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.