I can’t lie to you.
I miss professional football in St. Louis.
It was an integral part of the city and I literally grew up with it. I was aware of the NFL’s football Cardinals, but never got a chance to see them because they were gone by the time I really started watching football. When the Rams were here in ’95, I got excited. Even more excited to see them win a Super Bowl in 2000. Then they were bad, like really bad. But you know the story, they left after the 2015 season and made The Dome quiet. No more screaming fans, no more tailgating, no more coverage. Seeing the Rams in another city (in this case, go back to the city where they had the longest tenure)…hurt. It did. But you learn that it’s all business.
But last year, I saw Vince McMahon’s press conference announcing that the XFL was returning. By then, I was hoping for a St. Louis team. I actually wanted 2 of them: the XFL and the Alliance. Maybe that would remove the pain of losing the Rams. That wasn’t going to work. One venue with two different teams from two different leagues. Too much conflict. When the Alliance made their announcements of the cities, I was disappointed that St. Louis wasn’t the initial eight, but still had hope for the XFL for 2020. My wish had been granted when it was announced that St. Louis was one of the eight. But now that the Alliance is a sunken ship with tons of baggage floating in the ocean, I’m giving my full attention to the XFL.
Out of the eight XFL cities, St. Louis is the only one that doesn’t have an NFL franchise. That makes this even MORE special for the league. The Dome will get to rock again, and THIS time it can be affordable to go experience a professional football game in the city of St. Louis. I was amazed to hear that fans just outside of St. Louis would make a trip to see the Rams, whether through tailgate or watching a game in The Dome. They will get to do it again this time with the new XFL.
Hear me when I say this because I truly believe (and I have said it once before if you have not heard the show):
St. Louis is vital to the XFL’s success. VITAL.
In my eyes, that means bringing back former St. Louis (Football) Cardinals and Rams players to the Dome, to celebrate St. Louis’ professional football history. It would be awesome to see greats like Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, Orlando Pace, Dan Dierdorf and Jim Hart. St. Louis has seen nearly 50 years professional football in the NFL, and yes it saw a lot of bad luck along the way but the fans continued to root for them during those times. It was our therapy, the one time per week where we got to sit back and enjoy three hours of entertainment in our hometown.
Speaking of Bruce, he actually had expressed his feelings in wanting to coach. Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that if St. Louis was an Alliance city, Bruce was in negotiations with the league to possibly be the team’s head coach, but conflicts at The Dome kept that from happening. Rumor has it that (former Rams coach) Jim Haslett will get the honor, but as of this posting, nothing has been set in stone from the league office. Even if Bruce doesn’t get the head coaching gig, he should definitely look in to being St. Louis’ team president or as an assistant on staff continuing to work with younger players. Bruce’s presence should be high on this team’s radar. He was a big part of the community work in St. Louis during his playing days and continues to do that while retired.
McMahon and XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck both saw St. Louis as an XFL city. They know that the city’s fans are craving professional football again. They are even willing to pay a lot of money for usage of the Dome. It would just make so much sense for the league to play its very first game in St. Louis. I can’t see it any other way.
I meant every word that I said. And I don’t care that it was repeated. Comments are welcome (Be civil). It’s time to once again celebrate pro football in St. Louis.