Mixed messages, speculation continue (no kidding) on Rams to Los Angeles

Saturday, December 19, 2015 10:44 PM

What’s a fan to do on a Sunday when the Rams are off? There’s futilely cheering on the Cleveland Browns (argh) in a last-ditch chance to beat Seattle and thus keep the Rams’ under-1% chance of advancing into the playoffs (giggle), but that feels likely to go south in direct opposition to the beer tab real quick. And those of us lucky — that’s right, *lucky* — enough to get into the fantasy football post-season will be refreshing, checking and repeating.

On this Sunday early, though, LARams.net is checking the state of the Rams’ move to Los Angeles, a perhaps already done deal about which the 99% (let’s face it) actually *knows* little to nothing.

Naturally, more than a few theories are available online, mostly falling into one of three geographically-centered viewpoints:

•  St. Louis city government officials are promising everything in hopes of keeping the Rams and just might pull it off;

•  the Rams are coming to Los Angeles and will play on land owned by Stan Kroenke;

•  and other.

For example.

An Associated Press report of yesterday was headlined in an least one media outlet with “St. Louis aldermen approve $150 million in city financing for stadium as Rams mull move to LA,” which neatly sums of the essentials of the article for the “tl;dr” crowd. Slightly beyond the header runs this bit:

The vote does not guarantee that owner Stan Kroenke will keep the team in St. Louis, but was considered vital toward the effort to build the new $1 billion stadium that could entice NFL owners against allowing the Rams to move.

LARams.net isn’t exactly sure why an Edmonton newspaper chose to run with this story ... maybe the CFL hopes to try US expansion again; after all, St. Louis may be vacant of professional football in 2016...

From the Los Angeles area, local media reported the approval of a building freeze over the Carson land which would host a joint venue for the now-San Diego Chargers and -Oakland Raiders — a move that, if successful, presumably boxes Kroenke’s Rams out of the running for Southern California relocation.

And just in case denizens of Los Angeles and Orange County weren’t pessimistic enough about what we thought was a foregone conclusion (and might still be, actually!), the L.A. Times this week weighed in to proclaim that “L.A. stadium solution has never been closer, yet NFL owners are miles apart.”

Reporter Sam Farmer reckons:

As it stands, there’s no NFL consensus on a plan, and the Chargers and San Diego are essentially divorced, with the club walking away from the negotiating table in June.

Meanwhile, St. Louis fans can, according to Farmer be proud of their city’s efforts (except, you know, actually filling the Jones Dome to 50% capacity).

Even though NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman said in a recent radio interview that none of the three home markets has come up with an attractive stadium deal, St. Louis has done the most to keep its team. The Rams potentially would be walking away from a significant amount of public money, and the NFL is not in the habit of doing that.

Yeesh. So maybe the Rams to Los Angeles isn’t a done deal after all. That’s an ugly reality (maybe), so let’s go to some escapism, namely a wild one from Mike Florio over at Pro Football Talk.

Entitled “Chargers-Rams franchise swap could be only way out of L.A. maze,” Florio goes nearly into science-fiction land with his speculation. The Rams have been subject to the wacky full-team trade once before: In 1972, Robert Irsay traded his entire just-bought L.A. Rams franchise wholesale for the Baltimore Colts.

Even at that time, the Chicago Tribune called the maneuver a “bizarre transaction” and a “weird deal” — Can we really imagine such a trade going down today? Florio sure can.

As one source with knowledge of the current league dynamics said in response to the possibility of a franchise swap, “It’s not a bad idea.”

Good or bad, it may be the only way to placate everyone involved.

With folks like Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and Texans owner Bob McNair, two of six members of the L.A. committee, campaigning openly for the Chargers to move to L.A. and for the Rams to stay put in St. Louis, giving the Chargers to Stan Kroenke (who would move them to L.A.) and the Rams to Dean Spanos (who would keep them in Missouri) would allow Kroenke to build his own venue in Inglewood, at a site that many believe is better — and more potentially profitable — than the proposed Chargers/Raiders location in Carson.

Whoa.

Let’s keep calm, L.A.

Breathe into the paper bag.

Just remember that when we speculate, we make a speck of you and late.

Or something like that.

– written by Os Davis