Archive for Los Angeles Rams

Current Social Media Followings of All 32 NFL Teams

Posted in Los Angeles Rams, NFL, Social Media, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2017 by Shane Gray

Shane Gray (@RealShaneGray)

With NFL training camps opening across the country, it seemed a perfect time to check the Twitter, Instagram and Facebook followings of the league’s 32 franchises. We will update these following Super Bowl LII next February to check trends. As it stands now, these numbers stand out:

-The Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots ranked first or second on each of the three aforementioned social media sites.

-The Pittsburgh Steelers were the only other club to rank in the top 5 on all three platforms.

-The San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks were the only other teams to rank in the top 10 on all three outlets.

-The Jacksonville Jaguars were the only organization to rank last on multiple hubs (Twitter and Facebook).

-The Los Angeles Rams were easily the largest market to rank in the bottom 10 (No. 31, 31 and 27) on all three platforms.

-In the battle for New York, the Giants go three-for-three against the Jets.-

-The Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans are the only franchises to rank in the bottom three for all three outlets.-

-The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the only other organization to rank in the bottom five for all three platforms.

With that, here are the complete results — ranked for each site — of all 32 NFL teams:

Twitter
1. Patriots: 3.4 M
2. Cowboys: 3 M
3. Steelers: 2.4 M
4. Broncos: 2.2 M
4. Panthers: 2.2 M
6. Eagles: 2.1M
7. Seahawks: 1.9 M
8. Packers: 1.8 M
8. Falcons: 1.8 M
10. 49ers: 1.6 M
11. Texans: 1.5 M
11. Giants: 1.5 M
13. Bears: 1.4 M
14. Jets: 1.1 M
14. Ravens: 1.1 M
14. Saints: 1.1 M
14. Lions: 1.1 M
18. Raiders: 1 M
18. Redskins: 1M
20. Chiefs: 906K
21. Browns: 888 K
22. Vikings: 875 K
23. Colts: 868 K
24. Dolphins: 843 K
25. Cardinals: 777 K
26. Bills: 749 K
27. Bengals: 741 K
28. Chargers: 665 K
29. Buccaneers: 670 K
30. Titans: 583 K
31. Rams: 502 K
32. Jaguars: 464 K

Facebook
1. Cowboys: 8.746 M
2. Patriots: 7.011 M
3. Steelers: 6.510 M
4. Packers: 5.439 M
5. Broncos: 4.437 M
6. 49ers: 4.2 M
7. Bears: 4.102 M
8. Seahawks: 4.071 M
9. Saints: 4.047 M
10. Giants: 3.968 M
11. Raiders: 3.431 M
12. Eagles: 3.016 M
13. Panthers: 2.386 M
14. Ravens: 2.351 M
15. Colts: 2.270 M
16. Dolphins: 2.256 M
17. Texans: 2.201 M
18. Vikings: 2.105 M
19. Falcons: 2.041 M
20. Jets: 1.97 M
21. Redskins: 1.982 M
22. Lions: 1.915 M
23. Chargers: 1.593M
24. Chiefs: 1.551 M
25. Cardinals: 1.453 M
26. Browns: 1.269 M
27. Bengals: 1.193 M
28. Buccaneers: 944 K
29. Titans: 930 K
30. Bills: 860 K
31. Rams: 790 K
32. Jaguars: 594 K

Instagram
1. Patriots: 2.6 M
2. Cowboys: 2.4 M
3. Seahawks: 2M
4. Steelers: 1.5 M
4. Giants: 1.5 M
6. Panthers: 1.4 M
6. Packers: 1.4 M
8. 49ers: 1.3 M
9. Broncos: 1.1 M
9. Raiders: 1.1 M
11. Eagles: 981 K
12. Texans: 934K
13. Ravens: 733 K
14. Saints: 715 K
15. Dolphins: 708 K
16. Falcons: 700 K
17. Bears: 655 K
18. Redskins: 588 K
19. Cardinals: 559 K
20. Chiefs: 547 K
21. Vikings: 530 K
22. Lions: 521 K
23. Jets: 517 K
24. Colts: 494 K
25. Chargers: 464 K
25. Browns: 464 K
27. Rams: 393 K
28. Bills: 381 K
29. Bengals: 341 K
30. Jaguars: 300 K
30. Buccaneers: 300 K
32: Titans: 279 K

Social Media Numbers & Rankings For All 32 NFL Teams: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

Posted in Football, Kevin Demoff, Los Angeles Rams, NFL, Rams, Sports, Stan Kroenke with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2017 by Shane Gray

@RealShaneGray

As you likely know, social media is a major thing in today’s world. Outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (IG) dominate the free time of many Americans.

According to statistia.com, an estimated 185 million Americans used some form of social media in 2016. Statistically, 78 percent of Americans possessed at least one account last year, up five percent from the previous year and eleven percent from 2014. When this year’s data comes in, you can bet that at least four of every five U.S. citizens will have had one or more social media profiles set up.

With such a large percentage of people in the United States utilizing social media, one can gauge how interested society at large is in various people, products and sports teams. In this case, one can track these sites to measure the popularity — or relative unpopularity — of the NFL’s 32 teams.

As the data across the platforms of Facebook, Twitter and IG vividly illustrate, regularly successful franchises like the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers attract huge followings.
While it should come as no surprise that perennial winners like the Patriots and Cowboys have amassed huge social media audiences, it is notable that recent and/or long term on-field success — not market size — drives the popularity of NFL clubs, as evidenced by the large followings for organizations in small to mid-sized markets like the Packers, Steelers and Carolina Panthers and the relatively small followings for big market clubs like the Los Angeles Rams and New York Jets.

With all that said, I have shared the most up-to-date like and follower numbers from the three largest social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for all 32 NFL franchises below.
It should be noted that the Rams and Los Angeles Chargers likely carry a significant social media following from St. Louis and San Diego, respectively, both from those who continue supporting the team as well as those who have yet to unlike or unfollow those club’s accounts.

Facebook
1. Cowboys: 8.767 M
2. Patriots: 6.968 M
3. Steelers: 6.516 M
4. Packers: 5.454 M
5. Broncos: 4.464 M
6. 49ers: 4.220 M
7. Bears: 4.118 M
8. Seahawks: 4.083 M
9. Saints: 4.064 M
10. Giants: 3.983 M
11. Raiders: 3.409 M
12. Eagles: 3.026 M
13. Panthers: 2.397 M
14. Ravens: 2.359 M
15. Colts: 2.277 M
16. Dolphins: 2.242 M
17. Texans: 2.197 M
18. Vikings: 2.108 M
19. Falcons: 2.041 M
20. Jets: 2.001 M
21. Redskins: 1.983 M
22. Lions: 1.917 M
23. Chargers: 1.607 M
24. Chiefs: 1.553 M
25. Cardinals: 1.456 M
26. Browns: 1.269 M
27. Bengals: 1.197 M
28. Buccaneers: 938 K
29. Titans: 927 K
30. Bills: 859 K
31. Rams: 759 K
32. Jaguars: 592 K

Twitter
1. Patriots: 3.2 M
2. Cowboys: 2.76 M
3. Broncos: 2.14 M
4. Panthers: 2.01 M
5. Steelers: 1.9 M
6. Seahawks: 1.8 M
7. Packers: 1.71 M
8. Eagles: 1.55 M
9. 49ers: 1.54 M
10. Falcons: 1.47 M
11. Giants: 1.45 M
12. Bears: 1.37 M
13. Texans: 1.36 M
14. Jets: 1.1 M
15. Ravens: 1.09 M
16. Saints: 1.08 M
17. Lions: 1.07 M
18. Raiders: 965 K
19. Redskins: 932 K
20. Chiefs: 828 K
21. Browns: 824 K
22. Vikings: 820 K
23. Colts: 799 K
24. Dolphins: 790 K
25. Bengals: 703 K
26. Cardinals: 695 K
27. Bills: 690 K
28. Chargers: 636 K
29. Buccaneers: 610 K
30. Titans: 540 K
31. Rams: 482 K
32. Jaguars: 434 K

Instagram
1. Patriots: 2.5 M
2. Cowboys: 2.3 M
3. Seahawks: 2 M
4. Steelers: 1.5 M
5. Panthers: 1.4 M
5. Giants: 1.4 M
7. Packers: 1.3 M
7. 49ers: 1.3 M
9. Broncos: 1.1 M
10. Raiders: 1 M
11. Eagles: 953 K
12. Texans: 898 K
13. Ravens: 721 K
14. Saints: 700 K
15. Dolphins: 679 K
16. Falcons: 663 K
17. Bears: 636 K
18. Redskins: 572 K
19. Cardinals: 542 K
20. Chiefs: 530 K
21. Vikings: 510 K
22. Jets: 509 K
23. Lions: 500 K
24. Colts: 486 K
25. Chargers: 463 K
26. Browns: 432 K
27. Rams: 385 K
28. Bills: 359 K
29. Bengals: 330 K
30. Jaguars: 283 K
31. Buccaneers: 281 K
32: Titans: 261 K

Follow me on Twitter @RealShaneGray 

Rams to pursue Matt LaFleur as OC

Posted in NFL, Sports with tags , , , , , , on February 5, 2017 by Wayne's World

9666867-nfl-atlanta-falcons-at-tampa-bay-buccaneers-850x560The Los Angeles Rams will request permission to speak with Atlanta Falcons quarterback coach Matt LaFleur about their offensive coordinator position, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Lafleur and new Rams head coach Sean McVay once worked together in Washington and McVay believes he can improve the offense and help quarterback Jared Goff reach his potential.

According to Schefter, the feeling is mutual.

LaFleur would be the logical candidate to replace current Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, as Shanahan is set to accept the San Fransisco 49ers’ head coaching job.

LaFleur was also mentioned to join Shanahan in the Bay Area as the team’s offensive coordinator.

Atlanta has expressed interest in former 49ers’ coach Chip Kelly as their next offensive coordinator, according to Ian Rapport of NFL.com. 

LaFleur knows he’s a hot candidate and will be pursued by both Rams and 49ers, but his singular focus is helping the Falcons capture its first Lombardi Trophy.

“I really don’t care,” he told Rapport during Super Bowl week. 

The View From Mt. Airy 07-29-16

Posted in Basketball, Football, Los Angeles Rams, nba, St. Louis Rams with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2016 by MtAiryPhil

images@MtAiryPhil

PHILADELPHIA, PA

Legends of The Dome appeared to be wildly successful. Looked like a repass for a loved one who was loved by all and left here far too soon. Kudos to the many Rams all-timers who came out, mixed, mingled and reciprocated the love and adoration of the St. Louis faithful who gathered more than likely, for the final time, to express their love and respect for the “Greatest Show On Turf.”

That being said, it’s time for the Arch Angels to redirect their collective sports energies.

Once upon a time, there was a wildly successful St. Louis sports franchise. They dominated their division, owned the Lakers, and are one of the few NBA franchises that can claim a win over the dynastic Boston Celtics in an NBA Final. The St. Louis Hawks, who landed in the Gateway City in 1955 after 4 last place finishes in Milwaukee (http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/nba/stlhawks/stlhawks.html) and immediately turned around their fortunes behind a young Bob Pettit, who in the Hawks first season would win the 1st NBA MVP Trophy and lead them to the NBA Finals with a 33-39 regular season finish followed by an upset of the Lakers in the Western Division finals which was one of the most remarkable playoffs ever. The Hawks won Game 1 by a  single point. Lost Game 2 by 58 points, and won the decisive Game 3 by a single point. Total aggregate of -56 points but they moved on. The early Hawks would win consistently and would leave St.Louis for Atlanta in 1968 after winning the division with a 56-26 record under coach Richie Guerin and an imposing roster led by Paul Silas, Sweet Lou Hudson, Lenny Wilkens, Jumping Joe Caldwell and the Pride of Prairie View, Zelmo Beaty. For years I heard the story of failed attendance as the reason for their departure but upon further review that doesn’t resonate as truth. The Hawks didn’t break records, averaging just 6800 paid per game, but the ENTIRE league avg. in the Hawks final season was just 6,749 paid including the champion Celtics, whose paid attendance average was just 8,670 per game. Look it up. The New York Knickerbockers were the only team over 10k in average attendance in the ’67-68 season and I still can’t figure out the move to Atlanta, especially when you factor in that in the Hawks first season in Georgia, they would average just 4,427 per game and wouldn’t crack 6,000 per until their 6th season in the south. Why this walk down memory lane? Why this opening of a nearly 50-year old wound? Because if I’m a St. Louis sports fan, I’d be thinking its time we got our focus off the traitorous, despicable Rams and their carpetbagging owners who will soon find that not only is the grass NOT greener in the City Of Angels, but the bank account isn’t either. There is a reason why the Rams and Raiders left, and yes I know that TV pays the bills in today’s NFL, but empty seats resonate still. Goodbye.

Beat the NBA drum. Remind them of the storied tradition of the St. Louis Hawks. Show Adam Silver the St. Louis Blues history of drawing huge crowds in a market where everyone assumed the NHL had lost their collective minds expanding into, despite having never won a Stanley Cup. The Blues now have nearly half of a century of selling out the St. Louis Arena (CheckerDome), Kiel, oops I mean, Scottrade Center.

The infrastructure is there. Beautiful NBA ready arena. Lustful fanbase that has been simmering for years in the shadow of the Chicago Bull dynasty, and now looking over their shoulders and seeing the sold out crowds partying in OKC. It’s time St. Louis. Gather your elbows and begin to beat your NBA drum. The league will expand in the next the next four years under the billions and access to every market guaranteed by their historically wealthy 24 billion dollar, 9-year deal. The league wants always to expand by two, maintaining an even number of teams that makes scheduling and conferences sure numerically. Seattle gets the first franchise. Write it down. Until Kevin Johnson rode to the rescue of the city of Sacramento, the Kings were headed to the Emerald City 2 seasons ago. The city had broken ground on a new arena and the league was prepared to welcome back am amazing an supportive fanbase that had nothing to do with the Sonics departure to Oklahoma City in the first place. The city of Seattle still owns the rights to the colors, name, all trophies and records of the original franchise under the settlement allowing the ownership under Clay Bennett to jump ship in 2008. They are a lock to be the first city in any future NBA expansion.

That leaves St. Louis. The natural geographic location for the second team. What other choices are there. Adam Silver and the NBA don’t need Vegas in the way that the NHL does. NBA history has been littered with hints and instances of manipulation. I don’t think they want their product across the street from a sports book as a playoff Game 7 takes a left due to a referee’s whistle.

I’ve gotta believe the NFL thirsty  citizens would grab 10,000 NBA season tickets on day 1, even with the knowledge that the expansion product in year one would most likely be an assembly line of end of the benchers (think Nik Stauskas) and problem contracts and everybody’s NBA knuckleheads (think Nick Young). Sounds like fun to me.

St. Louis, from over here in the land of Ben Simmons, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and the emergent Philadelphia 76ers, we’d welcome you back. Turn the page. Raise a collective middle finger to the pirates who stole your NFL team. Bury ’em. You had a great sendoff with the legends game.
Finally, you’ve got an owner in waiting. The two brothers Ozzie and Daniel Silva, who have made $800 million since signing away their rights to the St. Louis Spirits in the ABA contraction and merger which netted them $2 million and an NBA TV share in perpetuity (the best business deal ever made anywhere) that still reaps major benefits. Bring ’em to the table.
Times yours St. Louis. Can’t you hear the Scottrade Center in Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals? Surely you can feel opening day. This one’s a natural. How about this? The St. Louis Sounds. Stop the NFL nightmares and begin the NBA dreams. Goodnight.

http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/01/09/nba-settles-perpetuity-deal-with-former-owners-of-aba-spirits/

Thursday’s Thoughts on Rams Draft and Blues Playoffs

Posted in Football, Los Angeles Rams, NFL, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by Shane Gray

DraftLogoSt. Louis, MO

(@RealShaneGray)

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Rams traded a plethora of premium 2016 and 2017 draft picks to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for the number one overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. In doing so, the Rams bet the farm on the hope that either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz will become the league’s next elite quarterback and help lift the former St. Louis-based franchise out of a decade-plus stretch of frustration and futility.

In giving up a first, two seconds and a third rounder this year and first and third round selections next year, L.A. essentially sealed the franchise’s fate for the next several seasons.

After relinquishing so much draft capital to move up to get their gunslinger, the Rams bold move will do one of two things:

If it works, they have landed themselves a top-tier quarterback to go along with a potentially dominant defense and ground game, and the move will help elevate the organization to the upper echelon of the NFL in rather short order.

If it fails, the risky trade with the Titans will set the franchise back several more seasons and likely keep the franchise fumbling in the won-loss column for several more years.

In short, this trade will all but make or break the Rams hopes to turn the corner in California. This was an all-boom or all-bust deal. Time will tell the tale on how it plays out for Stan Kroenke and company.

Speaking of the Rams Trade…

Unfortunately , St. Louis fans and media alike learned that the Rams front office  — led by team CEO Kevin Demoff — was good at a few things not remotely related to winning football games: lying, manipulating and serving themselves.

With that understood, I couldn’t help but laugh when hearing that the Rams chose to wait a day to announce the aforementioned trade for the number one pick so as to not take away from the final home game of Lakers all-time great Kobe Bryant.

Of course, the Rams made sure to let everyone know that they postponed the news an extra day rather than just quietly announcing the trade the next day and leaving it at that. That’s the Rams, though.

For anyone unclear of the Rams motives, let me break it down for you:

The Rams did that for the Rams. That’s it.

They desired to appeal to Lakers fans by attempting to show consideration for their fan base in an effort to help the Rams and nobody but the Rams. It’s really that simple.

The Rams PR machine continues to be predictably pathetic.

How ‘Bout Those Blues? 

After securing a three games to one advantage over the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the NHL’s Western Conference playoffs, the Blues started looking like the same old Blues in faltering to a 3-3 series tie as fans wondered if it was yet another hear-we-go-again- postseason collapse.

But this year, with all the chips on the line, St. Louis stepped up with a thrilling game 7 win at home to the delight of Blues faithful.

As the club is now just a series win away from their first Stanley Cup appearance since 1970, a Finals appearance couldn’t come at a better time for either the Blues or the STL.

With the Rams and the NFL freshly departed, this would be the ideal time for the Blues to grab the attention of former Rams fans who may be looking for another local pro club to turn their attention to. With many football fans feeling scorned, what better time for the Blues to pack the bandwagon than right now? What better time to grow some future die-hard fans with a Stanley Cup appearance just months after the Rams exit?

And for St. Louis, what better time for the Blue note to win a Stanley Cup than right now, with so many sports fans and St. Louisans in general feeling disappointment following the exodus of the world’s preeminent sports league?

Whether you are one of the many have moved on from the Rams move or one of many others who haven’t, this would be a perfect time for the city’s great sports fans and the region in general to enjoy some good fortunes in relation to the region’s pro-sports landscape.

Now perhaps more than over, St. Louis wants to see the Blues get this done and they may have a better shot than they have in awhile to do just that.

Thanks for reading…

SG

Sam Bradford: The Complaining Thief

Posted in Eagles, Football, Los Angeles Rams, NFL, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by thelegendkil

962364_1280x720

@thelegendkil

ST. LOUIS, MO

With the arrival of the NFL draft approaching, there has been no let down when it comes to wheeling and dealing by teams looking to inject something positive into their franchise with a game changing player. Last week the Los Angeles Rams traded their first round pick (Number 15), two second round picks (43 &45), a third round pick (76), and the Tennessee Titans will get Rams first and third round picks in 2017. That’s what the Rams gave up for the number one overall pick in the draft. This will mark the second time the Rams have picked number one overall since 2010.

And in 2010, while the Rams where still residing in St.Louis, they decided to draft Sam Bradford with that pick.  That pick failed to live up to the hype of an elite quarterback, with the former Heisman winner receiving a 6-year, $78 million dollar contract ($50 million of it guaranteed). Bradford was just a tease, he had all the tools to make himself one of the best in the NFL, but he lacked the most important ingredient any football player should have – and that’s heart.

He was coddled by the press – and it got worse when Jeff Fisher became head coach in 2012. But last year, in an unexpected twist, Bradford was dealt to the Philadelphia Eagles for Nick Foles. Fisher was perturbed that Sam Bradford wouldn’t take a pay cut, especially after several other veterans did so. Most thought that once Sam Bradford got away from the Rams his star would rise and he would prove naysayers wrong.

And boy he did over achieve. He went 7-7 as a starter for the Eagles putting his career record at a “dazzling” 25-37-1. A “eye-popping” winning percentage of .405, yet he bolstered 19 TD’s with 14 interceptions and 3,725 passing yards. His career totals are 78 TDs/52 INTs and 14,790 yards. These are some of the most deceiving numbers you’ll see a starting QB have without taking one single snap in the playoffs.

Now Sam Bradford is demanding a trade from the Eagles. Just a month ago they signed him to a two year deal for $35 million, with 22 of it being guaranteed.  This is happening all because the Eagles, just like the Rams, made a huge deal with the Cleveland Browns to land the number two pick in this year draft.

The Eagles traded (No.8) pick and fourth round pick this year – and traded away first round pick in 2017 and second round pick in 2018. The Eagles will more than likely use that pick on a QB.

Philadelphia Eagles Executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman is quoted in an ESPN.com story by Phil Sheridan as saying “Let me be clear. Sam Bradford is our starting QB. We told him that.” Not that it mattered to Bradford. He threw a tantrum and is now demanding a trade. Talk about entitlement – this guy has the gall to throw a fit because the Eagles want to draft a QB with the second pick.

He should be doing all types of praise dancing after stinking up the Edward Jones Dome for four years, getting traded and collecting every penny of that rookie contract – only to have the Eagles gift wrap an additional 22 million guaranteed. He’s never had to fight for a job as the starter his entire career, and he can’t even handle competing against either Carson Wentz,  Jared Goff or former Missouri Tigers QB Chase Daniel. We are seeing the real guy now and it’s more than unflattering.

According to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, the Eagles feel blindsided by Bradford’s trade request. “Too much dead cap $11m if they trade him before June 1 Broncos and Jets seem good spots though #NFL #shutUpSam,” says longtime Philadelphia radio host Phil Allen (now program director for 98.5 FM and contributor to NTheZone), said via Twitter.

That was about the cleanest tweet I could find coming out of the city of Brotherly Love.

Sam Bradford has fooled us all for years. He’s managed to get over 100 million playing a shade over .400 football, no playoffs and shaky health.

Find me on Twitter @thelegendkil

You can also follow @NTheZoneShow on Twitter as well

The View From Mt. Airy – 04-02-2016

Posted in Football, NFL, Special, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2016 by MtAiryPhil

FB_IMG_1458263571898“That could never happen here.”  Ask any loyal, green bleeding die-hard fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, the answer will be the same. Could the NFL franchise which has existed in some form here since 1933 ever leave? Impossible, you’d think. Rabid fan base? Check.  4th largest TV market? Check. History and tradition? Double check! Yet, as I’ve watched the St. Louis Rams snatch the NFL outta Missouri and head for LA, I exhale and thank the sports Gods, because that was supposed to be us. Yup. The Eagles, Cardinals, and now the LA RAMS are forever enjoined in a power play that ultimately left only the Eagles unscathed.

1984. The NFL season is winding down, the Eagles are a desultory 6-9-1 just three seasons removed from a Super Bowl loss to the Raiders. Dick Vermeil has exited the stage, in a sobbing press conference where he describes himself as burnt-out by the 7 day a week grind of coaching in the NFL. Some would say he abandoned ship after trading the future for the present, leaving the Birds bereft of draft picks and under the stewardship of Marion Campbell, who I don’t think will ever be confused with Hank Stram. Whispers around the city begin. Owner Leonard Tose is 42 million in debt and is considering selling the team. No problem, most think, new owner, new money, new beginnings for a franchise badly in need of a fresh start. Then the word gets out that the new money is a Phoenix real estate mogul named Monaghan who has no intention of staying in Philadelphia. The Eagles hold a press conference where a sobbing Leonard Tose tells the city, “The Eagles will NEVER leave, they belong to you as much as they do to me.” This soothes the masses for as long as it takes an enterprising reporter to learn that his daughter, team President Susan Fletcher, is in Arizona finding schools for her children. Ultimately, the Eagles would stay. Saved by a combination of Tose’s inability to withstand a long and threatened legal battle, a sweetheart of a new stadium lease and additional luxury suites, and finally the sale to Norman Braman for 65 million (43 million went straight to the casinos, they’d get the rest later) and Leonard Tose would die penniless in 2003, his only means of support being Dick Vermeil, who supported him financially for nearly a decade.

But Bill Bidwell saw the money, infrastructure, and thirst of the Arizona desert and jumped into the breach, taking the Cardinals out of St. Louis to Glendale in 1987, leaving the city without NFL football for 8 seasons until the Rams would arrive to save the day. I apologize. I couldn’t help it. But know that I feel for the people of Missouri who lost jobs, lost professional relationships, but most importantly, lost the investment of their passion and souls to a carpetbagger who I don’t believe ever had the intention of staying, or even negotiating the future of the franchise in good faith. So it didn’t happen to us, but it was close. That’s enough for me to root for a quick return to the NFL for St. Louis. I think it happens. Build a stadium. Share it with an MLS franchise. There’s not one in America losing money today. Give both teams the same name. Target a return in 2021. Meanwhile we’ll root for the LA team to play like the St. Louis version did for the past few seasons. Forever.

You can find me each week on N The Zone. You can follow me on Twitter: @MtAiryPhil

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