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View Full Version : Rams:Marriage is on the rocks, but let's keep some dignity


Wolf
06-17-2008, 04:20 PM
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/columnists.nsf/billmcclellan/story/5247FB5DB05F5D7286257463001180AB?OpenDocument

Big Red was our first wife, and we were a good couple. She wasn't very flashy. In fact, she didn't win a single playoff game in our 27 years of marriage, but then again, we weren't exactly a matinee idol ourself. Nobody was confusing us with San Francisco or New York. We were just a pair of sensible shoes, Big Red and us.

She got tired of playing football in a baseball stadium. She wanted her own place. That really wasn't so much to ask after 27 years, was it? But we wouldn't go along with her plan, and she threatened to leave us, and that really set us off. We both said things we shouldn't have. Finally, she left us for Phoenix.

We went to Los Angeles for our second wife. We built her the stadium we had refused to build Big Red. We threw money at her. That's the only reason she married us, and we knew it. She was a head-turner. A Super Bowl winner, the Greatest Show on Turf. We were out of our class. A paunchy, middle-aged guy with a comb-over out there on the dance floor with a supermodel.

In our hearts, we knew this wasn't going to work.


Now we can see the end. Right there in the marriage contract she made us sign, it says the stadium she plays in has to be in the top 25 percent of all NFL stadiums by 2015. There are 32 teams in the league. So our stadium has to be in the top eight. That seems almost impossible. According to a recent story in this newspaper, three stadiums are currently under construction, and that means that 20 of the 32 stadiums will be newer than ours in 2015 and that's if no others are built between now and then.

Texan_Bill
06-17-2008, 04:24 PM
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/columnists.nsf/billmcclellan/story/5247FB5DB05F5D7286257463001180AB?OpenDocument

Uh-Oh..... well if the Rams leave like the Cardinals, maybe St. Louis could entice the Jaguars... :thinking:

brakos82
06-17-2008, 04:25 PM
Uh-Oh..... well if the Rams leave like the Cardinals, maybe St. Louis could entice the Jaguars... :thinking:
Well, third time's a charm, right? :whip:

Texan_Bill
06-17-2008, 04:30 PM
Well, third time's a charm, right? :whip:

Ummmmm, *thinks that could be a trick question*, errrrrrrrrrrr uh..... For them. I hope the second time is the charm for us...

brakos82
06-17-2008, 04:34 PM
Ummmmm, *thinks that could be a trick question*, errrrrrrrrrrr uh..... For them. I hope the second time is the charm for us...
Well we did have that WFL team a while back... :thinking:

Texan_Bill
06-17-2008, 04:52 PM
Well we did have that WFL team a while back... :thinking:

They were named the Houston Texans too, so they get canceled out..... :thinking:

Double Barrel
06-17-2008, 06:44 PM
Now we can see the end. Right there in the marriage contract she made us sign, it says the stadium she plays in has to be in the top 25 percent of all NFL stadiums by 2015. There are 32 teams in the league. So our stadium has to be in the top eight. That seems almost impossible. According to a recent story in this newspaper, three stadiums are currently under construction, and that means that 20 of the 32 stadiums will be newer than ours in 2015 — and that's if no others are built between now and then.

wow. Talk about an idea getting out of hand. This is entertainment at the end of the day. I have to wonder how many schools in St. Louis could really use that money for much better purposes...

TEXANRED
06-17-2008, 10:03 PM
I think not. I think this is a time to regain a little bit of our self-esteem. We ought to tell our second wife that there will be no new stadium unless she wants to build it. In fact, I think we ought to tell her that if she intends to leave us in 2015, she can leave now. Why wait? We'll waive our part of the deal. If she wants out early, just tell us.

We could live without a football team. I remember when Big Red left us. There was a certain amount of civic pride involved in showing her the door. We weren't like the people of Baltimore who cried when their beloved Colts left them. Heck no. We were standing up for fiscal sanity. "You're going to leave us if we don't build you a stadium? Well, don't let the door hit your fat behind on the way out!" We felt good about ourselves.

This is the same crap that the Chronicle wrote about the Oilers when they left. And we listened.

St Louis is going to be sad if there dumb enough to listen to this dribble.

Hervoyel
06-17-2008, 10:44 PM
I disagree. I think the Rams were always headed back to L.A. and that the Jaguars will be far less demanding than the Rams when the arrive in St. Louis. They don't have any qualms about playing in a stadium that isn't in the top 25% of the league. All it will take to make them happy is "no tarps".

TexansLucky13
06-17-2008, 10:59 PM
I disagree. I think the Rams were always headed back to L.A. and that the Jaguars will be far less demanding than the Rams when the arrive in St. Louis. They don't have any qualms about playing in a stadium that isn't in the top 25% of the league. All it will take to make them happy is "no tarps".

Must have been cool for the Jags fans in one respect, though. Think about it. A whole stadium and only like 200 people there to watch the team play. It's like a VIP party!

:tease:

TEXANRED
06-18-2008, 07:08 AM
We were standing up for fiscal sanity.

This is the part of the article that really shows this writer is a moron. First, your on the verge of losing the Anheuser-Bush Brewery and now this guy calls it fiscal sanity to let the Rams walk.

Does this guy not understand economics? Between the rent the Rams pay the city to play in St. Louis, the amount of money paid out to vendors, employees, and taxes generated for both city and state, plus the amount of money tourists and out of town fans pay out to use the cities mass transit, restaurants, hotels, and essential services, a sports team is a local economic stimulant.

Without a team that stadium would sit empty and property taxes would still be owed to the state and local school system losing money for the city, hotels, restaurants, and bars surrounding the stadium would go unfilled, and hundreds, if not thousands of jobs would be eliminated if there was no team.

Sure, a billion dollars for a stadium is a little pricey, but I bet a football team brings in close to a billion a year to the local economy.

But they do have an arch people could go and see.

Hervoyel
06-18-2008, 09:22 AM
I thought it was a pretty good read and I didn't think the writer was a moron at all. He was firing off a salvo in what will eventually be a long-winded debate over whether or not the city will get to keep the Rams and how much that will cost them. Somebody in every city that ever lost a team had to write that same piece to get the ball rolling. We saw the Oilers leave town and the sun came up the next day just like it always did. I love having the Texans but if Bob McNair suddenly sprouted a pair of horns and threatened to make the team disappear in a puff of smoke if we didn't give him a pile of money I wouldn't fall apart if the city collectively decided to let him go.

I find it hard to imagine that a football team would bring in a billion dollars a year. No, don't bother going to find the study that says they do bring in a billion dollars a year. There's no need for that. I'm sure it's out there but then I'd have to go dig up the other study that says cities that pay for enormous sports palaces do so at the expense of other more important things and then you would find the study that says my study was flawed. I'd answer with another study that says the price of jelly beans in Portugal is directly affected by the number of luxury suites that Jerry Jones can sell on the third Sunday in August.

There's a study to prove anything that any of us care to go to the trouble of proving. I am doing this old-school and low-tech (with my own two eyes) and I didn't "see" the city of Houston just suddenly appear to be missing a billion dollars worth of "whatever" during those 6 years the NFL was gone. My income went up and I spent it. I didn't spend it on ball games or Texans swag but I spent it.

I sent the writer an email about that story and it went like this


Sitting down here in Houston where we’ve also told an NFL team not to let the door hit them in the rear on their way out of town I think you have a point. I’m not at all knocking on St. Louis when I say that I never understood the Rams moving there. It was like you guys were “her” rebound marriage. You know the one that always fails every single time. You don’t marry the rebound guy (or girl), you just have a good time and get yourself together following a big breakup.

I just never felt like the Rams in St. Louis were “forever”. If they leave it will probably be to reconcile with their ex out in Cali.

The Rams belong in L.A. and the Cardinals belong in St. Louis just like the Colts should be in Baltimore and nobody should be in Nashville or Indianapolis (or Jacksonville for that matter). Now, granted I wouldn’t take the Oilers back for all the tea in China and I’d never wish them on anyone but you know the Jaguars can’t sell out in Jacksonville so who knows, maybe they want to play in St Louis? You could get your expansion team belatedly and you know what they say about the third time being the charm? Well that could be you guys.

Good luck to the fans in St. Louis in the (possibly) dark days ahead. It could be worse though. You could be Buffalo.

I think the Rams go back to L.A. where they belong and St. Louis gets the Jaguars eventually. Hell they were in the hunt for an expansion team when the Jaguars and Panthers came into the league so this makes as much sense as anything else.

ChampionTexan
06-18-2008, 10:52 AM
I agree with Herv that there's no credible proof in either direction of the economic benefit of an NFL franchise. But frankly, if we're talking the NFL, I don't give two rips which direction the economic impact falls, I want them where I live.

Much like many St. Louis residents must have thought about Bill Bidwill, I considered Bud Adams to be an incompetent buffoon, and a bad guy, long before he started the threats to move the Oilers to Tennessee (or Jacksonville, or wherever he visited prior to that). I was also very much in favor of the proposed Bud-Dome from the moment it was put forth. The reasons were as follows:


I truly believed he would move the team if he didn't get what he wanted.
I selfishly didn't want to live in a Non-NFL city - I wanted a team.
I believed that 5 years after the Oilers left, we'd want the NFL back and
spend twice as much public money in order to make it happen.

As it turned out, it didn't take close to 5 years (I don't think it even took one), and I'm pretty sure it cost considerably more than twice as much. In the end, I'm far far happier with Bob McNair then I ever would have been with Buffoon Adams, and in the long run, I believe the Texans will be more successful than the Oilers would have been had they stayed. Those facts aside, as a fan of the Oilers, I would have a.)Gotten past any disgust with the owner, and b.)Looked past any bad teams to the hopes of the future if had we kept them. I did the former with Bud for years anyway, and have done the latter with both Houston NFL teams. In spite of the fact that I'm happier with the current situation, I still think it was a mistake for the leadership/citizenry of Houston and Harris County to let the Oilers go.

While it has nothing to do with the point of the article, I think it needs to be pointed out that the writer's being a bit misleading in his description of the "Second Wife":

She was a head-turner. A Super Bowl winner, the Greatest Show on Turf. We were out of our class. A paunchy, middle-aged guy with a comb-over out there on the dance floor with a supermodel.
The Rams went 18-46 the four years immediately preceding the move to St. Louis, and 22-42 the four years immediately after the move to St. Louis. The Greatest Show on Turf didn't come to be until the fifth year in St. Louis when Warner took them to one of the most unexpected SB victories ever. To say the Rams were Julia Roberts and St. Louis was Lyle Lovett at the time of the move is just inaccurate. Perhaps more like Roseanne and Tom Arnold.

Even at that, the most absurd comment I see in the article is this:

We could live without a football team. I remember when Big Red left us. There was a certain amount of civic pride involved in showing her the door. We weren't like the people of Baltimore who cried when their beloved Colts left them. Heck no. We were standing up for fiscal sanity. "You're going to leave us if we don't build you a stadium? Well, don't let the door hit your fat behind on the way out!" We felt good about ourselves.

If I'm not mistaken, the Edward Jones Dome (Originally the TWA Dome) was built entirely with public funds. In theory, the civic pride and good feelings generated by ushering the Cardinals out should have been cancelled and then some by bringing in the Rams.

What I think the city of St. Louis should have learned (and I hope Houston and Harris County has) is that as bad as it may be to spend money to keep a team, it's far worse to spend money to get a team. If you're going to let a team go, be willing to let that decision be permanent. Keep that "civic pride" and feel good spirit alive. Better yet (he said cynically, yet in total sincerity), cave to the devil you know, and let the more expensive devil you don't know find another football addicted city since you've already got your fix.

Hervoyel
06-18-2008, 11:33 AM
On your "devil you know" thought process I'd like to say that I'd send Bud Adams packing again without a second thought and I'd do it with the exact same expectation of getting a replacement that we had back then (which was none at all).

I don't think of these NFL owners as "the devil you know" and "the devil you don't". I think that you have owners who are quality and you have owners who are rat bastards. Now any owner if pushed hard enough is going to leave town. That goes without saying. The quality owners are worth keeping because a) they're more likely to work with you than the carpet bagging butt-wipes like Modell, Bidwell, Adams, and b) decade-in and decade-out they're going to run a better operation than the cheapskates who will try to find a way to bleed you for every last penny in the piggy bank.

I don't think there's a set formula for deciding what to do when "your" NFL team starts talking stadium. I think it all depends on what kind of owner you're dealing with. I think in some circumstances it might very well be in a cities best interest to let a team walk because owners live a long, long time. They're rich and they live to be very old men on average. Living through 30 years of Bud Adams guiding hand in Houston football was enough frustration for me. There's no point (to me) in just being happy to have a team if you're going to spend your entire life rooting for an organization that will only ever see a Super Bowl if they accidentally stumble into it. I think it's no coincidence that none of these teams that migrated around the country looking for money had much luck getting rings (or in some cases even getting to the show) prior to their moves. The Ravens and Rams come to mind there as do the Titans with their trip to the "Carpet Bagger Bowl" a few years back.

No, I'd rather have no football than a badly run team with an owner whose always looking for a spot to sink a knife in your back for an extra nickel.

I don't believe that the entire city of Houston was dying to get another team shortly after the Oilers left. I don't remember hearing anyone crying about the football season starting without us. We would have liked one but just as in most cities that lost teams the drive to get a replacement began with one or a few truly wealthy men who wanted to join the owners ranks and saw an opportunity. Somebody will see an opportunity in St. Louis if and when the Rams leave and they'll fill the void.

ChampionTexan
06-18-2008, 01:36 PM
No, I'd rather have no football than a badly run team with an owner whose always looking for a spot to sink a knife in your back for an extra nickel.

Having lived through the five years between the Oilers and the Texans, I couldn't disagree with you more on this point. Are you saying this city isn't better for going through the Luv Ya Blue years? For being excited about getting a top seed and entering the playoffs at 13-3? For being forced to deal with the embarrasment of 35-3 and having only each other for solace since the rest of the country was laughing at us? Keep in mind, all this was with the Rat-bastard owner, and leads me to believe that a bad NFL owner is better than no NFL-owner at all.

I don't believe that the entire city of Houston was dying to get another team shortly after the Oilers left. I don't remember hearing anyone crying about the football season starting without us.

Again, I disagree - once it was clear the NFL was going to add an expansion team, the effort was put forth to get it, and I recall most everyone being in favor of it. Some more passionately than others, but I seem to remember a pretty wide-spread euphoria that resulted when the announcement was made that we were the NFL's 32nd team.

My bottom line isn't what's best for me as an NFL obsessed sports fan, it's what's best for the city/region as a whole, and I just don't believe Houston/Harris County is much better off for having the Texans than we would be had we done what was needed to get Bud to keep the Oilers here. Again, I'd take Bob McNair and the Texans 100 out of 100 times over Bud and the Oilers, but I don't believe my interest in this issue is 100% alligned with the Public's interest.

Hooston Texan
06-20-2008, 12:34 PM
I don't buy the "team generates billions for its city" argument. For the most part (national TV contracts excluded), the money comes from within the city. If we weren't spending our entertainment money on the Texans (I hope nobody is spending rent/grocery money on them), we'd be spending on some other pursut, most likely somewhere else in the city. Professional sports franchises tend to divert dollars that would otherwise be spent elsewhere.

Once you get past the 55 players, 15-20 coaches and the front office personnel (only the most menial of whom are hired locally), an NFL franchise only provides jobs for ten days out of the year--twelve if you can swing home field advantage in the playoffs. Yes, those are 10 good days for vendors, but not good enough to feed their families the whole year.

That said, I do love having an NFL team here, but the Texans are not, in any way, driving the Houston economy. We have the sticky black stuff that is trading at $135/bbl to thank for that.