I’m not here to argue with Lakers fans. I know patience is a virtue, but I’m not virtuous enough for that. I do want to go on the record that if the Rams win the Super Bowl, they have one Super Bowl. My unique set of circumstances — St. Louis sports fan, Trail Blazers fan — makes me highly specialized to hate both the Lakers and Rams, so you should know where I’m coming from when I say these franchises don’t get to drape themselves in the glory of other cities.
I don’t care about the Celtics-Lakers fight for who has the most NBA titles. Both fan bases are insufferable, and it’s like picking between being electrocuted or waterboarded. I would say at least the Celtics don’t put a sticker for every title they’ve won on their home court, but the only time I’ve been to TD Garden was to transfer trains to catch a wedding in Maine and the N word was pretty heavily featured all over the bathroom walls so really poor taste all around.
What I care about is Rams owner Stan Kroenke not getting another ring after he latched onto the Greatest Show on Turf and then bled the team dry like a parasite until they were so anemic they were forced to move back to Los Angeles in 2016. I know Bill Belichick allegedly taped Mike Martz’s practice before Super Bowl XXXVI, but it wouldn’t surprise me if in reality Kroenke gave him the footage.
If he sells the team, which isn’t going to happen, I’ll back off because LA is the original home of the Rams. Until then, they can fry like me in the Mojave Desert. (And if you were wondering if I watched the Rams-Patriots rematch a few years ago, you can bet your ass I avoided it like the Plague.)
I don’t know what Rams fans, if there are any, are thinking, but there’s never been a Super Bowl parade in LA so one would guess they won’t count 2000. You never know though because maybe they look at Kurt Warner like they look at George Mikan — lovable players that were so great their banner(s) have to be hung in the rafters somewhere. (I was only halfway kidding.)
Lumping Rams fans and Lakers fans into the same category is unfair. The similarities stop at “LA” and “bandwagon.” Lakers chatter, like LA fans’ love of purple and gold, never ends, and USC hiring Lincoln Riley might’ve been bigger football news in LA than the Rams going back to the Super Bowl.
So yes, combining Rams and Lakers followings into one is definitely a reach, but it’s fun so I’m going to continue.
Part of the reason it’s so easy to hate the Lakers is because large arrays of their vast collection of fans are indisputably bandwagon fans. (Cuts to OG Lakers fans nodding while the LeBron James fanbase nips at them like basset hound puppies biting at their father’s ears.)
These Rams fans seem largely of the bandwagon persuasion, made up of the preteens who still think Odell Beckham Jr. is the best wide receiver in the league, and Lions faithful who just want to see one of their best players at the position go on to win something as opposed to retiring early because they couldn’t take losing any longer.
If the Rams were so deeply missed, their return would’ve been met with more than the Jim and Dwight welcome version of half-inflated gray and brown balloons. Our Stephen Knox took the pulse of the town during the NFC Championship game, and it sounds like the heart rate was barely registering.
It’s not a Raiders scenario where it’s once a Raider, always a Raider. Something about the Davis family’s contentious relationship with the NFL hypnotizes their fans into following the team wherever they go. It oddly makes sense for them to display their Lombardi trophies on Las Vegas billboards promoting the team’s move.
The Oklahoma City Thunder wouldn’t dare claim Seattle’s 1979 title, and I feel the same way about the Rams (even though it’s different and the Supersonics were way more beloved in Seattle than the Rams ever were in St. Louis).
Maybe Kroenke didn’t want to slap Marshall Faulk’s trophy on a billboard because he settled a lawsuit over the move for $790 million in November. The Rams weren’t a proud franchise when they came back to LA. They were a laughing stock and deserving of all the apathy they received.
This is your chance, sports fans of Los Angeles. Don’t make the same mistake the Lakers did. Reject the false sense of entitlement that comes with ringzzzz culture. Should you come away victorious — and god willing, you won’t — celebrate it like it’s your first time because it is.