So you’re a St. Louis Rams fan and your team announces they’re moving back to Los Angeles where they came from after 20 years.
What do you do?
Admittedly, if you’re of any real significant age in St. Louis you’ve been through this before. But say you’re a plucky kid who grew up a Rams fan during the Greatest Show on Turf and you’re picking up the pieces of your shattered fan heart after “your team” left you high and dry.
Hear me out. I know they ripped your heart out, but let’s be fair. Twenty years ago, you were on the receiving end of a football team gifted to your midwestern city that nobody would ever voluntarily leave Los Angeles for. (Okay, so they left Anaheim. Still.)
They showed up and you two had a really good run. Won a title using a former grocery boy and were one of the best NFL stories of the late 20th century hands down. Whenever anyone talks about the Rams again, they’ll include those stories of Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and Issac Bruce. They were ST LOUIS RAMS.
So sure, the team ditched you for better weather and a sweet new stadium funded in-part by Walmart cash, but HEY! You’re a RAMS FAN! Why are you kicking them to the curb now? Get League Pass and remember the good times.
Here’s the problem. All of the teams closest to you are either 1) former in-state rival (Chiefs) or in a city that has other teams you hate 2) Chicago. Not a lot of options that aren’t teams that relocated from other cities in recent history. But hey, the Rams fit that bill when they played in St. Louis.
The Colts are a storied team in recent memory, have a nice stadium and you know Irsay will spend to keep them competitive. Young quarterback and while they haven’t relived the Peyton Manning days of winning a lone Super Bowl, you’d do worse than to have them as your new favorite NFL team.
Plus it’s close enough that you could visit once a year for a game.
Bright side, this team will never move. They’ve had success throughout most of their history, they’re a storied NFL franchise and I repeat, they are unable to move ever.
I know being associated with Cheeseheads could be problematic, but nobody ever views Packers fans as bandwagon jumpers. It’s not that far from St. Louis and Milwaukee and St. Louis have a lot of similarities.
Oh and they’re a decent football team, with a stable GM & management. You can’t beat it.
So you probably rooted for them before the Rams showed up. Which makes sense, I guess. So now you can go back and grovel at their feet and apologize for ever leaving them. Andy Reid has them playing ball again, they have good management and unlike your
Cardinals or Rams, they aren’t going anywhere in immediate future.
In-state solidarity? A winning football club? That said, you’ve got more Super Bowl appearances and wins in St. Louis over 20 years than they have in Kansas City, ever?
So that’s something to think about. But hey, it’s the easiest and most defensible choice.
Okay, so this is weird right? They’re good now! Plus, if you want to visit the desert you know it’s not going to snow or rain. Your city supported them forever and you probably have lots of Cardinals gear in that closet of yours. Just throw it on and cheer for the Cards on Sunday. It’s not that different.
Nobody will ever ask you who your favorite football team is, because they know better. But if they do, just say “I’m a Cardinals fan,” and they’ll stop talking about it because they’ll assume you meant baseball and change the subject.
This lets you stay in the NFC, you can root against those assholes in LA who left you paying for a dome they aren’t using and it can be a little cathartic.
Sports are cruel. Owners don’t care about you and your fandom feelings. Just stop watching the NFL altogether. Or root for players and not teams. That could be easier. Either way, if you’re picking a new team remember you’re a free agent and can do what you want. No matter what anyone says, when a team leaves your city — and your city has lost teams in a league twice in a short lifetime — you have no allegiance to anybody.
Just do you.
P.S. When your new team moves, encourage them to change their Twitter handle and to secure the old name too. It helps former customers — and new ones — know where to find them. Especially if they can’t get the actual name on Twitter, because it belongs to an actual person.