A YEAR AFTER traveling to St. Louis to talk to locals about the Rams' move to Los Angeles, The MMQB's Jacob Feldman went back to see if sentiments have changed in light of the team's best start (5--2) in 14 seasons.
WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS NOW TOWARD THE RAMS?
Chelsea Osterby, fan since moving to St. Louis in 2012: "The team has changed so much—new players, a new coach. They feel like an ex-boyfriend I don't even know anymore. I went through last year trying to find a new NFL team. It wasn't as fun. I never got to the point where I chose one."
Jim Thomas, longtime sports reporter at the St. Louis Dispatch: "Some have moved on; others are still bitter. There's still a lot of hate-watching, including my wife. You don't get over a 21-year marriage that ends in a messy divorce—you definitely don't get over it in a year."
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST LOSS AS A RESULT OF THE RAMS' DEPARTURE?
Osterby: "They were a big part of my identity, something I could always connect with people over."
Justin Boyd, marketing director of the sports bar Hotshots: "People aren't able to take their kid and see Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, or have Todd Gurley to root for. There's a missing link to connect us to football."
AND WHAT, IF ANY, HAVE BEEN THE BENEFITS?
Randy Fauth, owner of the memorabilia shop Sports Card Dugout: "From a business standpoint, it's been a negative for me, but I actually find it almost liberating. I don't feel tied to the TV on Sundays. I have more free time now."
HOW HAS THE RAMS' START THIS YEAR AFFECTED YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO THEM?
Thomas: "Some fans have felt, Just let L.A. have 13 straight nonwinning seasons. So this makes it a little harder to cope."
Boyd: "There's quite a large segment of Gurley fans, so I'm happy for the players. [But] we're still offering beer discounts after the Rams lose. We've added Roger Goodell's face to [owner] Stan Kroenke's on our urinal screens."