|Paul Spinelli / Associated Press|
|Jim Everett (left) and Eric Dickerson were both stars for the Los Angeles Rams.|
One of the first things I was asked to do as an intern for NFL Publishing in 1995 was to write the copy for a Wheaties Box, celebrating the Rams' move to St. Louis.
Being an eager college student from Cal State Fullerton, I was so happy to be a part of the league, I would have been willing to do just about anything.
Except for that.
I would have rather have watched a videotape of my girlfriend taking a boat trip with Tommy Lee on Lake Havasu.
That could have been the end of my NFL career right there, but I think I earned some respect for taking a stand. Funny too, because L.A. fans always get the reputation of being soft. That's not the case. We were the victims of an owner who made the female owner from "Major League" look as generous as Oprah.
But we might be getting another chance.
As one of those souls who has bounced around NFL's purgatory since 1995, I know better than to get excited when the latest huckster promises to bring football back to Los Angeles. We've had more false starts than your typically undisciplined Raiders offensive line.
However, both competing sites -- in downtown Los Angeles and in the City of Industry -- seem legit. And Anschutz Entertainment Group President and CEO Tim Leiweke told The Orange County Register on Thursday that he has spoken with representatives from the Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars.
And that's great news. But let's cut to the chase because only one team makes sense to play in Los Angeles -- and that's the Rams.
As somebody who has had his team ripped from him, I don't want the great fans in Minnesota or Jacksonville to go through that. The Chargers obviously started in Los Angeles, but they are San Diego -- end of discussion. And the Raiders? They belong to Oakland.
No, it has to be the Rams. In fact, I am going on record as saying that I will not support any other team moving out here. And listen NFL owners, I am the demographic you should be aiming at (as a fan of the Angels, Lakers and Kings).
St. Louis always seemed lukewarm to the Rams, though they did support the team during its Super Bowl run. Now St. Louis is just going through the motions like a loveless marriage both sides want to end, but doesn't have the guts to pull the trigger. Why pretend? St. Louis is a baseball town. The baseball town. Enjoy that.
St. Louis has been known as the gateway to the West. And that's what the team should do, return west like so many other Midwesterners who come to L.A. to chase their dreams.
Of course, this is the part where Vic Carucci always points out to me that the Rams originally started in Cleveland. Yes, and Dean Martin's first wife was Betty McDonald and his third wife was Catherine Hawn. But his heart was always Jeanne's. Likewise, the Rams will always belong to Los Angeles.
And in Dean's last days, it was Jeanne by his side. So let's do the right thing here, and bring the Rams back home where they belong.