Mike Brown took a stand against Rams leaving St. Louis

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If people in St. Louis are looking for a team to follow and support, we have a suggestion.

The Cincinnati Bengals.

Here’s why. Apart from the fact that they are currently pretty good, Bengal owner Mike Brown was the only NFL owner who consistently opposed the Rams leaving St. Louis. The information comes from the article published recently by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which secured exhibits from the now-settled litigation between St. Louis and the NFL.

“I think all these teams are successful being where they are,” Brown said at one point. “Shouldn’t we be supportive of the markets that have supported us for all these years?”

Another owner spoke against the Rams moving, too. Some folks in St. Louis will be surprised to know it was Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill. The Cardinals moved out of St. Louis in the late 1980s.

“It sends a message to our fans that we are all about the Benjamins,” Bidwill said, via the Post-Dispatch.

Of course they are all about the Benjamins. We already knew that. And the owners had no qualms about underscoring that reality.

In contrast, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones consistently supported the ability of Kroenke to take the Rams to L.A. That’s no surprise, given that Legends Hospitality, partially owned by Jones, has made and will make plenty of money via its partnership with SoFi Stadium.

Brown has a reputation among his partners for being a contrarian, and for pretty much opposing everything the rest of them want to do. Sometimes, however, he’s the voice of reason. He realizes that everyone is making great money, and that there’s a balance to strike between unabashed greed and loyalty to customers.

In the case of the Rams and St. Louis, unabashed greed won easily. With the NFL in recent years, unabashed greed has a pretty strong track record.

40 responses to “Mike Brown took a stand against Rams leaving St. Louis

  1. So it wasn’t unabashed greed that led Georgia to move the Rams to St. Louis in the first place? St. Louis got the shaft, but that possibility exists for any community that hosts the NFL. Under the right conditions, any franchise can move if they convince the right people and grease the right palms. What happened to the Baltimore Colts, Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Cardinals? Let’s not pretend this is something new.

  2. Mike Brown is not a contrarian. He takes the long view on a lot of topics, and his thoughtful approach is often unpopular but correct.

  3. Whatever, St. Louis has now lost 2 NFL franchises. If the fans and the city actually supported the Rams the team would still be there. The fans only showed up when they were winning, the city is one of the most violent crime infested areas in America. How come other small midwest markets like KC, Indianapolis, Cincinnati continue to have success, its because they have a loyal fan base and their city supports the team. I dont feel sorry for St. Louis when the Rams left the team was playing in front of crowds that had half full stadiums.

  4. Great article. Mike Brown will never win any points for trying to grow the league with vision looking a mile down the road. However, he scores big points for his loyalty in certain cases and in todays NFL, that is rare.

  5. ST. LOUIS has a home state team to support in in the Kansas City, Missouri Chiefs.
    St. Louis needs their own team. The NFL doesn’t need a 2nd team in Dallas before St. Louis gets a team.

  6. Greed sounds like a great name for a team. The Washington Greedy Pigs. Has a nice ring to it. How about the Los Angeles Liars? The Carolina Back Stabbers? The Dallas Convicts? The Philadelphia Philth? The New England Massagers? The Tampa Bay Goodells? The Seattle Abusers? The Las Vegas Drunks? I think I’m onto something

  7. Mike Brown is a good man. Paul Brown is an icon. When Mike goes itll be the last of the mohicans. He has always supported what was right from a league standpoint and his dad basically invented the offense you see today.

  8. Its always about the Benjamin’s..and when they say it isn’t about the Benjamin’s, that’s when you know it definitely is about the Benjamin’s !

  9. All the football “fans” in STL were Cincy fans back in February, but the real Stan the Man prevailed! Go Avalanche!

  10. The NFL should expand out to 36.

    The four new teams should go to Austin/San Antonio, San Francisco, San Diego, and St. Louis.

    Take the league back to an East/Central/West format. This format would provide more quality teams in the playoffs via Wild Card and not a 8-9 team because they won their division.

  11. A second team expansion in any city will draw zero fans. I think expanding to 36 is a fun idea, but put the teams in Portland, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Salt Lake City.

  12. I’m not sure the 49’rs would appreciate another team in San Francisco.

  13. I am a Lions fan. I was not wronged by the move, nor do I have a strong opinion on Cincinnati Bengals one way or the other. That being said I’ve cracked Mike Brown ownership jokes here before. Look under the couch maybe you’ll find enough to sign an FA anyone else wants. That kindve a cheap comment. Done with those. Man seemed to understand what few in that room knew that loyalty does have value in business as does customer loyalty. St Louis fans, you got done dirty but not by the guys in Cincy it seems. IMO

  14. darthhelmut says:
    May 14, 2022 at 9:37 am
    Whatever, St. Louis, the city is one of the most violent crime infested areas in America.

    I always enjoy people who have never been to a big city commenting on the crime rates there. Here’s an idea: Take a trip and learn about life outside of your one stoplight town.

  15. The Haslams should have also stood against that move. Cleveland owners have that responsibility, like it or not.

  16. LA Rams got doen dirty. 49 years in LA and were taken by STL greed. Dont forget the history, big picture, STL has taken two teams. Let’s see here who is really in the wrong. Miek Brown woudl have left if Cncy didnt build them a stadium; which thye did and it has beena disaster for the city and county. Oh poor old Mike Brown.

  17. Jake Jacobson says:
    May 14, 2022 at 11:26 am
    I’m not sure the 49’rs would appreciate another team in San Francisco.

    Except that the Raiders were in their market for virtually 50 years and the NFL forced the 49ers to build two sets of locker rooms to share the stadium with the Raiders before Al Davis refused to be a part of it (as did Marc Davis.)

  18. Nice that he took a stand, but let’s not forget he’s still just as greedy as other owners. Just more of an old school traditionalist kind of way.
    The Rams shouldn’t have moved to St.Louis in the first place. The best way for them to put this to bed is promise an expansion team in the near future. St.Louis, San Diego, San Antonio are already good markets for sports teams, so why not? Throw in one prospect to develop maybe….Idaho anyone?

  19. Brown and the late Ralph Wilson always voted down moving franchises. Good for them.

  20. I wonder what mike Brown had to say in 1995 when Georgia Frontiere moved the rams from LA to her home town of St. Louis mostly out of spite because she knew the LA fans hated her for among other things low balling the likes of Vince Ferragamo and Eric Dickerson causing them to hold out and eventually those two being traded. What Kronke did was to right that wrong, they should never have left the LA area in the first place.

  21. This is the same Mike Brown who scored a taxpayer-funded stadium by threatening to move to Baltimore.

  22. RogerThat! says:
    May 14, 2022 at 10:01 am
    Greed sounds like a great name for a team. The Washington Greedy Pigs. Has a nice ring to it. How about the Los Angeles Liars? The Carolina Back Stabbers? The Dallas Convicts? The Philadelphia Philth? The New England Massagers? The Tampa Bay Goodells? The Seattle Abusers? The Las Vegas Drunks? I think I’m onto something.

    You are absolutely on to something here. The Miami Tankers, The Green Bay Rodgers, The Minnesota Bridesmaids, The Indy Participants…
    Better watch out for the New England Massagers, they tend to rub me the wrong way.

  23. “Shouldn’t we be supportive of the markets that have supported us for all these years?”

    Did the Browns argue to support the LA market that had supported the Rams franchise for nearly 50 years before Georgia Frontiere absconded with them into the welcoming arms of St. Louis?

    Have the Browns argued in support of the LA television market that has supported the NFL and provided the second largest single viewership base for all the TV renewals contracts that have skyrocketed into the stratosphere since 1995??

  24. The Rams ownership was stupid enough to let failure Jeff Fisher keep coaching year after 6-10 year and the fans wisely said ‘enough’. But it’s the fans’ fault, not Jeff Fisher’s or the owner’s?

  25. Exactly why Goodell is trying to force out Mark Davis as owner of the Raiders right now. The NFL is beyond greedy at this point. Now they dictate who they want to force out based on how much more money they think they can make.

  26. The same Mike Brown who threatened to leave when he was extorting/negotiating for a new stadium and getting the best lease deal in pro sports. All while putting one of the worst products on the field during his 30+ years in charge.

    Yes they are good now. Watch how quickly he’s going to ask/demand huge upgrades or a new stadium payed by tax payers.

  27. Mike Brown has a well earned reputation for being cheap, but what he was doing here was putting loyalty ahead of money. He stood to get almost $18M for his share of the relocation fee, and he argued against that. Not the best owner in sports by any means, but as a Bengals fan this story makes me feel a little better about their upcoming lease negotiations.

  28. And also as a Bengals fan…pack up that team and leave if you want another deal like the last one. I’m tired of county commissioners talking about the inability to build new jails or other necessities because of their debt load on the stadium bond. Time for billionaires to pay for their own workplaces. Give him great tax breaks like you would any big business, but not a free stadium.

  29. Baltimore cried foul when their team was stolen, then turned around and stole Clevelands team. Likewise St. Louis had their team stolen by Arizona, so they stole the Rams from LA. Now they want to cry that LA stole their team back? Yes the NFL owners will screw over a city for a dollar, but these cities are complicit. Even when the NFL tries to make it up to a city, it’s a disaster. The Browns were a proud, strong team but the ‘replacement’ team has been a disaster ever since. The Oilers were a proud, strong team but the Texans have been a disaster.

  30. Pretty rich considering Brown threatened to move the Bengals to Baltimore so he could get a new stadium.

  31. St.Louis is baseball and hockey. They have failed more than once with the NFL. Give it up.

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