It has been nearly eight months since the St. Louis Rams officially became the Los Angeles Rams again and left the Midwestern city without a football team for the second time in the past 29 years. To this day, there are plenty of salty feelings around the city. It's perfectly okay to be sad, mad, or all together unnerved by the loss of pro football here. Please don't apologize for it.
Over the course of the past few weeks, some have said it's past due to be over your feelings with the Rams leaving. Why is that? The Rams were here for 20 years and won a Super Bowl. More importantly, they gave the city something special. Football every fall and winter. Every September, the Edward Jones Dome, aka "The Ed", would fire up football again.
Sometimes it would be half empty. Sometimes it would be too quiet. There were far too many times where the building elicited a sadness few could describe without a cringe and head slump. That's sports and the journey of following them. Winning and losing run hand in hand with happiness and sadness. Over the past decade, the Rams gave fans more heartbreak than joy. Still, that doesn't mean it was okay for them to leave town.
While Roger Goodell and Stan Kroenke are easy targets, I'll fire my biggest shot at Kevin Demoff. a man who truly stabbed the city in the back while playing polite ringleader. Exhibit A:
There's plenty of people to be mad at today about the Rams move. None of it makes it feel better that football will never come back to St. Louis. NFL football that is. Forget it. After two franchises and nearly 50 years between the Cardinals and Rams with too few playoff appearances and exits, the pros aren't returning.
Mentioning the Rams gets a strange glare. If I say it too often on the air, people ask me why it's still in discussion. Well, a year ago the Rams were opening up action in St. Louis. On New Year's Day, the Rams were still officially a St. Louis team. The wound is still fresh, folks. It may stay that way.
Hard Knocks on HBO can elicit unintentional humor and make it easier for St. Louis football fans, but the hurt in seeing Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley play out West will sting for a decent amount of time. No matter how much money Jeff Fisher makes per losing season or if Jared Goff finds out completed passes are a cool thing, the idea of no football in St. Louis will sting.
Some will say it's best to act like it never existed. Wrong. Cherish the Greatest Show on Turf. Cherish the Super Bowl Los Angeles will never win. Cherish the good old days of Kurt Warner firing a dart to Issac Bruce, Marshall mentally breaking down a defense before the snap, or Aaron Donald manhandling Jamesis Winston so much that the young quarterback threw his arms up in disgust. Those moments are mint chocolates wrapped up in green paper on a soft pillow the next morning.
In 28 seasons, the St. Louis football Cardinals had three playoff appearances. From 1995 to 2015, the Rams advanced to the playoffs just five times. 49 seasons. Eight playoff appearances. Two Super Bowl appearances. One Super Bowl win.
It's not memorable when looked at as a whole. However, the glory days don't seem any darker as the years have piled up. They shouldn't be forgotten. Ever.
Be salty as long as you want, St. Louis football fans. The NFL is never coming back, and that is a truly unfortunate thing.