After having a rough week where the news of the Rams relocation to Los Angeles became official, St. Louis sports fans finally had a moment to rejoice on Thursday as St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III joined St. Louis Blues owner Tom Stillman on the ice for the ceremonial pregame puck drop.
“Yeah, it was a great moment,” agreed DeWitt III, who plays hockey and is friends with Stillman. “Credit to Tom. I don’t know if it was Tom or his guys at the Blues who came up with the idea, but he called me.”
“Great relationship. He called me, said I’ve got an idea can you make the game tomorrow night and drop the first puck? I said, that’d be great. He said I just think we should show some solidarity.”
From there, the pair brainstormed on the jackets or uniforms to wear and settled on wearing each other’s team jackets.
“Walking out there, you realized wow–this is sort of bigger than just me and Tom or Cardinals-Blues. It was like a moment that I think people–it was pretty powerful because I think fans had that sense of pride coming out for the teams that they do have here. Of course, it got a little funny with the chant. It was pretty cool to be a part of that.”
The chant was “Kroenke Sucks” and it echoed loudly throughout Scottrade Center for several moments. It was the most public and loudest response from fans who were especially upset by Kroenke and the Rams negative assertions about the city in their relocation application.
“I thought it was unfortunate the Rams felt they had to even fill out that part of the application that talked about why they wanted to move because obviously any dope can look up the size of the two markets,” said DeWitt III. “That’s the basic reason why, probably, he wanted to move. It was unfortunate–I mean, if I was in his shoes, I would’ve been like ‘guys, I’m not filling out that section’. But he did and I think our fans and our city felt like that was unnecessary.”
DeWitt III complimented his friend Dave Peacock on giving St. Louis its best chance at keeping the Rams and also noted that circumstance also played a large role in the relocation.
“LA was ready,” he explained. “That market hasn’t had it and you knew that was going to happen. Our lease was up based on that clause and had some other medium to small market, or heck another big market, if their lease was up they might have been in the cross-hairs of the same problem, so I don’t think St. Louisans should take it personally. It just was something that happened as a result of the timing.”
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI