I knew the Rams announcement that they are going to play games in London over the next three years was a big deal, but I couldn’t predict just how crazy things would get here in St. Louis. If you listened to any talk radio on Friday, you couldn’t go five minutes without hearing analysis about what this announcement means for the future of this franchise here in the Gateway City.
First of all, let’s get something out of the way before we get into the meat of the issue. The Rams aren’t going to be moving to London. I heard that a few times today, and I know Roger Goodell is all about expanding the NFL overseas. Still, it makes absolutely no sense to move a franchise in England on a permanent basis. It just wouldn’t work logistically, so until we develop the technology to instantly transport ourselves from one place to another, it’s not going to happen.
Now, on to the major issue. I have been adamant in my belief that this team is staying in St. Louis, but even I am concerned about a move to Los Angeles after this announcement. I know Stan Kroenke has a connection to London because of his soccer team, but I can’t shake the feeling that the NFL is trying to globalize the Rams in preparation for their move to LA. The Rams have been one of the worst teams in the NFL over the last several seasons, so why would the league want to have them as their representative in Europe over the next three seasons?
Maybe the Rams, because of Kroenke, are the only franchise to step up to make that trip on a consistent basis. I don’t know. All I know is, if you were going to move a franchise which has been one of the worst in the league recently to one of the biggest media markets in the world, a strategic play like this to “grow the brand” would just make all the sense in the world. I’m not saying the Rams are moving, but I am saying I’m much more concerned now than I was 24 hours ago.