For the past several seasons, the buzz around the National Football League has been about a possible franchise move to, or maybe even back to, Los Angeles, California. On Monday, January 5th, the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, and St. Louis Rams, all filed to relocate to the Los Angeles area. The Chargers wished to partner with the Raiders to build a stadium in Carson, California, while Rams' owner, Stan Kroenke, had plans to build in Inglewood, California.
On January 18th, however, NFL owners voted to allow the Rams to return to Los Angeles after a 21-year absence on a 30-2 vote. The Rams resided in L.A. from 1946-1995. The Chargers also have a year to decide if they will stay in San Diego or join the Rams in Los Angeles. If they stay, the option will go to the Raiders.
This return to the west coast has some people wondering, though, who are the winners and losers in this deal? Miami Dolphins owner, Stephen M. Ross, proclaimed that, "Everybody won." However, when asked about the fans of the Rams' in St. Louis, Ross replied, "Well, somebody had to lose."
Yes, somebody did. The people of St. Louis, and most importantly the fans in St. Louis. The kids who have grown up only knowing the Rams, the ones who dreamed of playing for their team in their town one day. The ones who saved every penny of Christmas money, birthday money, and allowance to buy that jersey of their favorite player.
What about the parents who saved every extra cent they had to be able to take their children to the game? Or the friends who only became friends because of this team? The group of college aged kids who get together on Sundays to watch the game and root for their team. The group of middle aged adults who get together on Sunday to watch the game root for their team.
They have lost. They have all lost. Because the Rams are no longer St. Louis' team. They belong to the City of Angels now.
However, the same argument could have been made in 1995 when the team moved from Los Angeles, where it had been for nearly 50 years, to St. Louis. The children who were devastated after the move in '95, now adults, are seeing their team return home. They are experiencing once again their youth, in a way. The families who went to every home game together, can do that once again.
The fans in St. Louis have most definitely lost, and its hard to not feel for them. But now, St. Louis and Los Angeles have more in common than just the Rams. The feeling of loss.