Thursday, August 25, 2011

A pitch for the L.A Rams


The Los Angeles Rams have never felt as distant as other defunct NFL outfits, mainly because they still exist - well, sort of. Since the team's migration to St. Louis in 1995 we've seen the Ram logo streamlined, club colors intensified and oh yeh, a Super Bowl Championship. It's tough to argue change when it brings that type of success, right? Forgotten Batman Michael Keaton knows how that goes.

But L.A. Rams fans lost interest a long time ago. They don't care about Great Turf Football Shows (or whatever it was), future Hall of Fame Quarterbacks like Kurt Warner (no offense, he seems like a swell guy), or championships of any kind outside of Orange County.

The truth is, real Rams fans passionately supported their squad for almost 50 years, during which time the superbly bright yellow and blue hard men of Anaheim - Youngblood, Slater, Dickerson, Faulk etc - put on a show of their own, some of the most entertaining football ever played in fact. The Rams were so thrilling that they were the first pro football team to have all of their games televised in 1950. Consider how big a deal that was so early in the TV era. Don Draper would have wooed 'til dawn for a piece of that action.

So as rumors swell about the possibility of an NFL team coming back L.A., you can't help but feel a little giddy that maybe, just maybe, the Rams have a chance of being that team (and of course, that your crusty Rams tee from '81 might also get another run in public). What's made the possibility seem more of a reality of late is that the L.A. City Council passed a memorandum of understanding this month that outlines a plan between the Anschutz Entertainment Group and the city to build Farmers Field.

Thickening the plot like an L.A. fog is the news that current Rams owner, Stan Kroenke, is good buddies with Phillip Anshutz. Maybe they craft this thing together, maybe they don't. What we do know is that it was a crying shame when the Rams were transplanted from their home by former owner, Georgia Frontiere, who apparently tanked the L.A. product to justify packing and shipping it to her home town. Rachel Phelps in Major League, anyone?

Look, everyone recognizes how great St. Louis fans are and they don't deserve to lose another team after already giving up the, er, Gunners (briefly in 1934), and obviously the Cardinals to Phoenix in 1988. But the NFL is a business - as the talking heads say ad nauseam - and bringing back the Rams is not only right for the NFL historically, culturally and Karmically, it's $700 million worth of good business. 

And come on, who doesn't want to see those vintage Rams uniforms storming the pitch again? 

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