Archive for February, 2016

Monday’s Missile: Los Angles Rams Not Worthy of St. Louis’ Support

Posted in Football, Los Angeles Rams, NFL, Sports, St. Louis Rams, St. Louis Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 29, 2016 by Shane Gray

DemoffRams(St. Louis, MO)

@RealShaneGray

The Los Angeles Rams organization is not worthy of any support from former Rams fans from St. Louis. Sorry, but they’re not.

On the way out of town — in case you forgot or missed it — the Rams ripped the region and ran roughshod over the city’s fans in their official relocation application.

In presenting their case to move to the nation’s second largest market, Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Chief Operating Offender Kevin Demoff painted a portrait of St. Louis that might make one believe the Gateway City had fallen into complete ruin and was akin to a looted and abandoned metro within a third world nation.

Not only did the Rams rip the region in their relocation proposal, but the franchise had the audacity and shamelessness to trash, smear and curb stomp a fan base that more than adequately supported a club that produced just four winning seasons in 21 years, no winning records since 2003, the worst five year record in NFL history and zero playoff appearances since 2004. To add insult to injury, the owner couldn’t bother communicating with his customer/corporate base as he plotted and planned to abandon the city and the franchise’s faithful.

In addition, the timeline detailed in the above-linked relocation application made it crystal clear that the organization lied for several years about having a desire to stay in St. Louis, as did a call from Kroenke to Demoff about Inglewood that occurred in the summer of 2013. It was in 2014, after all, that Demoff told 101ESPN’s Randy Karraker that “I promise you Stan is looking at lots of pieces of land around the world right now and none of them are for football stadiums” and how he expected the Rams future to be “…right here in St. Louis. I don’t see any reason that that can’t be so.”

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m not big on backing people you talk $&*# on my family or my friends. I’m not much on continuing to buy gifts for a girl who left me and lied on me on the way out. How about you? By the same token, I’m not much on repping a Rams franchise who intentionally and systematically beat the brakes off of a region full of people who I care about. I guess that’s part of the problem one has when they aren’t a pushover and have some pride in their their city, their fellow citizens and their self.

That said, apparently some folks are cool with getting kicked around and lied on. These are the people in the region who are still drooling over a franchise that talked ish on them and beat on them like their name was Ronda Rousey. Some of these people remind me of the dogs who get beat by their owner but continue to wag their tails with loyalty nonetheless.

In the end, however, it is obviously not up to me to decide whether anyone else does or does not continue to support the Rams. I know I won’t. I know I can’t. I know it’s not an option for me. On the other hand, we are all distinct, unique human beings, and thus, we all see things from different perspectives and come to different conclusions on different issues. So, I understand that there are those who are handling this differently than I am. I certainly won’t pretend to understand it, just as they may not understand or relate to some of my thoughts shared above.

In closing, let me make one thing clear for those who think they can somehow support the Rams without supporting Kroenke:

IF you support the Rams going forward, you are– intentionally or not — absolutely supporting Kroenke by default. If you support his product, you are supporting him. There is absolutely no way around this, regardless of how one wants to attempt to justify or twist it in their mind.

If I say I don’t support Wal-Mart and hate what it stands for, for example, but I own Wal-Mart stock and want Wal-Mart stock to perform well, then I’m supporting Wal-Mart and I clearly don’t really hate the worldwide conglomerate. If I say I hate Wal-Mart, but I still buy products there, then I support Wal-Mart. Period.

In short, one can say they dislike Kroenke all they want and talk tough about how they don’t support Kroenke, but if you continue to cheer for his team and/or buy his team’s jerseys, for example, you are — like it or not — cheering for and supporting him.

There is no middle ground. If you want to support the Rams, then support the Rams. But in doing so, YOU ARE undeniably supporting the Rams owner, too, and there is absolutely no way around that fact.

The choice is yours.

Thanks for reading…

(Follow me on twitter via @RealShaneGray)

MLS2STL Group Formed To Advance MLS Options

Posted in Bill Dewitt, Dave Peacock, Major League Soccer, MLS, Sports, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Sports Commission on February 17, 2016 by Shane Gray

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According to a February 17 press release, a group of St. Louis business and sports leaders — the MLS2STL Group – has been constructed to explore and advance the city’s candidacy to be granted a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber responded to the formation of the MLS2STL Group with the following statement:

“We know St. Louis is a tremendous soccer market and are pleased to see many prominent business and sports leaders becoming involved in the efforts to bring a Major League Soccer team to the downtown area,” Garber said. “We look forward to working with the group to further evaluate St. Louis and see if it is ready for an MLS expansion team.”

The MLS2STL Group is comprised of the following members:

-Bill DeWitt III (President, St. Louis Cardinals)

-Rob Ebert (Partner at Bryan Cave)

-Jim Kavanaugh (Co-Founder and CEO of World Wide Technology)

-Vicky Lynch (Consultant for Lynch Sports and Events)

-Bob O’ Loughlin (President of Lodgning Hospitality Management)

-Dave Peacock (Chairman of the Board of Directors for the St. Louis Sports Commission)

-Jim Powers (President of UniGroup)

-Jim Woodcock (Senior VP, Partner and Global Sports Co-Lead for FleishmanHillard)

-Chris Zimmerman (President/CEO of St. Louis Blues, Scotttrade Center and Peabody Opera House)

Recently, MLS announced intentions to expand the league to eventually expand to 28 teams. The professional soccer organization anticipates having 24 franchises by 2020. Currently, the league is comprised of 20 clubs.

The MLS2STL Group is expected to work close with the St. Louis Sports Commission in an effort to conduct baseline market assessments for a potential franchise owner or owners. In addition, they plan to explore possible stadium sites, funding options and the region’s ability to host an MLS expansion team.

 

 

 

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