This following memo is addressed to the following members who are a part of the NFL’s committee on Los Angeles opportunities:
Mr. Clark Hunt, chairman and CEO of the the Kansas City Chiefs
Mr. Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots
Mr. John Mara, president, CEO, and co-owner of the New York Giants
Mr. Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans
Mr. Jerry Richardson, owner of the Carolina Panthers
Mr. Art Rooney II, president and co-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers
Well here we are. The vote deciding on the relocation situation between the St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers, and Oakland Raiders is looming ahead, just three weeks away. Fan bases of all three teams have cheered on nervously this season, wondering what the fate of their team will be this winter. This is my plea, please hear me out.
My name is Jeremy Bowen, I am a 19 year old college freshman. I am also a lifelong St. Louis Rams fan. I was born into a family with a football crazed dad and was raised up as so. The Rams won their first Super Bowl in January 2000, when I was just three years old. Unfortunately I was too young to remember, and wasn’t into the game of football as much then as I am now. But nonetheless, I grew up watching the likes of Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, and the rest of the Greatest Show on Turf. They are who I grew up watching and what truly got me into the sport of football.
Every year at the home game closest to my birthday, my father would take me to the game. It was rough because we started this short tradition around the time of 2006-2007, so most of the games I went to, were losses. However, I’d still be decked out in my Rams gear and cheer my heart out. I remember one year, one of my favorite “at-the-game” Rams game moments happened. The Rams played on my actual birthday, back in 2007. Just days beforehand, one of my beloved family members passed away. I was an emotional wreck and even debating on skipping the game. But I went. I even had a little emotional breakdown during the game. But I got myself together. The Rams were up by five with the ball, looking to ice the game with a couple first down. Next thing I know, Steven Jackson breaks through the line and takes it 50 yards for the touchdown to cap off the Rams third and final win of a 3-13 season.
Now I could go through every single Rams memory I have, but this is not a memory book. This is a plea as to why the committee should agree to a situation that would keep the Rams in St. Louis. Now look, the media, LA Rams supporters, and everyone else loves to heckle Rams fans for leaving the dome quite empty during games. But how can Mr. Enos Stanley Kroenke expect a packed and full dome nowadays when there is no on field success? Via ESPN, here are some stats for the Rams since they’ve been in St. Louis.
Here in St. Louis, we haven’t seen good football in a very long time. But we still love our Rams. Yes, the dome isn’t always full. Yes, the support at games looks like it hasn’t been there. But where is the support from our owner? When’s the last time Mr. Kroenke spoke to the St. Louis public, addressed the fans or anything of that nature? That would be January 17, 2012. When the Rams hired new head coach Jeff Fisher. Fisher was thought to come in and turn everything around but in his four seasons here, yet he’s failed to have a winning record or make the playoffs since being hired. And since that press conference, there’s been nothing but silence from Kroenke.
Lack of good coaching, quality draft picks, and on the field production has led to empty seats at the Edward Jones Dome. Fans don’t want to waste their hard earned money to go to games and watch mediocre football. It’s a pure fact. And what have the Rams put out on the field for the last ten years? Nothing but overhyped, under-delivering, mediocre football. Yes, we are all Rams fans, we live and die with the team every week. But tickets will continue to not be sold if the team wearing the blue an gold fails to perform.
I was there Thursday of last week for the Rams-Bucs game. I remember just before kickoff, seeing everyone on their feet, waving the rally towels, and screaming their heads off; it was electric! It honestly felt like a playoff game atmosphere. But imagine the Rams were able to reach the playoffs, every home game in the regular season would be close to if not sold out and the dome would be completely full for playoffs. But we haven’t seen playoff action since 2004. You cannot expect great attendance for the 31st winningest NFL team since 2005.
Attendance isn’t good we get it. But we have an owner who doesn’t support the fans or the city of the team. He has hired a coach who has now overstayed his welcome, hasn’t done a fantastic job of drafting and has failed to produce winning seasons with players capable of doing so. Every year for the last couple seasons, analysts on ESPN, NFL Network, and so on have said the Rams have had the potential to get a playoff berth and some analysts, such as Skip Bayless of ESPN picked the Rams to make the playoffs in 2015. But will they make it to the playoffs? For the 11th year in a row, the answer to that question is a resounding no.
To conclude, I want to say this to the committee. We as Rams fans know that the fan bases of the Chargers and Raiders are very passionate about their teams as well as we are. But if one or both of the teams were to move, not all but some fans could make the 3-5 hour drive (depending where they are from) to see their team play in Los Angeles. If you decide to move the Rams to LA, Rams fans from St. Louis just can’t casually drive to Los Angeles to go to a game. St. Louis has already lost an NFL team once before. I wasn’t alive for the occurrence but my dad, his dad, and many other fans were crushed. Please don’t do this to us again. My final remarks are as such, please take whatever measures needed to keep the Rams in St. Louis. Thank you for your time.