Calling Kroenke’s bluff

Illustrated by Victoria Courtney
Illustrated by Victoria Courtney

Put your umbrellas away because the sky isn’t falling yet.

On Jan. 5, St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke (AKA Silent Stan, AKA Crypt Keeper, AKA The One Guy with the Bad Toupee and Mustache) announced he would be moving the Rams to Los Angeles all on his own dime. He and his partner, Stockbridge Capital Group, would build an 80,000-seat stadium in Inglewood, California. Kroenke also said he would move the team regardless of whether he got the approval of other NFL owners.

Take that, other rich guys!

But Kroenke’s threats to move the team are like the threats of my neighbor, who says he’ll call the cops if I don’t stop logging onto his wi-fi — they are not to be feared. If either of those two men wanted to move a team to Los Angeles or have me arrested for technically-free wi-fi, they would have done it already.

Kroenke has until Feb. 15 to file his team for relocation. Yet no such paperwork has been filed. Why? Because  Kroenke is playing poker with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, and he’s winning — which isn’t that hard to do.

Jay “I Don’t Know What I’m Doing” Nixon is not the best candidate to solve the city’s NFL or racial troubles. But he is very good at posing for pictures and posting a woman’s buttcrack on Election Day. (Google it. It’s a real thing.)

Kroenke is a difficult guy to read, and there isn’t a single person on Earth who can figure out what his true intentions are. But I can guess he’s pretending he’ll move the team so St. Louis will get off its butt and give him everything to stay.

They’ve already given him a brand-new stadium that can accommodate professional soccer (foreign or domestic teams), and he doesn’t even have to foot the entire bill. All Kroenke had to do was say he’s moving to LA and the city and state said, “uncle.”

And if you think I’m wrong, use your adult brain for a second.

The St. Louis Rams are awful. They are the worst product in the NFL. They have the most losses since 2004 and haven’t made the playoffs since. Do you really think a dumpster-fire town like LA is going to pay money to see the Rams lose every Sunday?

The LA Lakers owned Los Angeles forever — until this year, because they lose all the time. The LA Kings didn’t even know they had a fan base until they made the playoffs. LA “fans” forgot the Clippers existed until they got Chris Paul and a playoff berth.

I believe Kroenke is playing one hell of a bluff and will wind up getting his stadium in St. Louis. It’s a smart business decision, and with the team on the rise and a large fan base already established in St. Louis, the results will pay off sooner than if he moved to LA.

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