Updated: Jan 18
So my wife and I went to see A Star Is Born over the weekend, and per usual with my mentality, if it isn't an action flick, I go in with little to no expectations. I will say that this movie far beyond exceeded my expectations, and one particular scene, the character of Jackson Maine, played by the uber-talented Bradley Cooper, sings a song in a bar with the lyrics, "Maybe it's time to let the old ways die." I thought to myself, how profound! Now at this point, you're asking yourself, what in the hell does this movie have anything to do with sports?
Well, I'll tell you why.
If anyone in St. Louis has lived under a rock for the last two years, people are still pretty pissed off about losing their NFL team due to corporate greed run amok. You and all those others should be mad as hell. I know I am even though it doesn't show from time to time, I make it very clear that I also understand that it's just business and it's the NFL's right to pretty much do what they want, and I don't have to like it, but I have to deal with it regardless.
Maybe it's time to let the old ways die is what I'm suggesting to St. Louis NFL fans, not to forgive and forget, but to change the way we think and the way we have approached this thing all along. Why does it seem to some big media personalities that it is almost blasphemous that we could even think about the NFL is back in St. Louis? Why do they feel the need to cut down fans who want football back?
Here is why I want football back, I want to make the NFL beg for the #21 television market back in their pocket. I want to make them pay dearly for the opportunity like they did in LA. I want them to acknowledge that the statements made by Stan Kroenke and the NFL were made from an angle to destroy St. Louis' spirit for football and make sure we wouldn't put up a fight to keep the team. LA was the plan all along, we may not have liked it, but they had this planned from the get-go when Kroenke bought the team in 2010.
Now we have a potential 3-way race to get to St. Louis with the Chargers' financial woes in LA, the Jaguars situation in Jacksonville, and the Bills stadium situation in Buffalo. Anything could happen, but I firmly believe that the best scenario is that the Chargers relocate to St. Louis.
Here is how it could work out.
The NFL is fully aware of the dire financial situation in LA with the team not being able to draw in their current facilities and with the news coming out that they have fallen to $250+ million less than projected revenue in Stan's new mega palace out in Inglewood. Many have reported that there is no way the Chargers could escape their lease. I'll say this, and leases mean nothing to the NFL. If they did, the Rams would still be in St. Louis. Let us also be clear that Stan Kroenke holds the Chargers' lease, and he can release them whenever he wants. So let us play this out. The NFL and Stan Kroenke are seriously concerned about the pending lawsuits that the city of St. Louis has going against them, not that St. Louis has a realistic chance of winning in open court, but here is the catch. With all the bad publicity the NFL has had over the last 2-3 years, can they afford to go into the discovery process in court and have to show their cards to the public? I don't think so, and I feel that they're already working towards a possible solution and returning to the St. Louis market.
The NFL could negotiate with the law firms heading the lawsuits giving them a solution, STL walks away from the suit, this never sees the open court, NFL gets you a franchise iron-clad 40-year lease with bare minimum 50/50 local ownership with right to purchase remainder when it is offered. No relocation fees, STL keeps PSL revenue to help with a new stadium, along with private contributions from the franchise owners, the NFL's G4 loan of at least $300 million that they said wouldn't work for St. Louis but offered it to San Diego and Oakland. Plus possible settlement funds from the NFL to STL. You can still use the Rams' former facilities until the new facilities are completed, and you do not have to use Busch for a season. You could also take your time in getting the team out to STL if you wanted. You also wouldn't have to realign the division, whereas you'd have AFC West St. Louis Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, and Las Vegas Raiders. How freaking beautiful does that look?
Now I could go really deep into this, but I don't feel that it would be an enjoyable read, so we'll stick to the basics.
The fact is, I know people don't want to get their hopes up and have their hearts broken again, but I really feel that this could be St. Louis's best chance at getting another NFL soon.
Randy Karraker from 101 Sports in St. Louis said this in a tweet " AZ Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill was in town last month and was asked about expansion. He said there's no discussion at all about expansion right now, but if it happens, it's going to be global...Mexico City, London. Said STL would not be an expansion fit." you can follow Randy @RandyKarraker.
So if expansion is off the table, relocation is the only possible course. The real question is, does the city and county of St. Louis have an appetite for the NFL? I can tell you that the NFL has an appetite for St. Louis. So maybe it's time to let the old ways die.
Thanks for reading