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Old 07-30-2013, 01:57 PM   #239
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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If you know the back story on how the Rams moved to St. Louis, it is a lot of moving parts that affected a few other franchises as well.

Before Bidwell moved the Cardinals in 1987, you have to go back to 1984 in Boston. The Sullivan family, one of the original AFL owners, decided to get into the concert promotion business. Their son decided to promote the Jackson 5 World Tour in 1984 aka the Victory Tour. This ironically kicked off in Kansas City because of the Sullivan family’s respect for Lamar Hunt. What happened is the tour actually bankrupted the Sullivan family, while they owned a NFL team they were not very wealthy. They did have two separate assets in the Patriots and Foxboro Stadium. In 1988, they sold the Pats to Victor Kiam and Robert Kraft bought Foxboro Stadium. Well Kiam ran into major debt and into picture steps James Orthwein. Orthwein, from St. Louis owned a major ad agency and a cousin to the Busch family. First he was an investor then in 1992 purchased the Patriots out right.

Of course at the same time was the NFL Expansion of 1993. St. Louis was in the running with Charlotte, Baltimore, Memphis and Jacksonville. We know the Panthers were the first vote and St. Louis was supposed to get the second team but the ownership situation was with two groups. The first and main group was with Jerry Lincoln, a big Budweiser distributor in St. Louis, Fran Murray, and Orthwein. The original plan was for Murray to own the new franchise; he was a part owner of the Patriots before but ironically he didn’t have any money either. After Murray got the new St. Louis franchise, he was going to switch it with the Patriots that Orthwein owned. Murray was then going to move the Pats to Hartford. At the same time, Stan Kroenke steps forward with a group made up of other prominent St. Louis business owners. This turned out to be a very solid NFL ownership group i.e. they had the money to do it. Trouble was Orthwein held the lease to the Dome. The first group also backed out of the ownership late.

Well the second team was awarded to Jacksonville. Baltimore had a strong bid, just as strong as St. Louis with a stadium in place. They had 3 ownership groups running for it. One was Malcolm Glazer; the other was Al Learner, and a third. Trouble was a lawsuit was going to be brought out if Learner won the team by the third group. Jacksonville had no law suits and Weaver was a strong owner.

Guess who was on that expansion committee – Art Modell. Of course we know Modell moved the Ravens to Baltimore. Guess who got the Browns expansion team – Learner. Look who bought the Bucs – Glazer.

Now back to St. Louis, well Orthwein wanted to move the Patriots to St. Louis trouble was he couldn’t get out of the lease at Foxboro Stadium. Remember who bought that – Bob Kraft. Kraft wouldn’t allow them out of it for any price, so in 1994 Orthwein sold the Pats to Kraft. With him no longer in the picture it allowed Kroenke to help get the Rams to St. Louis.

If you go back to the 1974 deal between Isray and Rosenbloom. Look at all the NFL teams effected by that switch.
Indianapolis
Arizona
New England
Carolina
Jacksonville
St. Louis
Oakland
Baltimore
Tennessee
Tampa Bay
Cleveland
Houston
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