard and all.
And now what? I guess I will try to hold some affection for St. Louis, while now trying to shift my focus to LA. Who knows if this is possible? I have been to LA before but it failed to mesmerize me. Can I still maintain the same level of affection for this team if I don’t also show affection to the city? I sure hope so, but I have no idea. And that is why being a sports fan is so weird. You cheer for the team that is in the city you are from, unless there are no teams in that city – oh the inconsistency!
Oh well, all I know is that I am very excited about this new era, and cannot wait for the 2016 season to start so I can cheer on my beloved Los Angeles Rams. I also really feel bad about the fans from St. Louis, and have no idea if the majority of them will continue to cheer for Chris Long and co. or not, nor do I blame them if they cannot do so. But for myself, the NFL, and Canadian Rams’ fans everywhere (there is probably about 43), this is a very exciting time. Honestly, they will probably win the Super Bowl next year.