Going back to Cali

After 21 long years the NFL is set to return to the city of angels.

A meeting in Houston among the owners last week has forever altered the course of the NFL. With a 30-2 vote to approve the move, the Rams packed their bags and waved goodbye to the city they once called home and boarded the next plane to LAX.

The St. Louis Rams are no more. But that doesn’t mean we should forget them. The memories of Rams moments aren’t something we need to ignore. The opposite is true. The memories, good and bad, are what we should celebrate and share with each other.

It’s Steven Jackson rocking the goggles and letting out his dreads to honor Eric Dickerson in October 2010 after Jackson took over as the Rams’ all-time leading franchise rusher. It’s Rosey Grier meeting with the team as the St. Louis Rams prepared to honor one of the Los Angeles Rams all-time greats, Deacon Jones.

It’s Jack Youngblood and Orlando Pace. It’s Marshall Faulk and Dick “Night Train” Lane. It’s Kurt Warner and Roman Gabriel and Marc Bulger and Jim Everett.

It wasn’t all good times in the Gateway to the West. During the late 2000s St. Louis was responsible for the worst three-year record in NFL history, going a pathetic 6-42 during that stretch.

Years of mediocrity made it damn near impossible to show your face in public as a Rams fan, but through thick and thin, hell and high water, St. Louis rose to the occasion.

The fans continued to pour into the Edward Jones Dome regardless of their record. They wanted so badly to see the team they loved finally return to their winning ways, and while they flirted with the playoffs, they were never able to get over the hump.

“Humbly, eternally gratefully: Thank you St. Louis. I’m sorry we fell short the past 8 years. You treated me like family anyways. I love ya’ll.” tweeted by Rams defensive end Chris Long after news broke of the return to Los Angeles.

I know this week has been tough for St. Louis fans to adjust to the cold reality that the Rams are leaving. Nobody, me least of all, should tell anyone how to deal with this. It’s personal, and it should be. I also know there’s a contingency of Los Angeles fans who are celebrating the return of the team they once knew as their hometown team.

I’m not telling LA fans they shouldn’t celebrate. I’m telling you that those memories can’t be undone no matter what emotions you have regarding the teams move, no matter what the current owner or front office does. St. Louis or Los Angeles, they will never take the Rams away from us.

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