Friday, April 16, 2010

The Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams...

Ah, it has a nice ring too it. What did I tell you sometime ago? Round about the time Georgia died? Backtrack in my blog to around 2008 when I started this thing. The handwriting was on the wall.

So, just what the hell are you talking about, David?

Right now, St. Louis is downright somber. The news has spread like wildfire. Enos Stanley Kroenke is a member of the NFL's Los Angeles Stadium committee. Not only this, but he owns a big spread in Malibu, roughly 4 miles from my present location at work. Now how about that for convenient access? I'd rather be his across-the-street neighbor and general manager of the Rams. Stan, hire me. I'm good. I'll take care of this team for you.

Howard Balzar and Sam Farmer basically broke this story.

I love a few of the blog comments I have read today. Kevin in Philly mentioned this to some St. Louis people. Everyone he told immediately went silent and then said "Oh my God!" VanRam is not happy. Neither is Bernie Miklasz. I can't blame them. I was pissed when the Rams moved to St. Louis. Oh well, the Rams forged a brotherhood between us. We now have common cause.

There is many a connection missing on the way to the obvious conclusion, but we have all jumped there anyway. People can tell which way the wind is blowing. The NFL is sore that they are not a bonified player in the 2nd largest market in North America. Can you blame them? Suppose a blender company or car company had no official presence in the 2nd largest market in North America. Do you think this would be acceptable for Blendtec or Honda? No.

More over, the cost of running a team is rising high. Sam Bradford, the very man the Rams are planning to draft, may command something like $80 million with $50 million guaranteed. Stan has to pay that salary now, and make a profit. St. Louis is one of a collection of shrinking midwestern towns whose base is eroding constantly. It is going to be tough to run one of the 32 NFL franchises in the 54th largest market in North America.

Then we have the mysterious fact that Mr. Ed Roski Jr abruptly agrees to build a stadium, in Industry California with no municipal or state support, for an NFL team to be recruited later. This was the strangest news of all more than a year ago. We knew something was up. We knew something was in the offing.

So, if I was going to connect the dots, the forensic reconstruction would look like this. Georgia dies at UCLA Medical. [Yep, that's right, she came back to my beloved alma mater to die.] Stan makes all the right consoling phone calls, talks briefly with Chip about business. Stan knows Georgia's kids are going to have big-time inheritance tax problem. He give Ed Roski and Eli Broad a jingle. These are cats he met through the L.A. Stadium Committee. He tells them the time has come. It's on and on to the break of dawn. Ed buys a piece of turf in Industry. He get's his boys in industry to approve the land use. News waves start to flow.

There is a delay, Chip wants to try his hand at running the team. The IRS eventually tells Chip no, you have to sell. Chip really doesn't want to sell in the middle of the Great Recession. You should have put the team up immediately Chip. You might have squeezed off the sale before September 15, 2008. You would have gotten more money and sooner.

Chip contacts Goldman Sachs, who are now in big trouble for insider trading and manipulation. He puts the team up for sale. Kroenke decides he's going to get the Rams for a nice price. He's going to sit back and let the defeated market set the price. Shahid Khan does the work for him. Kroenke takes 60 days to plan the transfer of the Nuggets and the Avalanche to his son Josh. The deal is done.

Memo to Los Angeles: Lock up your daughters! If my buddy Rico is right, Ben Roethlisburger is coming to town. We're going to have to deal with the serial rapist.

For this reason, I will yield and accept Sam Bradford.