Colts win in St. Louis, but real losers are Rams fans who feel abandoned

by Kent Sterling

This is what the crowd looked like - not an hour before the game -  but during the first half as interest was at its peak.

This is what the crowd looked like – not an hour before the game – but during the first half as interest was at its peak.

NFL fans in St. Louis have no team.

For the past decade, the Rams have been terrible, but even a historic level of poor play can’t get a franchise de-listed.

No, St. Louis fans have turned their backs on the Rams because owner Stan Kroenke is in the midst of very publicly trying to move the team to Los Angeles.

Saturday night, the Rams hosted the Indianapolis Colts in what many believe is the only fan-friendly preseason game in front of a friends and family crowd at the Edward Jones Dome – many of whom made the drive from Indy to watch the Colts.

The announced ticket distribution was 37,000, but nowhere near that made it into one of the building.

I didn’t know it had gotten that bad.  After leaving St. Louis in 2013, I knew there was a disconnect between the owner and the city, but I thought the misery would have ended one way or another by now.

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The relentless losing combined with the relentless rumors of the Rams relocating to Los Angeles have driven an already weak fanbase away from a team that 15 years ago turned America’s best baseball town into a pro football hotbed.

Fans and media say the same thing – that Rams owner Stan Kroenke is a carpet bagger who has abandoned the city.  They say, regardless of whether a team remains in St. Louis, it won’t be owned by Kroenke.  And if it is, they won’t support it.

Maybe the Rams move and are replaced by another team.  Maybe the name “Rams” is attached to an expansion franchise in LA and the current players and front office sticks in St. Louis under another name.  Maybe an existing team relocates to a new stadium built north of the current home.

Only two things are certain – fans are done with Kroenke and anything with his taint on it, and the Jones Dome will be replaced if another NFL tenant can be found.

The interim for the Rams will be an exercise in futility.  With a nearly empty stadium on a night where fan interest should be at a fever pitch (Lucas Oil Stadium was full and loud for the Colts preseason home opener), a product that has brought nothing but disappointment for a decade, and an owner intent on moving, this promises to be a gloomy divorce between a team and city that seemed so happy when Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, and Torry Holt brought the Greatest Show on Turf to an adoring city.

I only spent two years in St. Louis, but I travelled with the Rams to road games, got to know a lot of people in the front office, and hate to see them inside the eye of this stormy malaise.  It’s not their fault, and no amount of hard hard can repair the fracture caused by their billionaire boss.

For the media in St. Louis, this is a nightmare.  Indifference is the enemy of ratings and page views, and you would have to search long and hard to find a better example of indifference in a fan base than what was on display Saturday night.  The biggest cheer of the night might have come when a fan guessed under which helmet a football was hidden during a video shell game timeout filler (it was #2 for those scoring at home).

It was awful.  It was sad.  And even as someone who not long ago attended these games as part of his job, it was shocking.

St. Louis fans deserve better, but so do the Rams, despite Kroenke the carpet bagger doing everything but hiring movers and driving the trucks himself from Earth City (where the Rams facilities are located) to Los Angeles.

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It seems financing for a new stadium in St. Louis is likely to be in place to break ground in time for an opening in 2019, but in a city filled with bridges across America’s longest river, the ties that used to bind this city and its current NFL team has been blown to hell.

This purgatory will end soon enough, but it’s going to be miserable at the minimum for everyone involved.

There will be no winners – other than Kroenke whose team’s value is likely to go from the bottom of the NFL barrel to among the very top.

12 thoughts on “Colts win in St. Louis, but real losers are Rams fans who feel abandoned

  1. Harris Syed

    Once the Rams leave St. Louis and move to Los Angeles many Rams fans in St. Louis and in other parts of Missuori will likely never follow the team in Los Angelws and stop being Rams fans, likely they”ll also become fans of other NFL teams either the Kansas City Chiefs the Chicago Bears, or any other NFL franchise a few will stil follow them and this is what the Rams franchise will look like when they come home:
    Los Angeles Rams:
    Based in Inglewood, California (Los Angeles area)
    Training facility and HQ: Rams Park (Oxnard, California)
    Conference: National Football Conference
    Division: NFC West
    Team colors: Navy Blue, Gold, White
    Stan Kroenke
    Chip Rosenbloom
    General Manager:
    Les Snead
    Head Coach:
    Jeff Fisher
    Team History:
    Cleveland Rams (1936-1942, 1944-1945)
    Los Angeles Rams (1946-1994, 2016-present)
    St. Louis Rams (1995-2015)
    League championships:
    1945 (as the Cleveland Rams), 1951
    Super Bowl championships:
    1999 (as the St. Louis Rams)
    Conference championships:
    NFL National: 1950, 1951
    NFL Western: 1955
    NFC: 1979, 1999 (as the St. Louis Rams), 2001 (as the St. Louis Rams)
    Division championships:
    NFL West: 1945 (as the Cleveland Rams), 1949
    NFL Coastal: 1967, 1969
    NFC West: 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1985, 1999 (as the St. Louis Rams), 2001 (as the St. Louis Rams), 2003 (as the St. Louis Rams)
    Playoff appearances:
    1945 (as the Cleveland Rams), 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1967, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1989, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1999 (as the St. Louis Rams), 2001 (as the St. Louis Rams), 2003 (as the St. Louis Rams, 2004 (as the St. Louis Rams)
    Home stadiums:
    In Cleveland:
    Cleveland Muncipal Stadium (1936-1937, 1939-1941, 1945)
    League Park (1937, 1942, 1944-1945)
    In Los Angeles:
    Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (1946-1979, 2016-2017)
    Anaheim Stadium (1980-1994)
    Los Angeles Entertainment Center (2018-future)
    In St. Louis:
    Busch Memorial Stadium (1995)
    Edward Jones Dome (1995-2015)

    and BTW it’s basically impossible to feel any sympathy for St. Louis Rams fans because those that want to keep the Rams here in St. Louis obviously have got to be the dumbest and most irritating fans ever:

    1. steve parker

      Harris they are indeed the dumbest fans in the world in st louis.Many have no idea that they were ever in LA in the first place.that they are are an expansion team.that more than anything is why they dont deserve to have them.

      Just wondering,why do you think that with them coming back to LA though that Chip Rosenbloom would become chairman though? the rosenblooms sold all their share of ownership to Kroneke.

      you are correct for sure when you say many of the fans in st louis will become fans of the chiefs.I live here in kansas city and when the cardinals came here to play the royals earlier this summer,I asked many cardinal fans how they felt about the Rams going back to LA and many said they would be coming up here to cheer on the Chiefs if they moved back.

      I stopped caring about NFL football when the Rams left LA and have rooted for the team that plays them each week to win the last 20 years just as I rooted against the raiders when they were in LA and this is coming from a guy who has lived in kansas city his whole life.

      1. Adjeff

        steve, I found what you said, as a guy from KC, very interesting and a bit heart warming. I had season tickets as a child until they left LA. And when they left it was as though somebody reached into my chest and ripped my heart out. It was a very similar feeling to what I felt when my mom died when I was 15. Ever since then I have had 31 favorite teams. Who ever plays the Rams, that’s my team. But for 20 years I’ve been saying that the Rams will be back, and now it appears my dream is coming true. Btw, being a Rams fan, I hated Joe Montana, that is until he went to the Chiefs. Then I loved him and the Chiefs became my AFC team. I still kinda like them

        1. steve parker

          Yeah Jeff,my story i think you will agree is very unique since I live right down the road from st louis obviously and was against them coming much closer to me here in kc.

          People here in kc asked me back then why i was so depressed when the Rams left LA pointing out to me they would be much closer to me not getting that did not mean diddly squat to me.If they arent in LA,they arent the Rams.I only liked them in the first place because they were the LA Rams. St Louis Rams is such a childish and asinine name for a football team.I refuse to call them anything other than Los Angeles Rams. People around here could not get it that with the Rams leaving LA,then that Rams and 49er games were not fun for me to watch anymore because of that california rivalry.

          See living here in kc my whole life,I have always loved the royals and have always supported them but ever since I was little I have NEVER liked the Chiefs.I have lived here in kc my whole life physically but my heart has always been in california so that was why I always loved the Rams.Chargers were my second favorite team.Rams need to come back and chargers need to stay the hell put in san diego.

          Im actually just the opposite of you.Joe Montana being the greatest quarterback of all time,I always found him and the 49ers fun to watch so I always got excited about watching the Rams play the niners on monday night football.I liked the 49ers a lot when Montana was there while growing up and steve young as well them being a california team and all so when he came to the Chiefs,that was the first time i ever cheered on the Chiefs and was the only time i ever liked them. well I liked the old chiefs when Hank Stramm was the coach and Lynn Dawson played for them but that was before my time. I love it that the chiefs have not won a playoff game since Montana retired.want to keep it that way.hee hee.

          I know what you mean about comparing the Rams leaving to your mom dying.That was pretty much the same way felt as well.It was comparable to when I lost my dog.I did not want to go on and live after my dog died,she was the only person in the world i ever cared about.It wasnt quite as bad as when that happened.I did not get to the point where i did not want to go on living but it was comparable though.

          when the Raiders moved back to Oakland that always made me cling to hope that the Rams would come back to LA someday as well.It looks like our dreams are about to come true.It would go down as the greatest hoax in sports history if they did not move back next year thats for sure.

          I wanted to party and celebrate when the Raiders went back to Oakland back then but since the Rams had left a couple months ago,that took away my enjoyment.The Raiders contrary to what some think,arent coming back to LA so when the Rams DO move back next yeat,along with celebrating the return of the Rams,I will celebrate the Raiders going back to oakland 21 years later as

          Hey if your reading this,please mail me,would like to talk with you is my email.


  2. jerry walters

    I grewup a rams fan in southern California and we went through the very same thing when Georgia took the rams from us. There needs to be laws passed that would keep team names and colors with the towns that supports them. I know I wanted to take the NFL to court for stealing the rams from the children of Los Angeles. Please explain to me how the Jazz got moved out of New Orleans. One more note to make, when carrol rosenbloom , purchased the rams one of the terms of the sale was that Rosenbloom would keep the Rams in L.A. that is why I hated Georgia , the way St. Louis fans hate Kroenke.

    1. steve parker

      Jerry I could not say it better myself.This is one screwed up world that there are not laws present that prevent teams from leaving their cities when they have been there for so many deacades.I cannot believe that Robert Irsey did not go to jail for his cowardly actions of moving the Colts out of Baltimore in the middle of the night.

      I have lived in kansas city my whole life and even I was depressed when the Rams left LA.I loved them only because they were the LA Rams.I refuse to root for a Rams team that does not have the name Los Angeles in front of it.

      I only got interested in NFL football again a couple years ago because I like Russel Wilson so i started following the Seahawks and NFL football again for the first time in 17 years.However if the Rams are not back in LA next year like everyone is expecting,i will be done with the NFL again for sure. I still cannot believe they are playing in st louis for another season.I cannot believe the NFL is going to make everyone sit through a lame duck year like they are doing which is why i thought for sure they would be back THIS year.

  3. steve parker

    I would sure like to ask Leigh Steinberg who wrote this article here exactly what loyal fans he is actually referring to in st Louis. lol.

    Does he mean the dozen or show that have showed up there to games the past decade or so?

    Leigh exactly how are the fans loyal in st louis when at their preseason opener Jim Thomas of the st louis post estimated of the 37,000 plus in ticket sales,only about 20-25,000 people were actually there at the game with many being Colt fans?

    Leigh,the Raiders and chargers are in discussions of going to LA as well yet that did not stop their fans from showing up at the games.

    What is really impressive about the Raiders is they have been equally as terrible as the Rams have been the last decade or so yet they had a huge turnout for their preseason opener and have sold out every home game this year as they did last year. now THAT is loyalty

    Oh and for the LA Raider fans who I have heard say over the years they had to tarp off mount davis because of not having good fan support,it was only done because the fools in the city of oakland raised the ticket prices to steep for most fans to afford them.
    whenn they were lowered at reasonable prices,it was packed.then later on the fools raised them again and oakland fans could not afford it.

  4. steve parker

    Here is the proof in the pudding that the fans of the Raiders and Chargers in their cities support them well where the Rams are not.

    Three fanbases demonstrated their support at home games for teams that are considering relocation. Here are the numbers:
    SAN DIEGO – 58,556 (83% capacity)
    OAKLAND – 50,500 (90% capacity)
    ST. LOUIS – 37,460 (57% capacity)

    also if you watch the Raiders and chargers first preseason game,you see very few empty seats at all where they are present everywhere in st louis for the opener against the colts.

    so Leigh,you are only correct that it hurts the fans in Oakland and in San Diego if their teams leave for LA.It does not hurt sports fans in st louis at all.they dont is a baseball town.get it? Just go to st louis and ask cardinal fans if they care if the Rams leave next year Leigh.I guarantee you that you will find most could care

  5. rick taylor

    This team has never been St Louis. The Rams will always be the LA Rams. Moving from LA to St Louis was the worst tragedy in NFL history. St Louis should get on board with the Chiefs or Bears as the state of Missouri does not have the population to support 2 NFL teams and never will. The Rams have lost for 20 years that they were held hostage by a gold digging stripper in a hell hole called St Louis.

    1. steve parker

      You nailed it Nick.It was the worst travesty of justice in NFL would be the cheatriots getting special treatment other NFL teams dont get.It was a travesty the Rams were allowed to leave LA just as it was for the cardinals to leave saint louis,the oilers to leave houston,the browns to baltimore,colts to indy,and the raiders to LA the first time.That was the second biggest travesty of justice to occur in the NFL when the Raiders got to move to LA.a wrong was righted when the Raiders moved back to oakland,thats where the hell they need to stay and the NFL needs to right the even worst wrong of the Rams being allowed to leave LA now and bring them home as well.

      The Raiders being allowed to move to LA was bad enough and a travesty itself but the Rams leaving topped even that one which was the worst at that time because we are talking about a team that has history and tradition.five decades we are talking about no less.Not only that,it was the worst travesty of justice in the NFL ever because we are talking about not only history there but the second biggest market in the country.Its a travesty that they have been allowed to stay in st louis as long as they have.its time to right another wrong as they did with the Raiders and bring the Rams home as well to where they also belong.

      Raiders belong in Oakland,Chargers belong in San Diego,and Rams belong in LA.period.

  6. Christopher Frisbie

    Everybody forgets one thing. St. Louis had a contract that would have kept the Rams in St. Louis. They just had to live up to the contract. When they failed. Then lost in Arbitration, now the city is crying foul. If the Rams stadium was kept in the top 10 in the league, the Rams would have never been able to leave. St. Louis used that contract to move the Rams from LA. Now that they are there, St. Louis refused to honor it. Now when the Rams are forced to leave to get a new stadium, St. Louis cry foul. You can’t have it both ways. You had your shot and you lost a team by failing to honor a contract you agreed to in order to steal a team. Thats on you St. Louis… Stop blaming the Rams owner!

  7. Ramokowski

    “As a St. Louis Rams fan” has said no one on this guy’s blog! Simply put, St. Louis cannot sustain an NFL team. This will be the second team they lose and likely the last one they get. This being said, if the Rams do end up staying in St. Louis, I will continue looking forward to purchasing $30 tickets on stubhub and booking the Hyatt for $75 a night… Oh, and of course, being told to sit down bc “people can’t see”. Seriously, these fans in stl are sleepy time… Praying for LA.


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