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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Rosenbloom: Rams headed right direction ..

    Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/18/2009

    I'd like to begin by revisiting Saturday's column and cleaning up an error. Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers informed me that he did not watch last Sunday's Vikings-Rams game from Billy Devaney's box at The Edward Jones Dome, as I had reported.

    It is true that Devaney extended an invitation to Simers to watch from his family's box, and it is true that Simers chatted with Devaney and Rams consultant John Shaw before the game. But Simers watched the Vikings-Rams from a seat in the press box. I apologize to Simers, Devaney and the readers for getting it wrong.

    That said, Devaney didn't score any points with his bosses by inviting Simers to watch from a team suite. And the quote that Simers solicited from a Rams "official" didn't play well at Rams Park or in Los Angeles at the home of Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom.

    Here's the quote, in case you missed it:
    "Five years from now, we might be back in LA. Just imagine that."

    The quote upset Rosenbloom, because he believes it undermines the team's efforts in St. Louis. I spoke with Rosenbloom on Saturday and he was perturbed by the tone of my Saturday column. Rosenbloom doesn't disagree with my premise that the Rams have to do a better job of being accessible and open in communicating with the fans through the media.

    But Rosenbloom is bothered by my suggestion that St. Louis isn't a priority for the team's owners, and he wanted to clear the air. And that's healthy, because I think the fans need to hear more from Rosenbloom and his sister, Lucia Rodriguez.

    "We're entirely committed to building a winning team and a successful organization," Rosenbloom said. "Doing better what's right for the fans of St. Louis has been our priority since we took over following the death of our mother.

    "And we've been making that effort to reshape everything. We listened to the fans and agreed when they told us the franchise needed new leadership. So we changed the operation and put in new leadership in, including Billy as the GM. And Kevin Demoff (as the chief operating officer). A lot of people didn't think we could attract Steve Spagnuolo to our coaching job, and we did. That was the start, but it's a process."

    Rosenbloom said that if his priority was to save money, take the cheaper way out, and use the Rams as a cash machine, he wouldn't have made major changes after last season. He estimates that hiring a new coaching staff and executives and paying off the guaranteed contracts of dismissed coaches required an investment of around $8 million.

    Rosenbloom said salary-cap issues are a hindrance because the Rams are carrying so much "dead" money salaries of long-gone players that still count against the cap. He said the problem isn't a matter of the organization failing to spend enough money on players, but rather spending too much money on players who haven't come through.

    "Our desire isn't the issue," Rosenbloom said. "It's been our judgment."

    Rosenbloom also said he was proud of the organization's increasing level of philanthropy in the St. Louis community. And for whatever it's worth, he pointed out that the Rams have held the line on ticket prices for the last two seasons. He said it was a gesture of appreciation to the fans who support the team during tough times.

    The Rams, 0-5 this season, have lost 15 consecutive games. Going into Sunday's game at Jacksonville, the Rams haven't won in the regular season since Oct. 19, 2008.

    "Losing stinks," Rosenbloom said. "It hurts. Being 0-5 is upsetting. We're not happy with it. But I really believe in Steve. And as silly as it may sound to some people, we are going in the right direction. It may not look like it because of our record, and I understand that. But we're making progress.

    "We have roster issues, and this is not going to be repaired overnight. This is a building phase. We had several seasons of poor drafts, and we're paying for it. It's difficult to endure this, but we're going to come out much better for it."

    The Rams are for sale, with as many as six bidders in play for the franchise. Rosenbloom, wanting to respect the confidentiality of potential buyers, declined to comment on specifics.

    But he did reiterate two points: (1) Rosenbloom and Rodriguez do not have to sell, and do not feel any pressure to sell. They are content to hold onto the team until the right buyer and deal come along. (2) If they do sell, their preference is to find a buyer who is committed to keeping the franchise in St. Louis.

    "I've said it all along," Rosenbloom said. "We want to do what's right for St. Louis. That hasn't changed."


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rosenbloom: Rams headed right direction ..

    Bernie with egg on his face... again.

    At least he's consistent.

  3. #3
    viper's Avatar
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    Re: Rosenbloom: Rams headed right direction ..

    Shortly after Georgia passed away, it was speculated that they would have to sell the team in order to pay the impending estate taxes. They are now saying that they don't feel any pressure to sell the team. Has something changed? How is it that they don't have that issue any more?

  4. #4
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    Re: Rosenbloom: Rams headed right direction ..

    Quote Originally Posted by avengerram View Post
    bernie with egg on his face... Again.

    At least he's consistent.
    or something else is all over his face... Hmmmmmm

  5. #5
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rosenbloom: Rams headed right direction ..

    Quote Originally Posted by viper View Post
    Shortly after Georgia passed away, it was speculated that they would have to sell the team in order to pay the impending estate taxes. They are now saying that they don't feel any pressure to sell the team. Has something changed? How is it that they don't have that issue any more?
    Fair question .. A while back, one of the PD writers mentioned that Chip and Lucia could afford to keep the team for maybe 5 or so years before they would have to settle up the tax issues. They still have the issue, but are not backed up agaiinst a wall at this point. It makes sense that Chip and Lucia would want to know what prospective owners are be willing to pay for the Rams, and apparently that is what's transpiring now behind the scenes.

    I see no reason not to take Chip at his word regarding keeping the Rams in St Louis. From a fans perspective, (mine anyway) Chip has done everything he can as a new owner to try and turn around the team's freefall. Any way you slice it, we are a very young and inexperienced team with a coaching staff that's learning on the fly. I'll take that gladly over the former regime - Shaw and Zygmunt.

    I believe we are seeing a better product on the field this year than last year in spite of being winless. We also appear to be improving each week. I hope we see improvement from the coaching staff as well as the players. Spags and Shurmur have taken some hits (apparently well deserved) regarding Jackson's limited touches in the 2nd half against the Jags. It seems we've for the most part been very competitive in the first half of games only to fade in the second half. Some, if not alot of that has to fall on the coaching staff.

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