This whole off-season my friends and I discussed what to do about the 2015 St. Louis Rams season. As Rams fans we were in a bit of a conundrum, with the move of the team a strong possibility after the season. Nothing has been decided, and likely won’t be until after all the games have been played this season (or at least won’t be announced). So do we support a team that we have watched over the last 20 years, only to have them up and leave at the end of the year. Or do we give a big middle finger to the owner, who has made it obvious he is infatuated with having the team in Los Angeles, and not go to games anymore only to have the owner claim “see they don’t support us.”
Well week one’s attendance numbers are in; just under 52,000 fans attended the season opener for the Rams against their conference rival Seattle Seahawks. That puts the Rams last in both actual attendance and percentage of capacity. So it seems the Rams fans have taken a stand. Some will attend, some will stay at home. I was one of those 52,000 at the game and let me tell you; if you stayed home as a boycott, then you missed out on one of the best NFL games I have ever seen in person. Sure the Rams made mistakes. Yes they blew a double-digit lead and let the game slip into overtime. However the team that two seasons ago would have folded under those miscues and momentum turn, was not there Sunday. This team fought back and put the ball in the end zone, something they have had trouble doing, and came up with big stops, like the 4th-and-1 to end the game. The atmosphere was great, despite the upper bowl being half empty. It was loud and exciting, quite amazing what winning can do huh?
So as the week has gone on I have been thinking about the Rams fan dilemma again…what should we do; go to the games or boycott? And despite my great disdain of Stan Kroenke, I say we go to these games. We support the Rams throughout the 2015 season. This team is fighting hard, so let’s fight hard for our team. Now the move itself will not depend on whether or not we support the Rams. No, the move will be fought among billionaire NFL owners and possibly in the court room. This has never been about supporting the Rams, which the fans have done during some of the most historically inept football in NFL history; it has been about receiving better sponsorships, increasing revenue, and building a portfolio. The fans, the ones who actually made the NFL become the most watched sport on television, are just an afterthought.
So why support the Rams when their owner wants to move the team at the end of the year? Why spend money on a product when we may only have our hearts broke come January? Well first of all who cares what Kroenke wants to do. I have never seen a fan wearing the jersey of an owner (well except maybe Patriot fan wearing a Kraft jersey because of their almost incestual behavior). I support my team, which consists of the players. In regards to the money, why waste money? Well this team is entertaining. They have been building a team that they feel can win in the NFL. And although it was just one game, they took a big step on Sunday. I am not saying this year they will compete for a title but they will compete. And this defensive line, one year after the moniker was given to them, can truly be a Gateway to Hell. It is a vicious defensive line that will be entertaining. And isn’t that what anyone wants from their money, entertainment?
This team may go 8-8, hell it may go 5-11, but we shouldn’t give Kroenke anymore ammunition to use when he tries to persuade the NFL to allow him to move to L.A. And no matter what their record ends up being this season; between the defensive line, a play-maker like Tavon Austin who has maybe found his mojo in the NFL, a quarterback that can stay healthy (knock on wood), and a running back considered once in a generation type (Todd Gurley), this season should be an entertaining one.
So much like life I say hop on and enjoy the ride. I think the best way to sum up what Rams fans should do is said by country star Garth Brooks in his song The Dance.
“And now I’m glad I didn’t know the way it all would end, the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain. But I’d have had to miss the dance”
Rams fans may be hurting after the season but you would have missed out on some great memories of a team on the rise in 2015. So embrace the Rams while it lasts, because you never know what may happen, they may go…but they also may stay. And if you boycott this team, then it’s you that are losing out on the chance to dance with them.
P.S.- I’ve also changed the typical fan chant of ‘Let’s Go Rams’ to ‘Lets STAY Rams’!!!