To: St. Louis sports fans
From: Couch Slouch
Re: Losing your NFL team
I ran into a couple of lost St. Louis souls last week, and, lo and behold, they were still whining about the Rams leaving town. They even implied that I was somehow to blame for stealing their perpetually woebegone, perpetually underachieving NFL franchise.
Hey, I didn’t want your damn team. None of us here in Los Angeles wanted any NFL team. You think we hatched a plan to bring Jeff Fisher and Case Keenum to town? We’re too busy hatching a plan to get Kanye West and Kim Kardashian out of town.
Sure, this is the second time you’ve lost an NFL team inside of 30 years – first the Cardinals in 1987 and now the Rams. Big deal. Right after I moved to L.A., we lost two NFL teams in the same year (1994), and, uh, I hesitate to bring this up, but one of them WAS THE RAMS.
What’s that old expression – what goes around comes around?
You should be thrilled that first Bill Bidwill and now Stan Kroenke are out of your lives. Why do you want to keep giving them your money? Why would you want to provide Kroenke – a billionaire without backbone – a blank check to build a new stadium?
Anyway, the moment I heard the Rams were leaving L.A., I cracked open a Rolling Rock – yes, this was so long ago, I was still drinking Rolling Rock; it was before St. Louis brewery behemoth Anheuser-Busch bought my favorite beer and ended a beautiful relationship.
And the moment I heard the Raiders were leaving, I cracked open a six-pack of Rolling Rock.
Trust me, you will be enriched by the fact that you do not have the NFL in your neighborhood.
No city or town, large or small, should be defined by its professional sports franchises. Everything else matters more: schools, roads, arts, food, community.
I follow the Lakers and Clippers and Angels and Dodgers, but if any of them left town, I would simply yawn. On the other hand, if my nearby Barnes & Noble were to close, I’d be on the next bus to Bakersfield.
I love Los Angeles for the weather and ocean and strawberries and farmers markets and restaurants and Hollywood Bowl and 24-hour poker rooms, plus there’s no traffic at 3 o’clock in the morning (and only at 3 o’clock in the morning).
Stop being babies, St. Louis.
You still have the MLB Cardinals and the NHL Blues. You have Washington University, a great academic institution not poisoned by Division I athletic needs. You have the Gateway Arch and the Mississippi River and the St. Louis Symphony and Ted Drewes frozen custard.
You need the NFL like you need “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
Without a local NFL team, you actually get a better selection of NFL games every Sunday. You no longer are spiritually bound to watch a 7-9 team’s annual march to mediocrity.
Better yet, you can now skip the NFL some Sundays and rediscover the rest of your life.
Top 5 Things to Do on Sundays Instead of the NFL:
1. Brunch at Costco (entirely through free samples).
2. Read (books are fine, but newspapers are better).
3. Go to a rescue shelter and bring home two dogs (they’re brighter than Terry Bradshaw and bark less than Skip Bayless).
4. Talk to your wife and step kids for 15, maybe, 20 minutes.
5. Construct a diorama depicting a stadium site in which no stadium was built because public funding was denied.
But if you miss the NFL that much and can’t help yourself, I am offering one lucky St. Louis couple season tickets to the new Los Angeles Rams home games. I can’t pay for relocation – and I won’t pay for the Personal Seat License when the new stadium opens here in 2019 – but my guest room will be available to you any NFL weekend.
Still, if you are seriously considering moving to L.A. so you can watch and root for your Rams, I implore you: DON’T DO IT. We can’t absorb any more bodies here; too many families, not enough freeways. Please stay where you are – we don’t even have enough kale to go around.
Plus, didn’t you ever see the movie “To Live and Die in L.A.”? Everyone dies.
Ask The Slouch
Q. With NBC broadcasting the Rio Olympics with a four-hour delay on the West Coast, will The Slouch vacation in Canada to watch live on CBC? (Jack O’Brien; Fairfax, Va.)
A. Actually, I am relocating to Canada during the Olympics to beat the potential rush of “Trump dodgers” in November.
Q. I know some riddles are not solvable by even the slouchiest, but can you tell me how the Atlanta Braves can return to their winning ways? (Steve Jones; Charlotte, N.C.)
A. Chipper Jones.
Q. Do you stop and redo the Velcro straps on your typing gloves after you type each letter of your column? (Kim Hemphill; South Riding, Va.)
A. Alas, I still hand-write my columns – can’t hold a pen with a Velcro strap.
Q. Now that Golden State has Kevin Durant, do you think Leicester City could be persuaded to play in the NBA next season to keep things competitive? (Perry Beider; Silver Spring, Md.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email email@example.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!
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