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  1. #1
    evil disco man's Avatar
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    Arrow Kroenke's goal for Rams is to see progress

    By Jim Thomas

    Missouri native Stan Kroenke was unanimously approved as principal owner of the Rams 2˝ weeks ago by NFL owners in Atlanta. It will take another two to three weeks for all the paperwork to be complete and for the deal to close. But for all practical purposes, Kroenke will take in his first game as the team's controlling owner Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome when the Rams open the season against Arizona.

    The Post-Dispatch caught up with Kroenke on Friday evening. What follows are his thoughts on a variety of topics, including his vision for the franchise, what kind of owner he will be, John Shaw, the LA stadium committee, his approach to making changes and more. ...

    Q: This has been more than 15 years in the making; how does it feel to be the principal owner of the Rams?

    A: "Actually it's been more like 17, if you go back to when we tried to get the expansion team in St. Louis. And there are a lot of people who I worked with that helped make it happen, people who I got to know and enjoyed working with and considered friends. Tom Eagleton (the late U.S. senator), Mayor (Freeman) Bosley and Buzz Westfall (the late St. Louis County executive) and others. I think we have demonstrated that we can run successful organizations and build them. So this is very exciting. We're excited to be able to continue that process in St. Louis. You know, the Rams have a good tradition when you think about it, and we hope to continue it."

    Q: Now that the preseason is over, what are your impressions of the 2010 team?

    A: "We've got some good young players. Watching the game in New England, I was impressed with Sam Bradford. In that kind of setting, going up against Tom Brady and going against their starting defense, he showed a lot of poise. It's like what (Patriots owner) Robert Kraft told me after the game, 'Looks like you've got a good quarterback.' And I told him, 'You ought to know.' But we've got a good young linebacker in James Laurinaitis, and other good young players. So you hope to see progress."

    Q: How well do you know coach Steve Spagnuolo and Billy Devaney, and as minority owner of the team until now, how much input did you have on team decisions?

    A: "Well, I was involved in the interview process with Steve — he's a good man. Billy I don't know as well. In the past as minority owner, you're involved in team decisions. But not to the extent that I will be now as principal owner. I guess that's all you can say about it."

    Q: Factoring in your hectic schedule, in general how much time will you spend with the team?

    A: "I enjoyed seeing the team in New England. I hope to attend as many games as I can. I've spent a lot of time in St. Louis over the years, and I don't think that will change now."

    Q: Fans hope you will become a savior of this franchise. What is your vision for the team? What kind of owner will you be?

    A: "I don't think you need a savior. We like to know what's going on. We like to be involved, but the No. 1 thing is to find the right people and put them in place. Hire good people … and let them go. Let them do their job. I like to win. I like teams to be competitive. And as I mentioned in Atlanta at the owners meetings, by being competitive I don't mean winning one year. Anybody can be competitive in the pro sports business every so often. But the real challenge is to be competitive every year. In Denver with the Nuggets and Avalanche, we've been in the playoffs between 70 and 80 percent of the time. That's the harder part. And that's the model we'd like to have in St. Louis."

    Q: Will you be a big spender?

    A: "I think if you look at the NBA and at the (soccer) spending in Europe, the teams that spend the most money aren't always the teams that win the most. So it's just not about spending money. It's about spending money wisely. Being smart with your money. Again, we like to win, and we like teams to be competitive. So if we see a player who will help us (in free agency or via trade), I'll say, 'Yeah, go out and make that happen.'"

    Q; Will you make changes if necessary this season, or will you take more of a wait-and-see approach this first year with the Rams?

    A: "I'm not going to jump to conclusions. There's a certain part of you that wants to observe and see what happens. We'll be evaluating things. We're going to have a lot of fun and have a very successful run of it. But I'm watching. I'll be watching. This is a meritocracy, I guess you could say. And you want to see progress."

    Q: How involved will you be with the Nuggets and Avalanche franchises in Denver this season?

    A: "It will be just as outlined in the agreement to purchase the club. I will remain owner of the teams for the prescribed time — up to four years. But my son Josh Kroenke will run the Nuggets and have management control transferred in his name. Josh will be governor of the Avalanche, and (current team president) Pierre Lacroix will be vice governor. But really Pierre Lacroix will run the club. He has been running the club. Josh Kroenke has been ready to take over the Nuggets for a couple of years. He still is very young, but he's had his '10,000 hours,' if you read Malcolm Gladwell. Josh is ready to do that. The transfer of management control will be complete by the end of the year with those teams, but I will continue as owner (through December 2014)."

    Q: Will John Shaw continue to have a role with the franchise, and in what capacity?

    A: "John Shaw has been invaluable to Georgia Frontiere, to Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez, and to me, and is a friend. He has been involved with the Rams for 30 years. Sure, there were some bad years and some mistakes, but if you look back over the 30 years there was also a lot of success. And I think people have to remember that. He brought a Super Bowl championship to St. Louis. He was front-and-center in bringing Dick Vermeil here. But his future role is something he and I will discuss in the coming weeks and months."

    Q: Do you think it is important to start a dialogue now with St. Louis-area officials on the stadium lease issue, an issue that will begin to accelerate in 2012?

    A: "First of all, I want to say this. Why would I be involved in trying to get an expansion team here, why would I be involved in the Rams' move to St. Louis, why would I invest so much money in the team if I wanted to lead the charge out of town? I do not want to lead the charge out of town. I do want to have a competitive team, and it takes revenue to be competitive. We're going to work really hard to have a model that produces revenue where we can be consistently competitive. So yes, I guess you can say it's important to have discussions (on the stadium lease)."

    Q: You have been on the committee for quite some time, but why are you on the NFL's Los Angeles stadium working group?

    A: "I was appointed to that committee by the commissioner, just like I was appointed to the TV network committee by the commissioner. I did not volunteer or go 'sign up' for those committees. I guess because of my background in real estate development the league thought I would be useful on the stadium committee. And I have experience in different markets. That's all there is to that."


  2. #2
    01d 0rd3r's Avatar
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    Re: Kroenke's goal for Rams is to see progress

    Quote Originally Posted by evil disco man View Post
    Q: Will you be a big spender?

    A: "I think if you look at the NBA and at the (soccer) spending in Europe, the teams that spend the most money aren't always the teams that win the most. So it's just not about spending money. It's about spending money wisely. Being smart with your money. Again, we like to win, and we like teams to be competitive. So if we see a player who will help us (in free agency or via trade), I'll say, 'Yeah, go out and make that happen.'"
    This is exactly what I want to hear. I just hope it is not lip service.

  3. #3
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    Re: Kroenke's goal for Rams is to see progress

    Yeah, Why Is Kroenke on the NFL's Los Angeles stadium working group? His response, "I did not volunteer or Sign up for those committees". C'Mon, STAN!!! You have experiences in different markets and you know the LA market is a CA$H COW, especially for a NFL team. Stan, you've finally arrived. There's nothing else like being the head of a NFL team, You'll definitely want to put your stamp on this team and make your mark within this league, Bringing the Rams back to LA is your ticket to control the greatest market in all the sports world!
    We all know, Stan, you have to keep a low profile on this issue, but in the end, when you load up the Moving Vans, in the middle of the night at the ED, for the Rams return to the City of Angels, that'll be the day when the Ram Gods nominate you for Sainthood!
    When that day finally comes.....We all in RAMNATION will sip from the Blue & Gold DRANK and get KROENKED!!!!!!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Kroenke's goal for Rams is to see progress

    I would think that Plan A is to swing a stadium deal in St Lou, with the approved, ready-to-build facility in City of Industry as Plan B. Which will it be....who knows? It'd be nice to get the Rams back to the left coast though.

  5. #5
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
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    Re: Kroenke's goal for Rams is to see progress

    Tell me why you think he would have worked so hard to bring the Rams to St. Louis if he was going to move them back to LA?

    Sorry, but I don't buy it. He lives in Columbia, MO, just a couple of hours away by car from St. Louis. His wife is from Arkansas. If you are from this part of the country, you really don't want to relaocate anyone to LA. You just can't hate anyone that much....

    For those who are wanting a team in LA, just wait. You'll get your wish. There's one team that will end up there. They'll just have to change their name from the Tampa Bay Bucs to the Hollywood Glitz...yes, it sounds like a soccer team, but after all, it IS California we're talking here...

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    Re: Kroenke's goal for Rams is to see progress

    "I hear the train a coming, coming round the bend..."
    "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

    Jack Youngblood

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    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Kroenke's goal for Rams is to see progress

    "But his ( John Shaw's) future role is something he and I will discuss in the coming weeks and months."

    THAT is not wanted I wanted to hear. If Kroenke replaces Billy with Shaw or forces him to share control with him, I'll be absolutely disgusted.

    Ugh... I don't even want to think about this on the first day of what we all hope is going to be a major step out of the mess that Shawgmunt created & Billy, imo, has contributed to fixing. Yeah, Shaw was around when The Rams won a SB & may well have hired DV but he was part of the dysfunctional crapola that probably stressed DV into making a rash decision to leave AND he didn't stop him. Then he presumably was part of the decision that turned one of the best offensive coordinators into a pretty poor HC.

  8. #8
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Kroenke's goal for Rams is to see progress

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    "But his ( John Shaw's) future role is something he and I will discuss in the coming weeks and months."

    THAT is not wanted I wanted to hear. If Kroenke replaces Billy with Shaw or forces him to share control with him, I'll be absolutely disgusted.

    Ugh... I don't even want to think about this on the first day of what we all hope is going to be a major step out of the mess that Shawgmunt created & Billy, imo, has contributed to fixing. Yeah, Shaw was around when The Rams won a SB & may well have hired DV but he was part of the dysfunctional crapola that probably stressed DV into making a rash decision to leave AND he didn't stop him. Then he presumably was part of the decision that turned one of the best offensive coordinators into a pretty poor HC.
    The encouraging aspect of Kroenke's reponse is that he did not say Shaw would have a future role with the team. He said they would talk about it, which hopefully means he'll tell Shaw he appreciates everything he has done for the Rams, but now it's time to enjoy retirement.

  9. #9
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Kroenke's goal for Rams is to see progress

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    "But his ( John Shaw's) future role is something he and I will discuss in the coming weeks and months."

    THAT is not wanted I wanted to hear. If Kroenke replaces Billy with Shaw or forces him to share control with him, I'll be absolutely disgusted.

    Ugh... I don't even want to think about this on the first day of what we all hope is going to be a major step out of the mess that Shawgmunt created & Billy, imo, has contributed to fixing. Yeah, Shaw was around when The Rams won a SB & may well have hired DV but he was part of the dysfunctional crapola that probably stressed DV into making a rash decision to leave AND he didn't stop him. Then he presumably was part of the decision that turned one of the best offensive coordinators into a pretty poor HC.
    So would I, and probably everyone else on this forum. However, Stan did develop a relationship with Shaw over the years, and Shaw like any other human has his strengths and weaknesses. If indeed Stan wishes to pursue a plan involving a new stadium in St Louis, (the site of an old Saturn plant maybe?), Stan may want to take advantage of John's business acumen to assist in implementing such a plan. Shaw after all, is at this point familiar with the powers that be in St Louis and would likely be useful in that type of role. I would be utterly astonished if Shaw were given even a tiny sliver of responsibility with regard to the day to day running of the team. A "future role" could involve any number of things within Stan's empire entirely excluding involvement with the operation of the Rams' football team.

    As far as Billy being replaced by Shaw, I'd guess the odds of that happening are even greater than the odds we'll win a Super Bowl this year. Stan certainly had a hand in bringing Billy D. on board - likely Spags too .. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to give Stan the benefit of the doubt at least to start off with ...

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    helorm341 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Kroenke's goal for Rams is to see progress

    I see Shaw as an adviser, I think people forget that he is nearing 80 years old and that he has wanted to retire. I don't think John Shaw WANTS to be the defacto leader of the Rams. In fact I don't think he's wanted to be "that guy" for many years now since he gave that job to Jay Zygmunt about 10 years ago. Basically after the 2000 season is when Zygmunt took serious control of the franchise.

    Like it or not, Shaw is a respected member in NFL circles and there's no doubt he has a ton of contacts and respect among NFL power players. He's been in the league for like what, 30+ years now? In total control of a franchise for 20+?

    John Shaw RESIGNED as the team's president about two years ago and he stepped down as the GM about 10 years ago. People here are just paranoid.

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