Bernie: Rams have been left in good hands
Rams have been left in good hands
By Bernie Miklasz
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Monday, Jan. 21 2008
I don't know Chip Rosenbloom well. We've had a few conversations, and shared a meal or two along the way, since the Rams and his mother, Georgia Frontiere, became part of the St. Louis sports community in 1995.
But the initial impressions are positive. He's a good man, and a gentleman. Rosenbloom, 43, has a successful film career going, as a producer, screenwriter and director. But this is no showy, Hollywood guy. Chip has a relatively low-key personality. He's serious by nature. He's a family man, and happily spends time with his wife and kids. Same with his sister, Lucia Rodriguez. I've met her several times and found her to be warm, friendly and devoted to her husband and children.
I also know this: Chip and Lucia appreciate the way their mother was received and treated in St. Louis. They're grateful for the support and affection she received over the last 13 seasons here. In the final years for the Rams in Los Angeles, when things turned ugly, Chip and Lucia were upset by the personal attacks made against their mother.
And that's among the reasons I believe Chip will do the right thing by St. Louis.
Upon his mother's passing, as Chip takes over as the controlling ownership partner, Rams fans are worried about the long-term future of the franchise.
I am confident that Chip will take care of the Rams, and St. Louis.
Here's the first look:
— Rosenbloom will probably sell, but he's in no rush. In a few years he'll probably sell because his life and Lucia's are based in L.A. And he believes the owner of the Rams ought to be more intimately involved with the franchise, should have a presence in the St. Louis community. By selling, Chip and Lucia would make a lot of money, yes. But they also want the Rams to have local, visible and accessible ownership.
— Rosenbloom, however, is also devoted to the memory and legacy of his parents. His father, Carroll Rosenbloom, loved owning the Baltimore Colts, and then the Rams. Chip is conflicted; he has told associates that he'd feel guilt by selling the Rams out of the family. But he also believes St. Louis deserves the full concentration of the owner, and he may not be able to do that.
— Rosenbloom has told associates of his feeling that the Rams must change the inner dynamics in St. Louis. I haven't spoken to Chip about these matters, but I am told that he's interested in a new direction for the franchise. Team President John Shaw may leave the organization at some point in 2008, and if it happens, the exit would be viewed as an opportunity by Rosenbloom to restructure management. I am told that he believes the Rams need a more high-profile and proactive leader of the franchise, much like the Cardinals have in team President Mark Lamping, and the Blues have in John Davidson. Yes, Chip is also concerned about the on-field direction of the team. But please understand: He isn't going to bull-rush his way into this. He will need time to get a better read on the state of the franchise.
— And if and when the Rams are sold, what then? Chip really likes and respects minority partner Stan Kroenke. And Kroenke cares deeply about the Rams. But because of the current NFL ownership rules, Kroekne can't own controlling interest in the Rams and maintain majority ownership of pro franchises in Denver. And that's another reason Chip won't rush into anything; he is said to want to give Kroenke time to decide what to do, and perhaps work something out with the NFL.
We're about to enter another new chapter of NFL football in St. Louis, and I believe the Rams are in honorable hands. And as we begin anew, let's offer Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez our condolences, our best wishes and our welcome.
Re: Bernie: Rams have been left in good hands
Well, if Chip can be patient, let Kroenke get a grip on the Rams, Shaw leave the organization, that could be the best news since the Super bowl win.