For what feels like the 74th straight season but is actually the third, the Patriots are in the Super Bowl. Everyone hates them, for a suite of reasons both worthwhile and petty. While I still would like the Rams to win out of spite, in the abstract, a Super Bowl championship for owner Stan Kroenke is nothing to celebrate.
Recall the process that led to the Rams playing in Los Angeles. In 2015, the NFL planned to move the Chargers and Raiders to L.A. The league had initially proposed to keep the Rams in St. Louis, since the city had the bones of a stadium deal. Instead, Kroenke strong-armed the NFL into allowing him to move the team into a gaudy monstrosity in Inglewood only five years after taking over as Rams owner, somehow fucking over Inglewood citizens, Raiders fans, and St. Louis residents all at the same time.
After the move, Kroenke’s Rams tried to nickel-and-dime his players by enforcing Missouri’s labor laws, even though they now played in California. St. Louis residents still have $60 million left to pay for the now-vacant NFL stadium in town. At least Jerry Jones got his wad of cash.
Then, Kroenke took a huge shit on St. Louis on his way out. Not only did the team’s application essentially call St. Louis a crumbling backwater unworthy of an NFL team, but it warned the league that there should never be a team in the city:
Any NFL Club that signs on to this (new stadium) proposal in St. Louis will be well on the road to financial ruin, and the League will be harmed.
Most vultures like Kroenke at least have the good sense to pretend to care about civic will and the mood of their fanbase, but to him, the team was just another asset in his portfolio. If there’s any silver lining to Kroenke’s ruthless maneuvering to fuck over St. Louis, it’s that he so transparently showed how the NFL’s only priority is to make a shitload of money. The asshole with wombat hair at least understood that he was supposed to play the victim, even after lying to Rams fans about the possibility of staying.
St. Louis-based Rams fans loathe Kroenke, naturally, and judging by a series of stories checking in on them before the Super Bowl, they all feel either resigned or enraged that they don’t get to enjoy what should be their city’s Super Bowl berth. Kroenke faces four lawsuits relating to the team’s move. Andy Cohen even called him out for being a jackass.
Kroenke isn’t just despised in America. The raccoon-hair-haver recently became the sole controlling owner of Arsenal, buying out fellow billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s shares to own 98.82 percent of the team. His ownership stake now gives him the right to buy out all of Arsenal’s citizen shareholders. Fans hate him for killing the community spirit of the team and treating it like nothing more than a business, which English fans have the good sense to loathe. The team has deteriorated under his leadership, and he’s already tried to siphon off £6 million of the team’s money for himself.
The unfortunate reality of this year’s Super Bowl is that either Bill Belichick or Stan Kroenke is going to raise a trophy and make a speech about willpower or some bullshit. However, one of them has to lose. If it happens to be this pelt-wearing Trump supporter who earned his fortune through marriage, that’s not the worst thing in the world.