Rams fans can learn from jilted Seattle Sonics followers

Dec 17, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams fans hold banner that reads "St. Louis is our home" in reference to the team
Dec 17, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams fans hold banner that reads "St. Louis is our home" in reference to the team /

The official heartbreaking announcement came on January 12, 2016. To fans in the St. Louis area, the merciless ruling was swift – just like that the “Gateway City” no longer had a National Football League team.

Furthermore, the move doesn’t necessarily give off the typical “it’s just business” vibe. Instead it feels more like a personal attack.

Owner Stan Kroenke had been vocal about both his intentions and his unhappiness with the City of St. Louis. Citing a lack of adequate support and economic growth, Kroenke began to create his getaway plan. He’ll adamantly stick to his attendance argument. After all, the team has not had a single winning season in the past decade. But he cannot hide from the fact that in his relocation application, Kroenke claimed that “St. Louis is not a three professional team market.”

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At the end of the day the true indication was there, extremely visible to the outside world…Stan was California Dreamin’ and did not have the slightest desire to make things work in St. Louis.

And the truth is that’s his prerogative. On the flip side of the coin, however, he should own that – he should be honest with the city that gave him his only Super Bowl win. At the very least he owes the fans that. St. Louis residents are not stupid and they see straight through Kroenke’s game.

Similar to the Sonics’ abrupt Seattle exit, the fans of the abandoned city lose. So it goes. But does that signify the end of their loyalty?

Since the Sonics’ relocation to Oklahoma City in 2008, the fandom has not died. Seattle fans remain as relentless as ever. They still want their team back, even eight years later.

If Sonics fans are able to teach the Rams faithful anything, it’s this: to keep pressing on in the hope that they will be rewarded for their loyalty.

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Allow me to elaborate for St. Louis residents and fans. Your city still has a lot to offer and support and, more importantly, it needs you. From the Cardinals to the Blues and to the Saint Louis Football Club, these teams and this city needs support now, more than ever before.

Whether you choose to support the Rams in their new Inglewood home or not, your city still has a unique fan culture, and you still have your community. Celebrate it and refuse to let it go. Show that your loyalty remains, now and forever, a sharp contrast to Kroenke’s dishonesty.

Keep rallying and showing that support. After all, the whole world won’t be watching the Rams in the long-term but they certainly will be watching you.