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NFL Merry-Go-Round: Relocation Roundelay

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For me I think it comes down to this. I just want people to acknowledged that St. Louis got screwed by forces beyond its control, including the very selfish forces of billionaires, and forces that run counter to what we all want to believe sports is about (which is in turn why these billionaires can make money on sports.

I totally get that sentiment, but isn't that the case with just about every relocation? It's not like St. Louis is alone in that experience.

Yes. St. Louis is not unique. And in a way, that's also my point. I think pretty few people blame Seattle for losing the Sonics, right? That should be largely the case here as well.

Relocation has happened before, and it's almost always has unfair victims. It's been true before (including when the Rams moved from LA to STL), and it's true now.

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We'll just have to respectfully agree to disagree on a couple of those points. But while I'm looking for the bright side of this relocation, I won't forget the cost. Sucks.

For what it's worth, I'm looking on the bright side of things, too. I've said dating back a while that this could be a blessing in many ways, and I do believe that.

1. While I don't believe losing the NFL was St. Louis' fault per say, I do think it may motivate some political leaders to finally start addressing the meaningful issues with our city and region. (Kroenke's application was a crock, but there were hints of truth in some of the things he said about the growth—or lack thereof—of the region.)

2. While the tax dollars aren't going to automatically go to the greatest causes in the world, we just saved ourselves some money and can hopefully use some of it for better priorities. At the very least, we can hopefully put it towards things that actually have a return on investment.

3. Most of you know my moral opposition to the sport of football and frankly handful of governing bodies of organized football. I wanted to cut ties before, but struggled. Now it's easy. And I hope the rest of my city can eventually come to this conclusion as well.

4. I like soccer better than football, and I also think it's trending better than football long-term. Every indication is that St. Louis is now really, really primed for the MLS. Ownership hasn't been revealed yet, and politicians haven't publicly acknowledged a stadium plan, so it's fair to keep some skepticism around. However, there is every indication is that a yet to be named group of investors is ready to go, and I think momentum will just build from there.

5. I very much think an NFL stadium was not the right plan for the North Riverfront, but I do think it was important to draw attention to an area that deserves investment. I hope that momentum doesn't die. It appears the Mayor doesn't want to let that momentum die, so hopefully one of the alternative plans can be implemented there. (It could be where the MLS stadium goes, which due to the smaller size and a lesser parking need is a reasonable fit compared to an NFL stadium, in my opinion.)

So, even I can certainly get behind looking on the bright side here. But there were a lot of Rams fans not nearly ready to get to that point so quickly, and they're in a lot of pain. And that's where relocation sucks. And frankly, even though I was ready for that, it stung me pretty hard too. I didn't want to root for the NFL any more anyways, but 20+ years of commitment and loyalty to a team, including some really, really treasured memories being up an abandoned like that is painful no matter what.

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Well if anyone thinks tha Chargers will be getting any support from San Diegans to stay in San Diego, may I present exhibit A and B as to why it'll never happen.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/jan/17/chargers_poll_0116/

Exhibit A, scientific polling data that shows San Diego has no interest in helping Spanos after his treatment of the city.

Exhibit B, the San Diego Gulls tried to get their 10,500 sports loving crowd to do a "Save our Bolts" chant in solidarity last night... this was the result.

The Chargers burned all their bridges in San Diego and will be on their own if they want a stadium in SD, particularly downtown.

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This came through in my Twitter feed. Some don't buy that Joe Buck did anything but read a script here, but I think he ad-libbed the first sentence to take a shot at Stan Kroenke. Watch the video here:

https://twitter.com/Real_KingWeez/status/688818285954109440/video/1

For reference, the line used in promotion for this show before has been "What if the devil decided to quit... and moved to Los Angeles."

Buck's line: "Hey, if the devil decided to quit, where do you think he would go? Well, Los Angeles, of course."

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For me I think it comes down to this. I just want people to acknowledged that St. Louis got screwed by forces beyond its control, including the very selfish forces of billionaires, and forces that run counter to what we all want to believe sports is about (which is in turn why these billionaires can make money on sports.)

I think we all want to believe what sports should be about.

But, in reality, sports is nothing more than an entertainment option in the business world. Anyone that's roughly at least 25-30 years old should know this by now, based on what they've seen in their lifetime. We've seen MLB play two shortened seasons and forgo a World Series. We've seen the NBA play a couple shortened seasons. We've seen the NHL play two shortened seasons and not play an entire season on top of that. We've seen a ton of team relocations. We've seen lower-tier bowl games come and fizzle. We've seen the Arena league suspend operations and change teams/locations annually.

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Indeed. It would be nice to have a few hundred more Green Bay Packers, but that's not the way the world works.

And Joe Buck is still a terrible announcer. :P

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For me I think it comes down to this. I just want people to acknowledged that St. Louis got screwed by forces beyond its control, including the very selfish forces of billionaires, and forces that run counter to what we all want to believe sports is about (which is in turn why these billionaires can make money on sports.)

I think we all want to believe what sports should be about.

But, in reality, sports is nothing more than an entertainment option in the business world. Anyone that's roughly at least 25-30 years old should know this by now, based on what they've seen in their lifetime. We've seen MLB play two shortened seasons and forgo a World Series. We've seen the NBA play a couple shortened seasons. We've seen the NHL play two shortened seasons and not play an entire season on top of that. We've seen a ton of team relocations. We've seen lower-tier bowl games come and fizzle. We've seen the Arena league suspend operations and change teams/locations annually.

I don't disagree with you Hedley. But that also makes us a bunch of hypocrites.

Because there is no way to justify spending the amount of money and time on sports that we do if it's just entertainment. These athletes are impressive, but they're not THAT impressive. We do it because we believe in the intangible.

Except when someone else's intangibles get messed up. Then we tell them to get over it because it's just business.

And actually, on that note, that's a big peeve of mine. When did we start accepting treating people terribly as long as it can be considered business? That really irks me. And I'm not just talking about sports. When someone screws people over because they can make more money by doing it, yes, they have the have the capitalistic right to make that choice... and I have the right to call them out on it and tell them to pound sand.

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IMO, Dean Spanos should sell the Chargers ASAP for the maximum return. I think things could possibly be rescued in San Diego with a new owner, and (IMO, of course) the idea of a team that has free reign to either be in San Diego or LA might be worth more than either a team in LA or a team in San Diego. It's the same way future draft picks are valued so highly, but the value often changes when you compare the actual player drafted to the return instead of the *idea* of a player-to-be-drafted-later.

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When did we start accepting treating people terribly as long as it can be considered business? That really irks me. And I'm not just talking about sports. When someone screws people over because they can make more money by doing it, yes, they have the have the capitalistic right to make that choice... and I have the right to call them out on it and tell them to pound sand.

I understand that you're upset. And you have reason to be. But I don't think that's what happened here at all.

Yeah, it sucks when fans and cities lose their teams. But a team moving doesn't automatically mean that they were "treated horribly".

I know you and I disagree right now, but I do think you'll come to see that the NFL bent over backwards to keep the Rams in St. Louis. They prevented Kroenke from moving when he originally wanted to, pushing back the deadline. He would have ripped the Band-Aid off last year, but Goodell and the league wanted to keep St. Louis in contention. Meanwhile, they kept trying to encourage Peacock and Company to come up with a viable plan. That's more than the league did for Los Angeles. That's more than the National League did for Milwaukee in the 60s.

When a steel mill shuts down, or a typewriter factory moves to another state, that's regrettable. But it's not automatically immoral.

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IMO, Dean Spanos should sell the Chargers ASAP for the maximum return. I think things could possibly be rescued in San Diego with a new owner, and (IMO, of course) the idea of a team that has free reign to either be in San Diego or LA might be worth more than either a team in LA or a team in San Diego. It's the same way future draft picks are valued so highly, but the value often changes when you compare the actual player drafted to the return instead of the *idea* of a player-to-be-drafted-later.

Dean, as in the entire Spanos family.

Dean and his three siblings each own 15%, their dad and mom own 36% and others own 4%. Not everyone is going to agree.

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IMO, Dean Spanos should sell the Chargers ASAP for the maximum return. I think things could possibly be rescued in San Diego with a new owner, and (IMO, of course) the idea of a team that has free reign to either be in San Diego or LA might be worth more than either a team in LA or a team in San Diego. It's the same way future draft picks are valued so highly, but the value often changes when you compare the actual player drafted to the return instead of the *idea* of a player-to-be-drafted-later.

Dean, as in the entire Spanos family.

Dean and his three siblings each own 15%, their dad and mom own 36% and others own 4%. Not everyone is going to agree.

I don't know who has to approve a sale, but the parents plus one of the siblings equal 51%. That's only three people that have to be convinced.

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When did we start accepting treating people terribly as long as it can be considered business? That really irks me. And I'm not just talking about sports. When someone screws people over because they can make more money by doing it, yes, they have the have the capitalistic right to make that choice... and I have the right to call them out on it and tell them to pound sand.

I understand that you're upset. And you have reason to be. But I don't think that's what happened here at all.

Yeah, it sucks when fans and cities lose their teams. But a team moving doesn't automatically mean that they were "treated horribly".

I know you and I disagree right now, but I do think you'll come to see that the NFL bent over backwards to keep the Rams in St. Louis. They prevented Kroenke from moving when he originally wanted to, pushing back the deadline. He would have ripped the Band-Aid off last year, but Goodell and the league wanted to keep St. Louis in contention. Meanwhile, they kept trying to encourage Peacock and Company to come up with a viable plan. That's more than the league did for Los Angeles. That's more than the National League did for Milwaukee in the 60s.

When a steel mill shuts down, or a typewriter factory moves to another state, that's regrettable. But it's not automatically immoral.

Sorry, Goth, I can't imagine anyone seeing what happened and having your take on these events.

The NFL bent over backwards to keep the Rams in St. Louis? Encouraging St. Louis to spend $16.2 million on a project they dismissed out of hand?

Give me a break man.

I think just the opposite. When the smoke clears, you'll see this decision was decided a very, very long time ago. Any postponement orchestrated by the league was done only for the benefit of Dean Spanos who they felt a loyalty to. It had nothing to do with the city of St. Louis.

Also, the fact that you reference a steel mill or a typewriter factory just shows to me that you're buying exactly what the NFL is selling. The NFL is a thriving billions of dollars business in EVERY SINGLE MARKET that they are in.

Steels mills and typewriter factories don't even belong in this discussion. (Actually, I don't think typewriter factories belong in any discussion in 2016, do they? ;) )

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I really can't see some family members selling and others not.

It also seems unlikely that any of those 15% owners would want to stay in a minority ownership role if somebody outside the family picks up the 51% and starts calling the shots.

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The NFL bent over backwards to keep the Rams in St. Louis? Encouraging St. Louis to spend $16.2 million on a project they dismissed out of hand?

Give me a break man.

I think just the opposite. When the smoke clears, you'll see this decision was decided a very, very long time ago. Any postponement orchestrated by the league was done only for the benefit of Dean Spanos who they felt a loyalty to. It had nothing to do with the city of St. Louis.

Yes. Bent over backwards.

If the League didn't specifically intervene to delay Kroneke's plans, the Rams would have spent the last six months losing in the Coliseum.

As for the money spent by St. Louis, you're conveniently forgetting that the city was ultimately unable to come up with a viable stadium plan. Even after having been gifted an extra year. You can't blame the NFL for the money Peacock and Company wasted in their failed effort; that's squarely on them.

You have been a passionate advocate for your city. Admirably so. Conspiracy theories do not become you. You're far better than that.

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Sorry, Goth, I can't imagine anyone seeing what happened and having your take on these events.

The NFL bent over backwards to keep the Rams in St. Louis? Encouraging St. Louis to spend $16.2 million on a project they dismissed out of hand?

Give me a break man.

I think just the opposite. When the smoke clears, you'll see this decision was decided a very, very long time ago. Any postponement orchestrated by the league was done only for the benefit of Dean Spanos who they felt a loyalty to. It had nothing to do with the city of St. Louis.

I agree with this. I think Kroenke was set on moving quite some time ago. I don't think the NFL "bent over backwards," because my parameters for bending over backwards have been set by the NHL, but a contingent of old-line owners certainly tried to throw a spanner, as one-eighth of the Rams' home fans would say, in the works. Obviously the siren song of this NFL West thing and all the opulence was too much for everyone to deny themselves, but Kroenke wanted to leave St. Louis, the NFL wanted him to stay, but not that badly.

Maybe this is just the Chicago politics observer in me, but if it was obvious to me, a random idiot, that the NFL's new money was going to triumph over the old money as it has in the NBA, is it fair to wonder about that $16 million St. Louis spent and how much of it was just making work for connected individuals? I think it was Miklasz who detailed all the people and all the billable hours involved in this whole grope of a campaign, and it just feels like the whole thing was a good way to keep "good" people busy on the public dime. You know, like that never happens in provincial midwestern machine-politics cities.

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The extra $100 million is the simplest way to look at the divide. The committee that voted 5-1 for Carson worked behind the scenes and promised it to St. Louis. Goodell freaked... publicly, because the St. Louis group took it and ran. Some here made it seem that was the nail in the "unviable" coffin. Then Goodell handed it to San Diego and Oakland.

Also, the switch to silent votes was huge. Manipulation to get the desired outcome was everywhere. And Kroenke has spoken more in L.A. in three days than he had in three years in St. Louis. His intentions were clear since he purchased the "sliver" of Wal-Mart land that expanded later.

That's why the St. Louis group kept saying NFL, not Rams. Kroenke wasn't even entertaining the thought. It was always the NFL pulling the strings for more public money.

And as for Joe Buck, it surprised me to read -- after all of his Kroenke rants -- that he shut down his restaurant in downtown St. Louis within the past few months. Just a tad hypocritical. Shouldn't he be more loyal?

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The NFL bent over backwards to keep the Rams in St. Louis? Encouraging St. Louis to spend $16.2 million on a project they dismissed out of hand?

Give me a break man.

I think just the opposite. When the smoke clears, you'll see this decision was decided a very, very long time ago. Any postponement orchestrated by the league was done only for the benefit of Dean Spanos who they felt a loyalty to. It had nothing to do with the city of St. Louis.

Yes. Bent over backwards.

If the League didn't specifically intervene to delay Kroneke's plans, the Rams would have spent the last six months losing in the Coliseum.

As for the money spent by St. Louis, you're conveniently forgetting that the city was ultimately unable to come up with a viable stadium plan. Even after having been gifted an extra year. You can't blame the NFL for the money Peacock and Company wasted in their failed effort; that's squarely on them.

You have been a passionate advocate for your city. Admirably so. Conspiracy theories do not become you. You're far better than that.

I'm not afraid of a well-reasoned conspiracy, but this isn't much of a conspiracy at all. I think you'll find a lot of people without a connection to St. Louis believing this game was largely rigged from the beginning.

By the way, unless you can find a new definition of "viable," St. Louis presented a very, very viable plan to the NFL.

What they didn't present was a plan that satisfied the NFL owners' greed.

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I really can't see some family members selling and others not.

It also seems unlikely that any of those 15% owners would want to stay in a minority ownership role if somebody outside the family picks up the 51% and starts calling the shots.

They'll each get hit with a combined (federal/state/local) Capital Gains tax rate of up to 33.3% if they sell.

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$16M on a project that only lasted a few years, never saw a piece of land change hands, with no bulldozers rolling, and no shovels in the ground? Probably some good ol' boys kept busy on that one. Of course, that number could be as trustworthy as Lucasfilm telling David Prowse that Return of the Jedi hadn't made a profit as of 2012 or so.

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I really can't see some family members selling and others not.

It also seems unlikely that any of those 15% owners would want to stay in a minority ownership role if somebody outside the family picks up the 51% and starts calling the shots.

They'll each get hit with a combined (federal/state/local) Capital Gains tax rate of up to 33.3% if they sell.

The parents are 92 and 89... they'll still be able to have one hell of a spending spree with their $700M or so that they would net from a sale.

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