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Today’s final installment of [DFO] Hate Week is brought to you by marrying rich, prenuptial agreements, and the Mayflower Moving Company.
Now, normally the fourth day & final day of [DFO] Hate Week is set aside for attacking pet peeves I’ve had with the league over the year:
- GOODELL, Roger
- DISGRACE, National
- DISGRACE, International
And there are two in particular that I’ve had my eye on – Mark Davis & Jed York. I’ve taken a few runs at Mark Davis before – one of my first ever posts was about Mark, Dean & Stan, and “World War G” is still what I consider my finest effort on this-here site (non-History contribution). Jed York is the kind of dillweed that has thin-enough skin that I’d like to hope he’d find our site during his daily googlesearch for his name. But they are in the midst of running their respective franchises into the ground and/or out of town, so why waste my energy piling on.
So, I’ve decided to forgo my usual ranting and will instead turn over the spotlight of hate to two people who have good reason to espouse vitriol at the state of NFL ownership, Internet Dad and Low Commander.
Stan Kroenke: Horrible Human Being
So, I’ve been asked by the good folks here at Door Flies Open to pen a short post about how much I hate one Enos Stanley Kroenke. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh boy.
I hate this man with the passion of a white-hot supernova. Stan Kroenke took the Rams to Los Angeles, a move that’s, ok fine, he will make money from it. However, owning a professional sports franchise isn’t like owning any other business.
You have a duty to the public trust when owning a team. You instead spent the years that you owned the team shoving metaphorical shit in the faces of the people of St. Louis by saddling us with “Mr. 7 and 9” Jeff Fisher. This is a man who doesn’t believe in passing.
You then took the opportunity to leave that the city afforded to you by the lease St. Louis totally botched back in 1994 bringing the Rams here. A classic “sure, our kids can pay it off” baby boomer move by the city guaranteed that the stadium would be in the top tier of stadiums in perpetuity, an impossible task that the city’s leaders blithely signed up for, knowing it was unfulfillable. (Is that a word? Eh, who cares.)
However, a clause in a lease isn’t a license to pack up the moving vans. Stan Kroenke had opportunities to work with the city for a solution, and it was radio silence from them. They issued a proclamation that they needed, hell, I can’t remember, 700 trillion wigwams from St. Louis to upgrade the perfectly usable stadium into something that would pass Stan’s hairpiece’s muster. In other words, an intentional non-starter.
St. Louis responded by sending a former Anheuser Busch executive out with a bunch of our money to put together a clearly doomed stadium proposal. We were supposed to feel comforted that we were trying. It was a cold comfort when Dave Peacock, who is by all accounts a very nice guy, spent $16 million bucks on a stadium effort. Throwing good after bad, we wasted that money that could have been used for legitimate purposes.
Stan Kroenke wasn’t done. He then released their report on St. Louis as a football market, completely destroying any chances that the city would become the home of a future NFL tenant. Some of the money quotes included:
- St. Louis lags, and will continue to lag, far behind in the economic drivers that are necessary for sustained success of an NFL franchise.”
- “Any NFL Club that signs on to this proposal in St. Louis will be well on the road to financial ruin, and the League will be harmed.”
- “Even the most cursory analysis of the St. Louis financial proposal makes no economic sense for an NFL team.”
- “No NFL Club Would Be Interested In The … New St. Louis Stadium.”
Stan Kroenke burned every bridge in town on his way out the door and was just getting started.
His piece of garbage COO/professional liar Kevin Demoff had been lying to the city of St. Louis for years about how the team was dedicated to staying. When Stan Kroenke bought that parcel of Inglewood land in 2014, the die was cast, but they didn’t want to end the team’s support in St. Louis, so they kept up the façade of negotiations, sending Demoff to lie repeatedly on local St. Louis radio stations.
That’s right, Stan Kroenke didn’t even have the guts to lie to our faces.
He sent in a toady. Kevin Demoff, a clown who got his job because he was the son of an NFL agent, was the liar used. He told St. Louis sports personalities and fan to their faces that the Rams were committed to staying so we would continue to support the team.
Now Stan is building a state-of-the-art facility in Inglewood that will host his Rams and look great on TV. It will also host the Chargers, another vagabond franchise. Now the Rams are on the Super Bowl stage again, playing the Patriots, who beat the Rams in front of me in Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans like a billion years ago. I hated the Patriots for that (and for mugging the Rams’ receivers on every down, and later for Spygate) but now I’m torn. The Rams can’t win, because that gives Stan Kroenke a Super Bowl and a great narrative, and the Patriots can’t win because I still hate them, and my hatred burns DEEP.
There is one caveat which is that I'm still recovering a bit, so there won't be a Jamboroo tomorrow. But I will pick New England to win it all because I know that God is just that cruel.
— Drew Magary (@drewmagary) January 30, 2019
The NFL has gotten the last nickel they ever will get from me. I won’t be watching the Super Bowl. It is entirely the fault of one Enos Stanley Kroenke, the St. Louis native named after two Cardinal legends who told his hometown to get fucked and walked off with our team.
It is sick. I absolutely hate how much I miss the NFL. It was a vehicle that brought me so much joy over the years, even in spite of my team’s often lack of on field success. It brought me closer to my family as something to commiserate on over the holidays. It was a vehicle I could use to talk to nearly any coworker to break the ice with. Hell, I made some of my absolute best friends because of it, imaginary on this here site or otherwise. It gave me a chance to find some kind of common ground with just about anybody, locally or throughout my travels across the US. My passion and love of the game stemmed from one underlying principle: I always had a dog in the race.
I LOVED the Chargers, unconditionally. I knew the paint was peeling on the walls, that the toilet was backed up and that the landlord didn’t care to do anything to fix it, but it didn’t matter because it was mine. I know the general consensus around San Diego sports is apathy mixed with mild fair weather success, and that’s going to be there when your hometown is a destination city, but the locals and those that have been here long enough shared a lot of that passion. And boy did that come to an abrupt end just over two years ago.
[BAND AID FLIES OFF]
Dean Spanos is a “business man” in the loosest sense of that word combination possible and the poster child for nepotistic trust fund baby. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but his father, Alex Spanos, bought the team in 1984 and proceeded to try and run it like the only business that he’s ever known: real estate. If you’re wondering how an industry predicated on buying low, optionally improving your purchase and then trying to sell high and screw over your customer translates to owning a sports team, it flatly doesn’t. At best, it was an investment he could flip, but never did. It became personal for him when fans vehemently booed him on the field when retiring Dan Fouts number in 1988, and that was the moment he started to have one foot out the door. “How could they not love ME when I own what they are here to see?!” As real estate taught him, he went into full risk aversion mode, and started trying to get the city to pay for the stadium upkeep. The deal he signed with the city made it such that if home games didn’t sell out, that the city WOULD HAVE TO BUY THEM. So there was never an incentive to improve anything. He became the landlord and the city became the renter who was just happy to have a place to stay. Boil down this business acumen and distill it into a human without any actual talent, drive or semblance of empathy and you have Dean.
Dean Spanos never cared or showed interest in the culture or wellbeing of San Diego. Being from Stockton, CA, his drive was to enjoy the finest things in life. He almost exclusively stayed in La Jolla, which to those of you unfamiliar with the area, all you need to know is this:
La Jolla had the highest home prices in the nation in 2008 and 2009, according to a survey by Coldwell Banker. The survey compares the cost of a standardized four-bedroom home in communities across the country. The average price for such a home in La Jolla was reported as US$1.842 million in 2008 and US$2.125 million in 2009.
That hasn’t changed much. It’s the Malibu of San Diego, and I avoid it like the plague. But it is here that Dean made his friends and spent his time. He never had to work, other than “managing” the Chargers, which basically means “making someone else do it.” The family was already milking the team without doing anything extra, so why change?
Well, enter Enos, with his eyes set on LA. With the solidest business model of “25% of our season ticket holders are in Orange County or LA!” and years upon years of threats, Dean sprung into action saying he needed to “defend his investment.” I know people in Orange County and LA that were Chargers fans. Most of them lived in San Diego and still consider it home. Having season tickets was an excuse to come home, see family and get away for a bit. You really think those people are going to hang around because you move the team “geographically” closer? The only feasible reason to make the move was to increase the franchises dollar amount, so he could flip it like his Dad flipped low income housing.
With one final shot in the dark to get a new stadium San Diego, that would require 0 up front investment from the family, a downtown location with land owned by the city, poor transit systems and tax payers on the hook for any overages, Dean failed. He failed hard. He ran into the same selfish and single minded roadblock that Alex did. Nothing but the bottom line.
So now what? Enos has already started playing in LA, enjoying the success of being the only game in town and having long time fans find their team again. Is it time to start to realize the error of your ways, maybe put a little capital up and try to come back to the city with a show of some kind of good faith? NOPE.
So there he went, groveling to Enos and now wanting to be in the position he fucked so many over by putting them in as: the tenant. Now, finally having to try for the first time in his life to do anything has been met with hilarious ineptitude. Who would have thought that not having a stadium in your name would largely diminish the value of your team so much so that moving to the second largest market in the US would barely move the needle on your franchises worth? Everyone. Everyone but Dean.
There is so much that I have already said about this man, even before the move. The way in which a billionare held something that I loved hostage for so long, and then completely disrespected and insulted my city is something that is so deeply personal to me that I cannot let go. The Chargers were something that embodied my sense of home, flaws and all. The woman that you love so much and then ends up leaving you because you can’t give her the ridiculously lavish lifestyle she wants, and would rather be treated as an object by her new, wealthier husband. Just hearing the name is like a punch in the stomach of rage.
So, as much as I hate the Rams for what they have done to DTZM above, my hope is that the Rams win. The Chargers plan is so long term and hilarious that it will be abandoned in 5 years time. They want to build fans from the ground up in LA over generations, and that’s how they will stay afloat! I didn’t even have to say anything myself about how foolish this is! If the Rams win, it will cement the failure of Dean and this team as LA will be in the Rams pocket for decades.
If I ever have the displeasure of meeting the man, I have only one thing I will say: How does it feel to know that millions more people will be happy when you die than be sad?
Thanks to Internet Dad & Low Commander for contributing to the Hate, and thanks to everyone for reading. I’ll see you Saturday night for some videos & final
hate thoughts on “The Big Game”™®© , so until then enjoy getting ready to Hate Watch on Sunday.