How to root for the post-St. Louis Rams

Dorian DeBose | Senior Sports Editor

This is painful year to be a former St. Louis Rams fan. Not only has your former team reached the pinnacle of success—the Super Bowl—only three years after they left St. Louis, but they’re also facing America’s most hated team, the New England Patriots. There appears to be no good outcomes of the game. If the Rams win, Stan Kroenke will be the owner of a Super Bowl-winning franchise. If the Patriots win, the fan bases of all 31 other teams will be reminded of their inadequacy as Tom Brady hoists his sixth Super Bowl trophy, equal to or more than every other TEAM in NFL history. The entire league is against a rock, but only former Rams fans must endure the hard place.

But, perhaps, the situation does not need to be so dire. Anger at Kroenke is blinding St. Louis fans to the good memories of players still on the team. Todd Gurley was the last first round pick of the St. Louis Rams. He had a fantastic rookie year in St. Louis before the team left. Gurley has blossomed into the best running back in the NFL in the last two years. He’s poised to have a great game in the Super Bowl. There is nothing wrong with rooting for Gurley to be excellent against the Patriots as a St. Louisian. He is like a product of the divorce between the Rams and St. Louis. Like all products of divorce, he is not to blame for the unfortunate situation that his deadbeat owner has put him in.

Another product of the split is Aaron Donald. Donald is in rarified air this season with how dominant he has been. With 106 pressures and a league-leading PFF rating of 95.6, Donald has become the defensive MVP of the league and one of the most dominant players in NFL history. When he was in St. Louis, he was well on his way to being a standout defensive player. His final season was punctuated with 11 sacks, which led the team that season. Rooting for Donald to destroy the Patriots offense is doubly beneficial: It’s a victory for Donald, who we should want to excel independently, and it means Tom Brady is getting battered, a victory for everyone in the league.

The Super Bowl ought to be a time for celebration. It is the last time fans get to enjoy football before the doldrums of the spring. Sunday looks bleak for St. Louisians, but it doesn’t need to be. The outcome of the game ultimately shouldn’t matter to former Rams fans. To watch some of your former stars glow on the brightest stage is a gift in and of itself.

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