“Sick to my stomach.” Four little words, written by my cousin, came across my Facebook feed. At first I thought to myself, it’s not like him to broadcast his ailments on social media. Then I realized. Ohhhhhhh. I had a feeling I knew why he felt sick. Sure enough, Google confirmed my suspicions: “The Rams are Headed Back to L.A.”
Aw, snap. I have a feeling this breakup is about to get dirty.
I want to be completely honest in letting you know that, personally, I did not have a dog in this fight. I’m not a huge fan of football, unless it involves Coach Taylor and a Netflix binge of Friday Night Lights. So, personally, I couldn’t care any more about St. Louis not having a football team than I do about the Kardashians doing, well, anything. Still, I’m sad for my city. I’m bummed for my husband, who looks forward to chilling out and watching the game on the weekends. And truth be told, I’m pretty pissed at Stan Kroenke for the slimy way he went about the whole thing. Like the rest of Rams fans, I’m taking it a little personally. I may not have strong feelings for football, but I do have strong feelings for my hometown. And he crapped all over us. Not in the “my-adorable-little-baby-just-had-a-blowout-and-I’m-covered-in-poop-but-it’s-okay-because-it-comes-with-the-parenthood-territory” kind of way. He crapped on us in the “some-totally-obnoxious-jackleg-got-all-wasted-and-thought-I-was-a-toilet-then-cussed-me-out-when-I-got-angry-about-it” kind of way. You know, the most disrespectful, nonsensical, a-hole way to get crapped on.
But the more I think about it, the more I realize the Rams just don’t belong in St. Louis anymore. Maybe this breakup is a good thing. The organization has come to stand for tenets and practices which, frankly, we would be crazy to want any part of. Because it’s not who we are or who we should want to be.The Rams just don't belong in St. Louis anymore. We'd be crazy to want them to stay.Click To Tweet
I was reminded of this shortly after learning of the decision to move the Rams back to L.A., as I listened to my daughter recount her day at school:
“Mom, Mrs. R did this thing in class today where she gave everyone a dollar and said we could either use our money to buy an extra recess or the answers to tonight’s math homework. Only five people used their dollar for the homework answers. But then, Mrs. R started writing the answers on the board. Everyone could see them! Even the kids who used their money for recess! So all of us who didn’t pay for the answers started covering our eyes and looking away. You know, because it wouldn’t be fair otherwise. Then Mrs. R said, ‘You guys are too good.’ As a reward, there would be no math homework for ANYONE, because we showed integrity. The whole thing had been a test!”
Even CHILDREN know when to value integrity over the almighty dollar. Even they understand the consequences of going back on your word. I’m glad I still get to live in St. Louis with these kids instead of with Stan Kroenke.
Here’s the thing: we deserve better than the Rams organization. The Rams and St. Louis have been like that couple where one person is so obviously undeserving of the other. Just the other day I was watching an episode of The Great Food Truck Race, and the competitors found themselves in St. Louis. When one of the food truck teams pulled up to their spot and began preparations to serve customers, a bunch of folks on the street lent a hand, helping them load supplies into their kitchen. Granted, I’m pretty sure the name of the truck was “Let There Be Bacon,” and St. Louisans are generally hard-core fans of cured meats, but a little bubble of pride burst in me as I watched it happen. Guys, we really are a great city. That’s the St. Louis I know, the one I grew up in. So there’s no way bacon-loading Good Samaritans and money-grubbing Stan Kroenke could ever make the perfect couple. Besides, it’s clear that he’s just not that into us – which is fine, as far as I’m concerned. Because Jon Hamm is totally our boyfriend.
Furthermore, all these NFL shenanigans that have been going on surrounding the Rams moving or not moving…it’s not how we do sports here.
Others can poke fun and belittle the whole “Best Fans in Baseball” thing, but we (well, most of us) are the kind of sports fans who rallied behind our biggest rival, the Cubs, after they beat us and went on to the NLCS this past season. (Heads up Bears fans. There may be some St. Louisans joining your ranks now. As a friend of mine pointed out, thanks to the Rams, we do know a thing or two about loyalty in the face of a losing record.)
We are a town who admires and celebrates sports greats like Stan “The Man” Musial, Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, Dan Dierdorf, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. We value how their talent and integrity go hand-in-hand, and we appreciate their continued commitment and investment in our city even after they have left.St. Louis knows a good 'Stan' when we see one. Happy to be known as the home of Musial, not Kroenke.Click To Tweet
We know what we aren’t. We aren’t Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Chicago or any of the other cities Kroenke feels has a better economic future than St. Louis. (Which, apparently, is ALL of them. Like, even Sneedville, Tennessee. The Sneedville Rams has a nice ring to it.) But most of us love what we are. It’s too bad Kroenke, a Missourian himself, didn’t share that affection, despite the fact that, all things considered, the fans kept on loving a sub-par organization with a loyalty that ended up being unrequited.
Breakups are a bitch.
But after the sting will come the healing. And one day we will come to believe what our mom was probably telling us all along: we were too good for the Rams, and we didn’t belong together anyway.
Besides, did you see how fake L.A.’s boobs are? They are the perfect arm candy to Kroenke’s rug.
St. Louis, how do you plan to recycle your Rams gear? #RecycleRamsGear