13 January 2016

"A filthy, corrupt enterprise."

This will be my last post on the subject of the Rams relocation.  I realize this isn't on the radar of most readers, even in St. Louis. The reason for my indignation is the sheer fraud and injustice of the way the city was treated by the gang of monied thugs that is the ownership and leadership of the NFL.

The fact that there will be no repercussions to these persons in this world rankles-- but of course does not surprise.

Bernie Miklasz sums up my feelings very well, and his whole article is here.  A few excerpts:


Meaningless and Worthless:

The NFL’s relocation guidelines. The NFL’s integrity. The NFL’s fairness. Roger Goodell’s word. Stan Kroenke’s word. Kevin Demoff’s word. The influence of the NFL’s “Los Angeles” committee. Eric Grubman’s objectivity and impartiality.

The NFL’s cross-ownership rules that were ignored to accommodate Kroenke, the first indication that the league executives would shine his shoes when ordered to do so.

Meaningless: the personal conduct of an NFL owner (Kroenke) in his market. Meaningless: the hideous performance of the owner’s team in his market. Worthless: the concept of holding an owner accountable. Meaningless and worthless: the NFL’s respect for the relentless and remarkable effort by the St. Louis task force that raised at least $400 million in public money to fund a new stadium for a franchise and a league that didn’t appreciate it or deserve it.

Meaningful and Worth Everything:

Kroenke’s $7.7 billion fortune. Money wins. Every. Single. Time. Goodell and Grubman’s muscle in shoving the LA committee out of the way to get the desired outcome.  Kroenke’s willingness to build a $2 billion stadium-entertainment complex in Inglewood, near Los Angeles. The NFL’s enthusiasm to embrace the project and endorse an owner that the league doesn’t even like — all in the pursuit of a solution for filling a void that Kroenke  himself  created by pulling the Rams out LA in 1995. The NFL’s lust to reach the league’s annual revenue goal of $25 billion annually — and nothing else mattered, including the unprecedented abandonment of a market that raised nearly $1 billion in public dollars (combined) to fund two new stadiums for the league in fewer than 25 years.

I’ll Never Really Understand:


— I’ll never understand why the NFL shamelessly encouraged Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz and Gov. Jay Nixon to continue pressing to complete the funding for the proposed north riverfront stadium when the league had absolutely no intention of giving St. Louis a fair and honest process that would keep the Rams here. If the cartel wanted to get Kroenke to LA, then be done with it. The anti-STL fix was in; this was a competition that St. Louis had no chance of winning. So why put the STL leadership through a charade, send them through a maze of glasshouse mirrors, squander money that was used to prepare the riverfront stadium site, and waste the time and energy of men of many individuals that tried in earnest to satisfy the league’s directive for preserving NFL football in St. Louis?

— I’ll never understand why Kroenke and his attorney Alan Bornstein felt such a feverish desire and to napalm the city with a vicious attack in the Rams’ official relocation application that contained outright lies, half-truths, misinformation, and gratuitous condemnation of a struggling but proud town that valiantly tried to come through with a first-class stadium? Why couldn’t Kroenke and Bornstein calmly and professionally make the case for moving without nuking the place on the way out? The NFL had already rigged this process to end happily Kroenke, so why drop bombs?


— I don’t understand (OK, actually I do) why Goodell throw a tantrum when league finance chairman Bob McNair pledged an extra $100 million of league money for the STL stadium project in exchange for a ticket-tax abatement for the team? Goodell made it clear the $100 million contribution wasn’t going to happen for St. Louis  … only to turn around Tuesday and give the Chargers and Raiders $100 million apiece for potential stadium solutions in their current markets. The hypocrisy — even by NFL standards — was appalling.


Indeed, this is real Malice in Wonderland stuff: hammer the city that did everything to deliver the money — and generously reward the two markets that did nothing. The Chargers and/or Raiders may ultimately move, but at least for now San Diego and Oakland have a chance to keep their teams, and the NFL tossed them a $100 million gift to try and make it happen. St. Louis, and that $400 million? GET OUT. The moral of the story: try to do everything right and lose your team; do everything wrong and keep your team. The winner is the man with the most money. What a filthy, corrupt enterprise.



Badger Catholic said...

They whole situation is sad and loathsome, indeed bizarre with Oakland and San Diego, both the obvious choices, not at all seeming to weigh into the St. Louis decision.

TLMer said...


Anonymous said...

The NFL cartel. In the long run, the city is better off without them, and better for it.