Saturday, January 16, 2016

Rams to L.A. don’t mean nuthin’ to Bears, but maybe to pro baseball?

Let me say up-front that all those professional football fans from the greater St. Louis area who now are in search of a new team to root for aren’t going to mean diddly-squat to the Chicago Bears.

St. Louis' football history came from Sout' Side ...
In fact, while I have heard from many St. Louis sports fans speculating on a new team to root for now that their ‘home town’ team has moved to Los Angeles beginning this season and some say they’re considering shifting their allegiances to the Bears, I just can’t see it happening.

PERHAPS IT’S MY own experience in living in downstate Illinois where the two major cities near that region are Chicago and St. Louis. There are those people who are willing to root for a Chicago ball club. But others who will NEVER consider doing such an overt act.

Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of those former St. Louis Rams football fans now take on the Green Bay Packers just so they can explicitly say the root against Da Bearz!

So if anybody is delusional enough to think the Chicago Bears franchise now gains a larger territory that includes the entirety of Illinois and Missouri, guess again.

It’s funny the way things work with professional sports franchises, who operate under the illusion that the represent the populace of the communities in which they are located.

WHEN THE BEARS won that championship for the 1985 season and the Super Bowl for 1986 (Super Bowl XX, in preferred NFL-speak), it was a victory for Chicago! It was evidence of how superior our city was – or so said any of those people who used to bark like dogs while going on and on and on about “The Refrigerator.”

So the fact that an NFL franchise was so eager to dump all over the city that would like to think it is the major focal point of the Midwestern U.S. becomes evidence to some, and a slur to others, on the very place that Redd Foxx’ “Fred Sanford” character used to pine on and on about.

... and from Los Angeles. ...
Personally, I don’t think it’s a blow to St. Louis’ reputation. If anything, it may show that city officials had enough sense to not be blackmailed by professional football.

If only more cities would stand up to their sports teams’ demands, perhaps we’d all be better off.

ALTHOUGH IT IS humorous that the city whose own professional football history was based on stealing teams away from Chicago and Los Angeles (the Rams are merely returning where some think they belonged all along) is now getting all worked up over the loss of the Rams.

Perhaps there is something to be learned from the Chicago Cardinals, who left for St. Louis in the early 1960s before relocating to the suburbs of Phoenix, Ariz., some three decades ago.

... Maybe they'll try to take from N.Y. next?
There used to be a phenomenon of Green Bay Packers fans in Chicago because the Cardinals fans of old couldn’t bring themselves to “bear down” for the Chicago Bears, and blamed George Halas for strong-arming their preferred franchise out of existence.

By now, however, those people are long gone – either deceased or perhaps suffering from Alzheimer’s disease to the point where they can’t even remember what football was.

OR MAYBE IN their own minds, the Cardinals are still roaming the grounds of Comiskey Park and continuing to fail in their drive to bring a championship to our city’s Sout’ Side.

I don’t know what those St. Louis sports fans are going to wind up doing in the long-run. Maybe they’ll continue on with some other team – or maybe even a few will want to keep rooting for the Rams until all the current players have moved on.

There may even be those people who will take the loss of football as continued evidence of the dominance of the St. Louis Cardinals fans in baseball and the idea that the “Gateway to West” is the ultimate baseball town.

A fact that ought to further infuriate Chicago Cubs fans, and may become the ultimate local impact of the Rams’ return to the City of the Angels.


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